I had an appointment with my rheumatoid connective tissue expert today and he informed me that there is little doubt that It is my immune system which is attacking my lungs, he called it (jo-1 positive polymyositis) so I am not in the bracket of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis any longer. I now have a cause for the damage being done to my lungs.
I am already on mycophenolate to suppress my immune system and steroids so no changes in treatment needed as yet.
Anyway with all that sorted I headed back to Malvern and obviously had to much time to dream up a challenge for the day as the weather was looking good and I had energy to spare. Of course I couldn't make it an easy one and I got to thinking I wonder if I could still make it to the top of the British Camp on the Malverns. Its the second highest peak with some pretty steep sides to overcome but I was in determined mood and there was nobody around to talk me out of it so it was on.
I parked the car up and started with a short walk down a slight slope to the public loos but returning to the car park past a busy pub and roadside shop I was puffing and my head was spinning, probably my own fault trying to look normal and walking to fast without breathing deep enough, you can't hide the fact that your lungs just don't work can you. At this stage I did begin to wonder if I might have taken on more than I could realistically achieve by setting out on the very steep climb to the top of the Herefordshire Beacon but there was no backing down now.
It starts off steep and gets steeper so setting off at the right pace was going to be key to success or failure. Well as usual people much older than myself were passing me with ease and giving the same old looks while thinking should this invalid be up here all alone with that oxygen pack on full throttle.
I'm used to this so I struggle on with nothing on my mind but reaching the top and enjoying the amazing views to be seen on the way. I stopped many times to take photo's and catch my breath and very slowly but surely I successfully made it all the way to the top. There were a group of people there who had past me earlier and they joined in with my celebration as I punched the air and amused them with my comment 'just a stroll in the park eh'.while looking a little worse for wear and probably a interesting shade of purple.
I then talked one of them to take a picture of me in jubilant mood with the length of the hills in the background just to show you all what is possible for someone on the lung transplant list.
I'm gonna sleep well tonight but with lots of positive thoughts from what happened today and look forward to when that walk will really just be a stroll in the park.
For some reason this song came into my head afterwards so click on the link and feel a little of how I felt earlier today.