Friday, 30 December 2016

This used to be a caring nation

This year has highlighted just how far the UK has slumped over the years.

We used to be a brilliant and very proud country where everyone helped each other, and that included the wealthy, but this no longer happens anymore

People used to help each other when the need arose, but these says it seems it's everyone looking after themselves, and forgetting other people.
It seems that in many places the community spirit has disappeared completely

This country is now a tax haven for many wealthy foreigners, who know how to get away without paying their taxes etc, yet they use our health service free of charge.

This includes some politicians in the UK, who don't pay their right amount of tax,  if they pay any here at all, yet they are still fiddling expenses, even though they know it's illegal.

Yet while this is going  on, millions of people in the UK are becoming poorer, and many are left on the streets at night, because there is no where else for them to go, and that includes many ex services people
The same people who fought for this country,  are discarded like rubbish by  this uncaring Government.
But it's not all down to the Tories, because Chairman Blair was no better when he ran the labour government

For years this country has called on corrupt Governments around the world to sort themselves out,  but it seems now that this country is run by corruption from one end to the other

We have more and more food banks in the country, and it seems new outlets are opening each week, simply because people are becoming desperate for food.

This country also sends out subsidies or foreign aid to many wealthy countries these days, and this beggars belief, because if they can afford missiles and vast armies, they can afford to pay their own way.

The other day we saw a programme on television where a gentleman had fallen out hard times through no fault of his own, and was evicted.

His dog who he had looked after for years, was taken to battersea dogs home, because he could not allow the animal to live a rough life  with him in a tent.

Both the owner and dog were very distressed and it's understandable, because like it or not, a dog or cat becomes a member of the family, and are not simply animals.

This broke my heart, because it now proves that this country no longer cares about anyone. By this I mean those running the country,  no longer care

I dread to think how far this will go before things will change, but I cannot see it happening soon, as we don't  have a viable opposition party in this country anymore, and I cannot see things changing until we get a better opposition party willing to stand up to this corruption.

Let us all,  hope that things change and politicians start working together so that we end up with a better and caring society, the type of society many of us grew up in.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

A long year

It seems to have been a very long year, but I guess that's because if all of my chest infections, which according to our family doctor seem to start all over again within 6 to 8 weeks after taking antibiotics.
However it seems that this could be down to the Heamophilis Influenza bug which is firmly implanted in my lungs, and could have been there since early childhood days.

I am now seeing a new chest consultant who has done a lot of tests etc, and tomorrow I go to Bishop Auckland general hospital for a CT scan.

As far as I know,  this will be the last test before I see the consultant again in the new year,  when we hope to get the answers to the problems.

He already thinks that I have had Bronchiectasis since early childhood hood, caused by Whooping cough Mumps and measles.

When I had pnumonia in 2001 I was told that I had scarring tissue in my lungs, which it seems could have been caused by wood dust among other things.

I also had heart valve problems, which were detected around 1970s and it appears that this could be making things worse

I had an echocardiogram last week, and they had problems finding one of the heart valves,  and then a doctor was brought in to look.

So now it's a case of waiting to see what the new year brings when I see the consultant next

However I am now more positive than I was under the last consultant,  because he seems to want to find the answers and that has to be a good thing.

At least things seem to be moving in the right direction now.

Monday, 26 December 2016

A year to remember

This has been a year which  was nice in some respects,  and weird in others

This year we saw our son Mark get married, and now he and Tracy are now expecting their second child early  next year.

Their son Jacob started infants school this year, and already seems to have grown up


This was taken at Mark and Tracy's Wedding

Our daughter Claire has two lovely girls Lucy 12 and Emily 10, along with a son Matthew 7 who seems to have grown up a lot, since he joined the girls in a theatre group.




All seem to be doing extremely well at school which is lovely to hear

Its also been lovely to see all of our 4  grandchildren growing up, something that I never expected to see when I was originally diagnosed

This year I met someone I have contacted often over Facebook and that was, Kate Swaffer from Australia.

Kate is a hero of mine, and is also a Dementia Advocat who travelled the world giving presentations with her husband Peter.

It was a real pleasure to meet them and an honour, two lovely people. 

