How did I get so ill?

After lifelong Asthma, and smoking 20 cigarettes a day  it had been a long journey to get to this point and the road was full of pot holes along the way but finally I arrived at a cul de sac.

The journey downhill had started in 2005 around Christmas time. I had a chest infection (another one) and I had been to the doctor and been given antibiotics and a course of steroids to help my body recover while the antibiotics killed whatever bug I had caught, this was the plan but not what had happened.
I got through Christmas but in the days that followed I became very ill and breathless and it turned out that I had got a case of severe pneumonia this resulted in me hallucinating while I lie in my bedroom it seemed perfectly reasonable as I watched the carpet undulating like a disturbed lake all around me.

 When they got me in hospital it became apparent why, my Oxygen saturation levels were in the low  70s the doctor was quite surprised that I was still able to walk but that was soon to change. I was suffering severe hypoxia and so as a result I was treated with a nebulizer and Oxygen therapy this was to prove to be a problem as I was given 100% oxygen during my treatment and was a CO2 retainer as I found out later. This resulted in my body going into respiratory failure.

I ended up on ITU for three days and the family were called to hosital as it was felt that I might die.I was treated with CPAP which is a form of mechanical ventilation where you wear a tight mask that forces air into your lungs and IV drugs to kill the infection.
When I came to I found myself surrounded by machines beeping and doctors jabbing needles into my wrist to get access to arterial blood to test my blood  oxygen concentration. I stayed there for a little while before I was let back on ward 16. This was to be my home for a couple of weeks. I meet some excellent nurses and joked about the whole episode and made little of what had happened.

I was soon on my way home to recover. But I didn't ever recover my health again and this was the start of  more problems that would find me back in the Churchill Hospital again in the next few years.I had a diagnosis of C.O.P.D., Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease  My Lungs were Knackered permanently
Despite attending pulmonary rehabilitation which was great and helped me deal with my diagnosis of COPD and kept my function high I would recommend it to anyone who is offered it.

Things settled but The fun just kept happening at Christmas 2006  I had a large Pneumothorax  of my right lung causing my lung to collapse 4 times in the space of a month into 2007 and wouldn't reinflate because of a hole that didn't close. I was left in a wheelchair with a tube and a one way valve hanging out of my chest for three months and using Oxygen 24/7. God was graceful, helped me and I recovered, the lung partly re-inflated, to enable me to spend most of the day off Oxygen but I still use it overnight.

After discussions with my doctors after my Pneumothorax I was assessed in January 2009 at Harefields Hospital.I then caught a persistent infection in my lung that took many months IV and inhaled antibiotics to eliminate.17th August 2009 was the first call from Harefields I was sitting in the Churchill Hospital outpatients awaiting a two week admission for IV antibiotics.To ask if I would like to go on the list.Just my luck!!

 7th September 2009 will be a day I will remember for the rest of my life how ever long that turns out to be.  This was the day when I got listed on the active transplant list at Harefields Hospital for a Double Lung Transplant.

You may ask If I could have prevented this happening? If I had not smoked I might not be writing this now.
If you are a smoker and reading this give up now.
I don't miss them at all.
Don't believe the bullshit that you hear about it being hard to give up! 
What is hard is going through life with no breath, feeling like you are drowning. Not able to kick a football with your son or go fishing because you cant carry the kit,or even walk up the stairs without stopping on every step.

If you say to yourself you will give up before you get to unwell that is exactly what I said.It didn't happen!!

If you like the sound of this sort of life carry on and enjoy a life of chronic illness, drop me a line and I give you a few tips on places to seek help or you can help yourself and your family now.

Every time you feel the need to smoke 
Think of me 

Don't prove me right!   
Sorry If you are looking for links to clink on.
The link is Smoking cause lung disease

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