Saturday, 12 January 2008


[Another piece to go with the above pic. of Lucy. The one I was writing pre-Christmas with the pre- spasm “cough”. You will see why I wanted to wait to publish this one.]

I sat here in this same chair at 7am this morning – an hour later than the previous days but still in the midde of my night – coughing and sweating and coughing some more. (But please don’t tell anyone, especially MS nurses, doctors, etc. I’ve got rid of these things before I’ll do it again – or not, and die in my bed, that’s fine.)

Feeling very alone, but for Lucy.

Tom, who is usually at work on Saturday, around in the evening, out Sat. night and back Sunday dawn, has gone away till tomorrow (Sunday) evening. And I’m not sure I’ll make it till then - either on my legs or without kicking-the-proverbial due to whatever this wretched cough is

So, I thought I’d write it down as I go. Possibly stream of consciousness, or something like it (I need punctution though, get lost without rules. Imagine the state of your mind – well mine anyway – without boundaries). And maybe it’ll keep me going. For Lucy, the only one who cares right now, whether I do or not.

And it was that realisation - not for the first time as you know but this time in an even worse state – that, in the early hours of this morning really moved me. Nearly made me cry (in the middle of the moans and groans of an already very fluid illness!). I suddnly knew why so many of the homeless have dogs with them. Scraggy, shaggy creatures sometimes (yes, yes, I’m describing the canines), but, oh you can bet, fed before the owner, and quite right too.

I didn’t used to understand (in my days of not liking dogs (see earlier post here) but, oh boy, can I empathise now.

When there are no people to love you a dog will always be there. You are lovable to at least one living being (even if you feel you disgust the humans – ha, who’s disgusting making you feel like that?) and so, there’s no question as to who should eat first: the loyal, devoted, totally unselfish one – the dog.

I went back to bed after the big “attack” and had an hour’s dozing before Tom burst into the room, threw a cup of coffee on my tissue-striven table, filled aroma-streams with tea tree oil and crashed out again, wishing me “Good luck.” And, “God bless.” (I’d left him a similar note.) He’d fed poor Lucy at that early hour and put her back in her crate-bed in the other room. She (as she does usually in the igloo-bed in this room) went straight back to sleep until I got up.

At 11.45 am!

And there this piece ended because the pain and the exhaustion of that day wiped me out. And because that illness did get really scary. Not just the cough but the not-being-able-to-get-enough-air-into-my-lungs, which forced the cough to try to clear them. That was the – commit your spirit to God – hard part. The most distressing.

I didn’t want any pro’s to know about it – and want to cart me off for tests, anti-biotics etc..

So I perservered but in Blogger silence. On the herbal routine I used back in 1994 for TB (Guy’s Hospital, London, will verify) and which I will spell out soon in MS – My Scene. It is more-or-less, the same as I use normally (see here) but with: golden seal, internally, as an anti-biotic; extra echinacea; cough remedies like coltsfoot, elecampagne and mullein, and euchalyptus (mixed with olive oil) as an expectorant chest-rub

I put the whole thing – with help from Google - down to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), a combination of bronchitis and emphysema caused by smoking. And for a week pretty much gave it up...

A month later and here we are, back to normal (please don’t ask about the fags!). The MS Nurse has been but only about the spasm (see above) which followed – and, of course, could have been caused by a) the germs or b) the physical strain of the cough itself. I told her about it but otherwise she never would have known!

And the reason for this post was only to show how important Lucy has been. I mean Tom has been great, when he’s been here, and really helpful. I don’t know how I’m going to manage without him. And that’s something I mean to write about, very soon, in this blog (how much of this whole MS thing is psychosomatic?) – lots to get on with.

But for now, praise God, we’ll put this behind us. And, as long as we can – Lucy and me! – move on...

NB Don’t “Crufts” give an award for ‘Companion Dogs’? Well, here’s a winner and a half. And all those homeless dogs. Let’s hear a big cheer for them.

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