Sunday, 7 August 2011

The Newspaper Test ; Time to Take Stock

My youngest sister has flown up from Dunedin to stay for the weekend. She is studying at med school down there, having begun this career after having 3 kids and doing numerous other jobs ( including being a high school teacher and an international Nanny). She is doing very well down there and I am very proud of what she has achieved (I am actually very proud of all 3 of my sisters and what they have achieved, having each led very different lives). Anyway, in one of her recent classes at Med School the students were asked how you can tell your patients are doing better. Of course lots of technical answers were offered related to oxygen saturation etc, but the simple answer given by the lecturer was to see if the patients are sitting up reading a newspaper! I find this answer to be particularly interesting and insightful. Very unscientific perhaps, but I understand it well. And for the record I have passed this test, having gone from having no interest in reading anything a week or so ago, to propping myself up on the bed and reading everything written in the newspaper.

Having been on the treatment plan for nearly a week now it is also probably time to take stock a bit of where I am. I have been very focussed on getting to a treatment strategy and not looking too far ahead from that. Now I am actually getting treatment I have begun to assess my own physical condition. I had largely resisted weighing myself or looking at myself too much in the mirror as I knew I was loosing weight. Recently I was described by a visitor who had not seen me for a while as being a bag of bones. So today I weighed myself and I can report that I have lost about 15 kg since the diagnosis, much of which has been muscle mass. It has surprised me how fast the muscle has gone, but someone likened it to how much muscle they lost after having their own leg in a cast for a few weeks. I don't know how long it will take to rebuild my body, but I am thankful that I did have a reasonable muscle base to start with. I think it is good sign that I am now getting hungry whereas before I was mostly forcing myself to eat to get some energy into my body. I am also having a variety of food cravings but am being very careful about what I eat because a number of foods can still be very unsettling. So having passed the newspaper test above I have drawn up a number of small goals in my head to aim for over the next little while. I hope to be spending more time up and around in the house, reading more, and even making the odd small outing (with a particular focus on being able to walk with Xanthe to school again). Small steps I know, but steps in the right direction.
Thank you again to all the readers if this blog.


At 7 August 2011 at 12:26 , Anonymous Andy and Brigie said...

This is great news, Andrew. Inspirational blog too. We are following it avidly.

At 8 August 2011 at 00:52 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very inspiring and it's really delightful to hear the improvements. The comment about how one knows if the patient is getting better is so true! So happy you have passed that and you can certainly do more! Lots love :)

At 8 August 2011 at 08:27 , Blogger marco said...

Great to hear of your progress. Amazed at how well you can keep up this blog (maybe an alternative 'newspaper test'), which I am sure is an inspiration to many others. Keep up the fight!
God bless.


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