I'm a happy bunny today. No, actually I'm one delighted rabbit this morning. Why is this? Because I went for my annual asthma review last night and received an early, but very welcome, Christmas present.
There we were, the specialist nurse and I, sitting in a little room while we went through all the usual questions, beginning with 'how have things been since I saw you last year?'
This one was easy - I said 'absolutely fantastic!' and went on to say I hadn't had a problem that I could remember in the last six months at least. She seemed quite pleased, if maybe a little taken aback at this somewhat vehement and definitive reply, but onwards we went.
The next question was a little more tricky as then the nurse asked if I was still taking my medication. I squirmed a bit and said 'er, no, not really'.
Starting with the Qvar (beclomethasone) inhaler, which I'm 'supposed' to use every day, both morning and evening, and which I absolutely hated being put on in the first place. I sheepishly confessed that I'd started cutting back to once a day much earlier in the year and dropped it altogether sometime in August. I did qualify this by telling her that I felt 'just fine' while doing this and I'd seen no deterioration in my peak flow measurements (which I check fairly regularly).
As to the Ventolin (salbutamol), which is my come-with-me-everywhere, 'on demand' inhaler, I recalled quite clearly the last time I'd needed it. That was back in July. It wasn't a biggie, even then, and there was a specific reason my asthma triggered on that occasion, which I also shared with her.
Finally, I mentioned that my peak flow (PEF) now usually averaged somewhere in the region of 450 l/min. She looked up and asked me to confirm my height, and checked if she had my age correct. I did, and she had.
At this point she handed me a meter and asked me to blow into the tube. OK, I can do that. Bang on target, it read 455 l/min. She grinned at me and said 'fine' and that the result was a better reading than the average expected for a non-asthmatic of my age and height. She followed this up by telling me to 'keep on doing whatever it is you are doing'.
So, I told her about the walking and rowing (she already knows about the weight loss) and she agreed that it is very likely that this is making a significant difference to my lung function, amongst other things.
To say I floated out of there is putting it mildly!
And my little white lie...? Well, I'm going to tell you that I can say a fond farewell to these babies.