This year I started seeing a totally new chest consultant, and it seems that he has confirmed one thing,  that is that I may well have had Bronchiectasis since early childhood

He is  doing further tests to ensure that there are no other medical problems in the back ground
So health wise we seem to get getting  somewhere at long last.

This year has been notable for other reasons to.

My blog which I was going to close down,  has now got over 175-000 readers around the world, something that I never expected

A strange year when my diagnosis went from Lewy Body Dementia to Mild Cognitive Impairment, then back again to the original diagnosis

I finally gave up driving, something I have been doing since 1969, but it means that I have now accepted that my eyes are no longer up to the job.  I only wish others would follow and do the same these days.

But this has been a year of political surprises all round.

I guess no one expected the country to vote to leave Europe, which they did, and then our prime minister resigned, leaving others to sort the mess out

I never expected to hear about so much racial  hatred in this country, something which I find so so hard to accept

In America they voted to elect Donald Trump a billionaire with no political experience. Very strange
The rise of ISIS in the middle east, and the bombings in European countries

Hearing of  thousands of people being killed in Syria, while the United Nations sat back and did nothing.

I hope that next year is better for all concerned and things be one more stable around the world

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Sessional Greetings

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my friends a Merry Christmas, and a Happy new year when it comes.

I also hope that the new year brings new beginnings for us all, and hopefully a healthier year

As this is  going to be a busy week, due to the need of a hospital visit for a echocardiogram etc, and the family coming up for a week, I thought it best to write this now

Best wishes to you all


Saturday, 17 December 2016

Brexit and immigration

Over the last two years there has been a lot of upset caused by some sections of society over immigration, and it's got a lot worse since the referendum on Europe

Yet when we look at one particular section there has been little or no mention

This is professional football, where we are seeing vast numbers of players and managers moving into this country

Yet it appears that little has been said about this, which seems a little odd.

More and more football players etc are coming into this country on fast track visas, yet I don't consider them to be important to the country.

I doubt if many if any, are even paying tax in this country, yet they play in the richest football league possibly in the world.

This makes me wonder why supporters don't say a lot about this considering the cost of tickets to watch football matches these days.

Why should supporters pay the high cost when many players don't pay their full portion of tax in the UK, it's so wrong and should be stopped, especially as British workers are being hammered with tax, yet the wealthy get away with out paying very much.

This all seems so wrong to me.
To add even more insult to this, when you see a game on television there is always an NHS ambulance standing by in case of an accident on the pitch.

Surely this all needs to change to make things more even in this country.

Far too many other foreign workers who came here to work and pay tax here have been victimised by Brexit while football players,  etc get away scot free.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Social care lost

I fear we are seeing the end of social care in the UK, and the Government is not helping the situation.

However many councils are struggling to cope with  savage cuts to their budgets,  and social care is one of the worst hit sections being cut, all of which has a knock in effect.

Most of the local council care homes in County Durham, have been closed and pulled down, simply because they were out of date.

While I can understand this,  i do feel that councils have neglected the care sector for more high profile projects, completely forgetting about those who have worked hard all of their lives.
These days it's possible to build a care home which could if needed, be upgraded to suite without too much trouble,  but no one wants to know about it. 

Social care has been struggling for years now,  even under the last Labour  Government, and these cuts are making things much worse, while the government sits and throws money around on useless projects like HS2.

When  I think of the cost of the two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers which will not be in use until at least 2020, and the billions being spent on HS2, it's staggering, because we could have ensured that of care homes and hospitals were running properly and efficiently.

I believe a lot if this could have been resolved, if this country had a viable opposition party, who were respected, but it's been a long time since this happened

Along with this hospitals are struggling to cope with the vast numbers of elderly who are in hospitals simply because they have no where to go.

These people should either be at home, or in care homes, but these days even care homes are struggling to cope. Many of these people are unable to go home because they possibly live on  their own, or their local social,  services  cannot cope

Like it or not social care is a right these days, because many of us have worked all of our lives and have paid social security,  yet this seems to have been forgotten about by those in power nationally and locally.

This could also be down to the fact that many politicians these days are wealthy or are  very well off, and don't consider anyone else.

