December 23rd, 2012



Unfortunately my lung function after IVs was worse than at the start. More significantly, my sputum was clearly nasty just a few days later. I ruled out "just more IVs" and it became clear that doing nothing was a poor option.

So I'm in hospital.

* physio
Although outpatient physio is available, the only way to get daily physio is to be in hospital. Not only that but they have gadgets:
# ultrasonic nebulizer that sends saline to hydrate parts of the lungs other nebulizers can't reach.
# the Bird, that sends pressured Oxygen to open your airways. Can also be used to reinstate collapsed lungs.

On the whole physio has been very effective but also exceedingly hard and tiring work.

* IVs
I tried one day of no antibiotics in hospital but it wasn't enough. This time, instead of Tobromycin and Tazosin, I'm on Tobe and Meropenem. It had such immediate effect that the consultant had a good chat to the microbiologist. It doesn't have a massive effect on the stubborn old phlegm though.

* Chinese medicine

Acupuncture today diagnosed a still large excess of heat - dry heat not phlegm heat. This suggested that the nasty stuff is old phlegm but it's clearly infected so all this treatment IS needed.

It was also pointed out that my lung chi/energy was depleted. This led me to a more relaxed approach to physio, with less battering from percussion and gentler breathing strategies. This worked very well Thursday night but less so yesterday - I will get more percussion today.

28, the new stubborn phlegm formula, has been set aside for no. 14 since it cools and moistens. For more of a tonic there's 24, or 23 for chi movement and rehydration - but for now I can still feel the heat so 14 it is. It really doesn't help that the ward is hot and dry, hopefully I'm countering most of the conflict there.

Unfortunately, despite increased belief in my complementary therapies, the consultants are now worried that my herbs are clashing (or rather negating) the antibiotics so have taken the formulae for analysis. One had such a bad experience he finds it hard to let go. But then apparently grapefruit juice will negate HIV retrovirals.

* Exercise
Naturally exercise is part of the therapy, especially since ostensibly I haven't done much for three months (although walking to shops hasn't been bad). Luckily I've escaped for osteopathy and acupuncture, both needing climbing a steep hill, then returning via three flights of stairs.

Yesterday I did proper tai chi for the first time in ages, in part due to the energy gained from Thursday's clearout and gentler physio, in part since the warning to restore my chi. I'm sure failure to keep it up wweakened my lungs.

* steroids
These have been pumped to a massive 30mg daily, which inevitably is causing me diabetes problems, and making me hungry. I really shouldn't have eaten a large slice of rich Christmas cake! Ultimately a good idea to reduce inflammation.

* hospital
Hot, noisy, disruptive and the food budget is worse. Nothing new or unexpected, except the heat. Most nights I get enough sleep but between high blood sugar from the cake and wanting to finish this (it's taken three days on this little phone keyboard) I will have to squeeze in a doze tomorrow somewhere. At least with the weekend it's a bit quieter.

... Now, what did I miss?

Firefly card game: Making moments

I'm still happy with most of the deck building game but I want to improve a couple of elements with one change. By increasing the number of conflict stats, we can:
* increase opportunities for bluffing, currently underused
* importantly increase options for routes to victory
* incidentally add more flavour

I also want to increase the number of "wow" abilities. While I want this to be a proper game, the target audience is a tired group of excited gamers so a dry game won't really cut it.

The three contest stat list would be Power, Grace and Skill. I would like to consider a fourth stat but can't pin it down. Any ideas?