Sunday, 2 August 2020

August 2020

Wow, nearly a year since my last post. A lot has happened since then, most of it in the last few weeks.

The pituitary update element of this post is that all is well. I've had the usual bloods done which all came back normal, the eye checkup which was fine showing no further degradation of my optic nerve and an MRI scan which confirms that he tumour is still not re-growing. So a good set of results which means that I continue down the line of being monitored but nothing to worry about. Which is great news!

In terms of day to day pituitary life, things are relatively normal. 2020 has thrown a lot at us so far, mainly in the form of COVID-19. The stresses this has brought have not really affected me as I am lucky enough to be able to work from home, so this switch has been easy. Pituitary patients fall into the clinically vulnerable group which meant I had to maintain stricter social distancing, but not full shielding. Life continued pretty much as normal, at least as normal as it ever could be under such conditions.

The thing that really did affect me is the decision to buy a new house. One day back in April 2019, Deb walked the dogs past a house locally that had been renovated and remarked how nice it looked. We had been looking at houses for quite some time, but not that seriously. So in early May 2019 we decided to view the house and fell in love with it. But we didn't have our house on the market at that point and our 'dream' house sold quickly, and that was that. Or so we thought....

The estate agent called us back in November 2019 wondering if we were still interested, as the sale fell through. We were, but now things were getting serious, because it meant getting our house on the market. This happened fairly quickly and in early 2020 our house sold, our offer was accepted on the new house and everything seemed to be going smoothly. We would be moved in by Easter. However, lockdown happened......

To cut a long story short, following the end of the lockdown it took an age to get the move done for various reasons. We finally moved in near the end of July 2020. It really is a fantastic house and very much a dream house for us. It was a 1955 bungalow which was extensively converted into a very modern chalet bungalow. We are very lucky....but what does this have to do with a pituitary blog. Well dear readers, stress.

When you updose Hydrocortisone it is referred to as 'stress dosing'. I don't think I had really appreciated this term until the last couple of weeks. I frequently refer in this blog to my occasional crashes, well when you are moving house, the stress of that plus the unusually high physical and mental activity really exposed how clever the human body is and how reliant it is on Cortisol, or Hydrocortisone in my case. To say I was flagging a bit most days is an understatement. I am just at the end of 2 weeks off, the first week was leading up to the move and the second week was following the move. Up and down to our old loft, packing boxes, lifting boxes and constantly thinking about something. Getting up early and going to bed late. Then moving in and cleaning and unpacking and lots more brain activity. My body was just burning through Hydrocortisone like no-ones business. I took an extra 5mg most days and a little bit more than that some days.

I have lost 3kg in weight due to a combination of the physical and mental strains. I also found myself really needing extra food. A stupid thing to say really, because if you are working hard, you burn the calories and need to fuel up, but I'm just not used to it. My body aches and to be honest, anyones would....of course it would. It is just another stabbing reminder that I rely so much on the Hydrocortisone to keep me going. I can confirm that on the day of the move the one thing that wasn't packed and was very much with me was a stash of pills and my Hydrocortisone injection. We were only moving around the corner, but that is plenty far enough to get into real trouble if my medication wasn't to hand.

Hopefully, I will put the weight back on as my BMI is around 23 which is fine, but I was happier with another couple of Kg on me. Not doing 10,000 - 15,000 steps daily will probably sort that out, my normal daily is around 8,000. The day of the move I did nearly 25,000.

Moral of the story, don't be afraid to updose if there is good reason. I'm back at work tomorrow, so on a much more 'normal' schedule for me, let's see how that goes!

Photo is me and the dogs relaxing after mowing the lawn today

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