To me personally, if your local councils cannot provide social care, it should be taken over by the Government and NHS.

However it's now time to sort out the political mess in this country, and resolve issuses like the security services, armed forces, health and education by using cross party committees,  and stop these unnecessary and needless changes we have everytime a new  Government gets elected

We should have ministers who have been trained in certain areas like health, running projects instead of some local idiot with no health service knowledge running the NHS etc.

This is not a business, but people's lives at risk, and while the NHS is in a mess it needs sorting out properly by those who really do understand what's needed.

I fear too much of this NHS  mess goes back to the days when a hospital board was disbanded and replaced with a chief executive.

At least the board was made up of health service professionals like Doctors, Matrons, Engineers etc, and all stores were bought centrally from the NHS stores, so every hospital was the same.

These people were also accountable, and they got the sack if they underperformed,  unlike today where they get a golden  handshake

However I do feel that it's perhaps time for the social care to be taken over by the government, as they have been taking the money for it for many years, while blaming others

Local councils should also shoulder some of the blame rather than blaming others all of the time because they have neglected to do their job properly, by not looking after the elderly

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Looking back

I worked in an Oxford University College for twenty years as an engineer, and until my last 6 months I really enjoyed the job,

I guess that after I had pnuemonia things changed, and we got a new boss
But I confess that I was not fully thinking clearly at times, and i should have retired a lot earlier than I did,

However I have just heard that my old Boss who did my original interview, has now got the mid to later stages of dementia

We called into her house and saw her two years ago when we were going to farnborough to see the family, and she seemed different then, and seemed to be talking about a different college to the one I knew.

I wondered if there was something wrong then, and it looks as if we were right, because that must have been the start of the dementia

She was a formidable lady, who never took prisoners, but would stand by you if you got into a sticky situation

When my wife had a serious road accident, she had a direct line to the hospital, so that she knew what was happening. This carried on for nearly three years until my wife's treatment finished

Through her the  College also hired a solicitor, to look into the road accident,  and then hired a barrister to look after us
She also put me on flexible hours so that I could look after the children, and also go into the hospital as and when needed.

No other boss would have done that for us, but I could be wrong

She also worked hard to hang onto staff she really wanted to keep on board

Being on call 24 hours a day, it was not unheard of to see her waiting to meet me  in the College, in the middle of the night, when things went wrong

Once she was happy that you had everything in hand, she would disappear back to her flat and leave you to get on with the job

I guess she kept her finger on the pulse, and ran a tight ship.

If I was not satisfied with something I had done in the College, I was told off for having very high standards. But at the same time she admired those who were not always satisfied with what they had completed, because they were in her eyes perfectionists.

It was not unheard of, to be invited into her large office to discuss a project or a problem.
But I always felt out of my depth sitting there in her armchairs.

I was always sure that she could read people's minds, because she always seemed to know what  was going on before I did, and that was weird.

Because I was on call 24 hours a day, and had young children, she gave me her pager, so that I could get on  with life at weekends, and not get tied down to the telephone all of the time.

This was a few years before mobile phones really came out, so this meant that we could go down to our allotment garden etc, and relax while being on call.

While I know that she was a lot older than we were, we admired the way she ran  things.

However it seems so sad that someone who was so formidable and knowledgable  has been reduced to this.

She did so much for the family that she will always be remembered and respected

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Flooding and stress

There has been so much on the television etc, about the floods which hit many parts of the UK last year

I confess that as someone who was hit by the floods of June 2012, I can understand the distress caused.

But it's not just the fact that you lose so many possessions, and belongings, it's the after care or lack of it in many cases

We had 90 cms of water coming  into the house with 20 minutes, so fast that there was little we could do about it.

We lost so much good furniture etc during this,  that it was very upsetting

It did not come from the obvious place, which is a  burn near to the house,  but from all of the blocked drains in the town centre.

At first the insurance assessors were brilliant and sorted out all of our costs for the lost belongings and possessions within the week, including our car which was a right off.

Then things went wrong because they brought in their own builders and clerk of works, who in my own mind, were not fit to do the job to my own standards.

