Wednesday, 4 May 2011

That's taking the...

For five and half years I have been taking proscribed diuretics every single day.

Yesterday I was told that I need take them no more. Five and a half years of working my daily routine around trips to the toilet is over.

I have dilated cardiomyopathy. At least, I think I still do. The implication from yesterday was that the dilated is no longer a concern, that the diuretics are no longer needed.

Five and a half years in which my life has been totally turned upside down, fitter, healthier, married. Five and a hlaf years in which close relatives have died and new ones born. And the one constant is the need to stay within range of a toilet for three or four hours every day. Removing them from my routine is a bigger thing than I imagined. They are deeply symbolic of who I was then and who I am now. I like me better now.

I am nervous though and will watch my weight carefully as I don't want to end up back where I was. In order to counter the weight I'd put on recently I took up running and developed the more serious approach to diet I first adopted on being discharged from hospital.

I learned my lesson. Once you've been in hospital for heart failure, you don't want to go back. Of course, it makes me sad that my dad never learned his lesson. He always claimed to be doing the right thing after his first major health scare but carried on with the cigars and the bacon sandwiches. His second health scare, his first related to his heart was dismissed altogether. It was nothing, the doctors had made a mistake. Some mistake.

I will miss my diuretics. They have been a visible sign that modern medicine is working for me. Day after day, litre after litre, they were proof that the medication was effective. I will have to develop other ways of noticing. And one will need to be my general fitness, the distance I can run with stopping, the times I get out the door to take control of my life.

Life takes another turn.