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Posted Oct 13 2010 12:00am
I've picked up a virus and it's gone to my chest. On Facebook I've been channeling my inner "Lemmy" but now I sound like him too! I've got a horrible, painful cough and I'm a little breathless. AJ has had to go away for a meeting and won't be back till tonight, but actually that's quite a good thing. I can just attend to my own needs.  Interesting isn't it? I start finding my voice and then I contract laryngitis.

I get very excited when my immune system actually has a response. I had the first cold in five years earlier this year, and this is the first chest thing I've had in about ten. I started the HRT (hormone replacement therapy) this week. The first morning after I applied a patch I woke up feeling different. I couldn't quite work out what it was at first, but I realise I'm waking up without headaches. Also, I'm sleeping better. I'm not getting up two or three times in the night for a hot flush and a pee.

Thanks for all your support and advice about my problem with my work capability assessment. I've written a letter asking for them to look at their decision again including some facts I think they have overlooked and some supporting evidence from my own records. I've also asked my doctor to write to them. As you are aware, this kind of thing takes effort. So far it's taken me three days and I've yet to post the letter. I did deliver a note to my doc as I was there on Monday anyway having blood tests. That was the last time I went out. I wonder if the reason I'm as unwell as I am is due, in part, to this stress.

One of the bits of information I'm sending them is from Moodscope  which is a website where you can go and record your mood on a daily basis. You answer a quiz which is randomised and it tracks your mood on a graph. When I've tracked my energy, mood and pain in the past there has been a strong correlation with my mood. I know it's a bit chicken and eggy but generally my energy follows my mood rather than the other way around. I showed a couple of months' worth of graphs to my doc recently and she said something on the lines of 'oh good god'. I fluctuate wildly between extremes. It'll be interesting to see if the HRT makes a difference to that.

The trouble with this illness it makes one so introspective and self-focussed. Something from the outside world is fascinating me though, and that is the rescue of the Chilean miners. Every couple of hours there is this astonishing rebirth as another one comes blinking into the light. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine how precious life would be after waiting all that time in the dark? It's a story that captures the imagination on so many levels. Many of us are imprisoned in different ways, by our illness or past experiences. Sometimes prisons are of our own making or foisted upon us by others. The miners give us hope that we can unchain ourselves and emerge; changed but free.
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