I say that because the tradesmen could not even use hand tools, something which shocked me.

It was obvious from the start that because I was going to push to get the work done, that they were going to drag it out, and take as long as they wanted.

It took us a long time to get the house dried out properly, and then the builders did not come back for around 6 weeks, by which stage the house was becoming damp all over again.

After blasting they clerk if works, about the standard of work,  I was told that I expected too much, and my standards were far too high. That's something I was shocked to hear.
If you are trained to do a good job, you expect the same from others

Thankfully I don't remember a lot about this period, but my wife said the other day that I told the clerk of works, that I would not hire these builders to build a dog kennel

While the house was drying out, we had both set too, to clear the silt and rubbish out from under the floor joists, after which they tried to have us banned from entering the house again.

The trouble was that the floor was covered with 50mm of this wet silt, and until it was removed the concrete was not going to dry out.

The insurance companies always say that they will reinstate the house to its former condition, but I think that was a statement that was never going to be true.

Even though we moved back in again in the January 6 months after the flood, we were in for a rough ride, when the plaster and paint started to fall off and crack.

They had used adhesive to stick the skirting boards onto the walls,  which may be fine when the walls are dry, but when they are damp,  the adhesive fails to work, and the skirting boards simply fell off.

After several arguments I told the builders to  get out, and said that I would put things right myself

So these days when I see people complaining on television, about the state of their homes after flooding,  and the treatment they have received from builders etc, I can honestly say that I agree with them all if the way.

It really is time that insurance companies started to treat people with respect and use quality builders to do this work.

It's time that they respected other people's homes and possessions.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Drinking plenty of water

These days no matter what illness or multiple illnesses you have there are always lots of experts telling you how to remain active or keep fit.

But in all reality there are no two people the same, and therefore, it's not the trained expert who knows best,  but the person actually living with the illness.

No matter what illness you may have, there is always a charity or website explaining symptoms etc, along with possible symptoms

However many specialists are keen to point out, every person is a  individual and have to be treated as such, because no matter which way you look at it, one size does not fit everyone

Many of these experts tell patients that they need to keep fit, but they never look at other symptoms which may restrict some types of exercises.

One thing I find amazing these days is that those people with chronic chest problems, are all told to drink lots of fluids.

But when we are weighed at the doctors etc, we are then told that we are Overweight?

I always get weighed in the morning straight after my shower, so I know what weight I am before getting dressed and having breakfast

However,  as I was told by a nurse recently, that simply does not matter, it's the weight you are when you are at the hospital, not first thing in the morning.?

So how can this work in reality, if you have been in bed all night, you are not nessessariy getting up to have a drink. If like me and many others like  us,  you get hot during the night through chest problems, you may sweat any moisture out of the body, and then the rest is drained off when  you go to the toilet first thing on a morning.

That to me gives me the correct weight, not fully dressed fed and watered much later.

Yet the article below in the Independent Newspaper seems to raise interesting  issues with drinking water, which are not discussed by the medical profession   

Drinking too much water can be deadly, doctors warn 

Report comes after 59-year-old woman admitted to hospital with 'water intoxication' 
Indy Lifestyle Online 
Doctors are questioning whether there is a safe amount of water to drink Rex Features  
Healthcare professionals have warned of the dangers of telling people to “drink plenty of fluids” after a woman was admitted to hospital with water intoxication.  
After developing symptoms of a urinary tract infection, the 59-year-old increased her water intake, drinking more than half a pint every 30 minutes, which she hoped would “flush out her system.”  
However, she quickly fell seriously ill and was admitted to King’s College hospital with dangerously low levels of salt in her blood, a potentially fatal condition if left untreated.  
Now, doctors are questioning whether there is a "safe" amount of water to drink, and called for greater evidence to know how much water is too much. 
In the British Medical Journal case report, doctors Laura Christine Lee and Maryann Noronha asked: “We frequently advise our patients to ‘drink plenty of fluids’ and ‘keep well hydrated’ when they are unwell. But, what do we mean by that? Are there potential risks of this apparently harmless advice?” 
The report describes how their patient’s condition continued to worsen after she was admitted to hospital.  
“During her visit to the emergency department, she became progressively shaky and muddled. She vomited several times, was tremulous and exhibited significant speech difficulties,” they wrote. 
“Throughout the day she had consumed several litres of water based on medical advice she recalled from previous similar episodes.” 
Water intoxication is a well-documented symptom of some endurance sports and the use of certain drugs, including MDMA, which can cause excessive thirst.  
However, the condition can be deadly with symptoms including nausea, vomiting and headaches and in serious cases, brain swelling, confusion, seizures, coma and death. 
Patients with abnormally low salt levels, as a result of hyponatremia or water intoxication, have a death rate of almost 30 per cent 
“I have patchy recollections of being asked questions I understood but seemed unable to articulate answers for and found this distressing. I remember seeing my partner looking grave and forlorn, which was more frightening than what was happening as I did not know or understand what was happening,” the patient, writing of her own experience in the same journal, said.  
“I remember seeing my hand in front of me shaking rather violently and I wondered why I could not stop it, then realised that my whole body was shaking.” 
Dr Imran Rafi, chairman of clinical innovation and research at the Royal College of GPs, said it was important to stay hydrated but there was no steadfast recommendation as to how much water people should drink.  
“'Drinking enough water is important in keeping healthy, both physically and mentally, and patients should keep their fluids up when unwell, particularly in conditions that can cause dehydration,” he said.  
“We would encourage patients to drink more if they have symptoms of dehydration, such as feeling thirsty – including in hot weather or when exercising – or passing dark-coloured urine.  
“There is no steadfast recommendation as to how much water people should drink in order to stay healthy, but the key thing is to keep hydrated – and passing clear urine is a good indication of this. 
“This case report highlights that excessive water intake can have important consequences for patients, and this is something that healthcare professionals, and patients, should be mindful of.” 
Public Health England recommend drinking between six and eight glasses of fluid a day, while current NHS England guidelines suggest drinking “plenty of water”.  
The Independent had contacted NHS England for comment. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sensory problems getting worse

I have noticed sensory problems over the years,  but things seem to be getting worse these days

A few years ago I lost my sense of smell, and as my wife has said on many occasions,  I could end up in serious trouble one of  these days, because there are times when i cannot even smell things like gas, and that's not a good thing.

There are times, however  when I smell things which are not there, and that is weird.

Occasionally I smell something burning, but never find anything, and it drives my poor wife mad looking.

Not so long ago my tastes in food changed dramatically, something that no one can explain to me.

Before we were married, and indeed afterwards, if we went out for a meal, I would only have a steak, or an English meal, I would never go for curry or anything else.

I guess I  was what was called conservative in everything I ate.

These days however I can eat curries all day given the chance, and what is more, the hotter and spicier the better.

There must be a reason for this, but just don't know what it is, but it's got to be something in the brain.

These days I struggle with my eyesight on a night, and see things which are not there, and this drives me nuts.

We went through a period where I would see spider's on the floor,  but I was never sure if they were real or not.

I now have problems with things like doorframes, and usually bump into one side or the other and end up bruised or bleeding as my skin is now a lot thinner than it used to be

I know that my eyesight is rubbish these days, because I get a lot of double vision, which I gather is all down to my brain not picking up things properly.

The best thing I ever did was to stop driving these days

Memory and Keeping fit

Its been in the press quite a lot recently about keeping fit, when you have a brain problem like dementia, but this is not as easy as it sounds, because there are not enough trained staff in the country to cope with these illnesses

I have often wondered how you are supposed to keep fit, when you have dementia, memory,  or any other neurological illnesses, because your brain does not work as fast as other people brains, therefore your reactions are much slower
I was once told by one doctor at home that I was overweight, and should do something about it.

So after a few weeks of wondering what to do, I was referred to the local gym.

However this was to be short lived, as the instructors knew very little about their roles, let alone dementia and neurological problems.

I went for my induction, and was told to be careful, in following all of the given advice, but had this young lady really been listening when my wife explained that I had a form of dementia, obviously not.

The next day I turned up, and was going to speak to the instructors, who were there that day, but guess what, there was no one available.

So I carefully checked the scribbled notes I had written, and got started.

Eventually I came to the tread mill, and looked at it carefully. The problem being that people with dementia or neurological illnesses, don't always see the obvious.

I pressed the button on the machine, and had to run extremely fast, but eventually fell off the back of the machine. I stopped the machine, got back on and the same thing happened again.

Suddenly from nowhere an instructor appeared and gave me a rocket for mucking around. I tried to explain my problem but she simply walked away and ignored my comments.

I felt to shocked at this that I walked out and never went back, although I did complain to the local council who owned the gym, but never got a reply.

My answer to this was and is that Durham County Council was never,  and will never be Dementia a Friendly when they have this attitude.

So how can anyone use these facilities when they have dementia and the staff, really do not care?

Previously to this I used to swim, but now my coordination, has gone completely, because when I am swimming and move my arms, and now my mouth opens at the wrong time, so hey presto, I swallow more water than enough.

In the end I started walking, because in enjoy it and can do this at my own speed.

I remember when I used to cycle and through my son we did the Coast to Coast cycle ride of around 140 miles, this was extremely hard work, but these days as I have hip and knee, problems along with Bronchiectasis, so I would never get onto a bike, let alone cycle any distance on it.

When doctors refer you to these places, I do wonder if they have any real idea what will happen.

Looking back some of this is funny to me now, but it certainly was not at the time.

But I do think that the media should think carefully before writing articles about people with these illnesses and keeping fit

Recently they have been saying that weight lifting helps the memory, I dread to think how that works with a brain like mine these days.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

What is Bronchiectasis

From the British Lung  Foundation.UK Website
What is bronchiectasis?

This information is for people who have bronchiectasis, their families and carers. It explains the causes and symptoms of bronchiectasis, how it is diagnosed and how it is treated.
When you breathe, air is carried into your lungs through your airways. These are a series of tubes, called bronchi.
Your airways contain tiny glands that produce a small amount of mucus. Mucus helps to keep your airways moist and traps the dust and germs that you breathe in. The mucus is then moved away by tiny hairs, called cilia, which line the tubes.
If you have bronchiectasis, your airways become widened and cannot clear themselves properly. This means mucus builds up and the tubes can become infected by bacteria. If bacteria survive in the tubes, they become inflamed, which can further damage your airways. Once the damage has occurred, it is permanent.
The exact number of people who have bronchiectasis is unknown, but some studies suggest there are at least 30,000 people in the UK with the condition.


Lung diagram

What causes bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis can occur if your airways become damaged for some reason, causing them to become wider than normal.
It is important to try to find out how your airways have been damaged.
However, in 25 to 50% of all cases the cause is not found. This is known as idiopathic bronchiectasis.
There are some known causes, including:
  • severe lung infection, especially during childhood, such as pneumonia, whooping cough or measles;
  • underlying inherited disease, such as cystic fibrosis, where the mucus in the airways is too thick, or primary ciliary dyskinesia, where the hairs lining the airways do not work properly;
  • lack of immunity to infection, for example a lack of disease-fighting cells called antibodies;
  • severe allergic response to fungus (moulds), such as aspergillus, which is often associated with asthma;
  • blockage of the airways, for example by items such as peanuts; and
  • gastric reflux, when stomach acid travelling up the food tube from the stomach is breathed in.
Bronchiectasis can also be associated with other diseases such as ulcerative colitis or rheumatoid arthritis. It is also sometimes linked with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but the two are separate diseases and it is important to correctly diagnose and treat both.

Symptoms of bronchiectasis

The most common symptom of bronchiectasis is coughing up phlegm, often in large amounts, every day.
People often feel very tired and find it difficult to concentrate. Some people experience shortness of breath or wheeze and may also have problems with their sinuses.
The build-up of mucus in your airways makes your lungs more vulnerable to infection, which can make these symptoms worse. Less common symptoms include coughing up blood, chest pain and joint pain.

Diagnosing bronchiectasis

You or your doctor may suspect bronchiectasis if you have a persistent productive cough where you cough up a lot of phlegm, and regular chest infections.
You will need to have a computerised tomography (CT) scan – sometimes called a CAT scan – to see if your airways are widened and diagnose bronchiectasis. A CT scan is carried out using a special X-ray machine, which produces an image of a cross-section, or slice, of your body.
Your doctor may also ask you to give a sample of your mucus to find out what bacteria are present. You might also need to have tests, such as blood tests, to look for possible causes of bronchiectasis.

Treatment for bronchiectasis

Usually, the damage to your airways that causes bronchiectasis can’t be reversed, so your treatment will help prevent further damage and infections, and reduce your symptoms.
The cause of your bronchiectasis - if it can be found out - should also be treated; for example, you might need antibody replacement if you have low antibody levels.
If you get an infection, it should be treated with antibiotics. Some people who get a lot of infections take continuous antibiotics, either in tablet form or by inhaling them through a nebuliser. It is important that you see your GP if you think you have a chest infection so it can be treated quickly.
Your doctor should refer you to a respiratory physiotherapist, who will teach you various breathing exercises and techniques to help to clear mucus from your lungs. You should then do this yourself regularly.
You might find your symptoms are reduced if you use an inhaler to open up your airways. There are different types of inhaler, including bronchodilators and steroid inhalers.
Some people use treatments to help remove mucus from their airways; these are sometimes called mucus clearance agents. They include hypertonic saline, a salt water solution that can be inhaled into the lungs through a nebuliser and keeps the airways hydrated, and carbocisteine, which makes mucus thinner and less sticky, so it is easier to cough up.
Very occasionally, in cases where bronchiectasis occurs in a single section of the lung, the damaged areas can sometimes be removed with surgery. This is only recommended in a very small number of cases when other treatments have not been successful.
Your doctor will monitor how successful your treatment is, so it can be changed quickly to meet your needs.

For other information

British Lung Foundation BLF.UK
www. Bronchiectasis
Chest, Heart, & Stroke Scotland 

Child abuse

These days we are hearing more and more about child abuse, because of a scandal in Football clubs and football trainers etc.

I have heard many people talking about this, including many, who think that's it's been left for far too long

One or two have even said that grown men, should forget what happened to them as children, but in all honesty when it's this bad, it will haunt you for the rest of your life

It's  down to the fact that going back over the years, it was a case that those who were abused, had no where to turn  for help for help,  and badly needed support

Simply because no one would believe them at home, and others including the police forces and social workers,  would certainly not wish to get involved, believing youngsters to be all liars.

Many were too terrified even to speak to their  parents or family's members,   about this, because they would not have been believed.

In many cases the abusers were largely well known people, and many of these were held in high respect by all in the community, and in some cases they were people who were idolised by parents etc, so it just would not happen

But no matter which way you may look at it, you never really get over what you were put through as a child or a minor

Many of us had strict parents, who held you to the letter of the law, and using a belt etc was common place at home if you misbehaved

If you got told off by anyone either at school or by a policemen, you then got into trouble at home when your parents found out, even  if you were innocent

But out side the house you were largely on your own, and had to learn to grow up fast without backup or support of family or friends

In many cases those who were abused, were warned, or threatened never to speak to their families about what was happening otherwise someone would get hurt.

I have heard of many who grew up,  living with horrors of the abuse from childhood days, or as minors, and simply got to the stage where they could not take it anymore,  and ended their lives 

Looking at this abuse, just how do you explain it to someone close to you.

Many have said that they feel dirty or violated, and have trouble mixing with other people after this, so it becomes hard if not very difficult to explain to anyone.

I would imagine many parents would be heart broken, if they really realised what their children had been through, and if its someone high profile it must be even worse.

I always said that, if anyone touched one of my children, I would have probably ended up in court or prison, because I would not have accepted it. 

Yes i know that it's wrong to think like that, but in this day and age, it's very hard to accept childhood abuse.

It's made much worse these days because once the media latch onto it, they never ever let go, and this again brings back the horrors of what has happened many years ago.

Even the BBC who sat back and did nothing about Jimmy Saville when he was working for them, seem to relish child abuse and this makes many left feeling sick.

If the BBC had sorted their Saville mess out years ago,  and had gone to the police, many children abuse  cases would never have happened

Every time I hear about child abuse on the news, I  feel sick and heart broken for all who were put through this, and we're sadly hung out to dry by officials, the very people who could have stopped this.

Let us hope that this sort of thing finally stops for all concerned.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Long morning at the hospital

This morning I had to go to the local hospital for a long series  of tests and xrays, before seeing a new chest consultant

After this I had a lot of blood taken for a list of blood tests, to make sure that there is nothing else  causing, or making my problems worse

This consultant was very thorough, and talked about all of the problems I was having, I confess that this was never done like this before.

Next week I have to do sputum tests over five days and take them to our family doctors, so that the consultant can make sure that there is no other infections  in my lungs

He already knew that I had the Heamophilus Influenza bug inside my lungs, but wants to check that there is nothing else

It seems that this Heamophilus bug could have been there for many years, which accounts for all of my chest infections, and could have been the result of childhood illness which wrecked my lungs

I am now waiting for dates to attend another hospital  where I will  have more tests done,  followed by a echo scan and lung scan, in the hope that the diagnosis can be confirmed

These tests will also make sure that I am on the correct medication,  and then be followed up with support to keep myself active

However it seems that I have had Bronchiectasis since early childhood which would explain all of my chest infections

So my wife and I left the hospital today feeling more positive that things were at last moving in the right direction.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

support for those with Learning disabilities

When I heard this story on the news, I felt that I had to share it, because it shows hope for other vulnerable people who want to prove that they can make a difference   

Diner with a difference opens in Gatehead

Davey Duke's is a diner with a difference.
Davey Duke's is a diner with a difference. Photo: ITV News Tyne Tees

An American style diner has become the first part of a £2m project helping young people with autism to open in Gateshead.
Davey Duke's is staffed entirely by young people with learning difficulties who are getting training and paid employment.
Next year a hotel offering respite care for people with autism will also open on site, becoming the first project of its kind in the UK.


Ideally people with learning disabilities and autism would be employed on the open market and be employed everywhere but it's not happening so we're creating these opportunities down here which to me is really exciting.
– Holly Kelleher

When I saw this on the local news last night, I realised that there are still some very caring employers around, who want to make a difference to those with learning disabilities and Autism.
Its so nice to hear about these days

Monday, 21 November 2016


As I have never fully understood this term, I looked it up on the Alzheimer's Society's website, so that I could understand it a little better, and understand what the Consultant was talking about on Friday


Sometimes a person with dementia will exhibit an increase in certain behaviours in the late afternoon or early evening.

For example, people may become more agitated, aggressive or confused. This is often referred to as ‘sundowning’.

This pattern may continue for several months and often occurs in those in the moderate to severe stages of dementia. It can be particularly distressing for carers if they are trying to relax or have some quiet time.

Sundowning may be caused by:

• disturbance to the 24-hour ‘body clock’ that tells our bodies when to sleep, caused by the physical changes to the brain
• loss of routine at a previously busy time of day • too little or disturbed sleep •
 too little or too much light
• prescribed medication (eg for pain or discomfort) wearing off
• medications that worsen confusion and agitation • excessive or disturbing noise.

Using the term ‘sundowning’ may mean that people attribute  out-of-character behaviours to dementia and overlook other factors causing the behaviour, such as someone trying to communicate.
It is important to look at and address the potential reasons why someone is behaving out of character.
Sundowning – tips for carers •

Try to give the person something meaningful to do at this time of day, using past activities as a guide.

• Plan quiet and relaxing activities for late afternoon/evening.

• Think about what’s happened during the day.
Could the person’s behaviour be a communication of a need such as requiring the toilet,
feeling hungry or being in pain?

• Consider minimising daytime naps and make sure the person gets enough light, especially sunlight.

• Exercise can be beneficial for helping someone to sleep.

• Improving the environment can help someone to sleep better, as can reducing intake of caffeine and alcohol in the evening.

• Keep lighting appropriate – if it’s too dark the person may become distressed as seeing things becomes harder, but if it’s too bright it may cause overstimulation.

Does the NHS really understand Dementia

Many people struggle with daily problems, while trying to manage the ever changing, things in life like technology which they may or may no...