21 June 2010
The longest day of the year — the summer solstice and the weather matched the occasion with a beautiful summer’s day.For other reasons it is a day I shall remember. It was my quarterly assessment at the Respiratory and Sleep Centre at Papworth Hospital, so this meant that last night I had to sleep with the Oximeter clamped to my forefinger in order to measure the level of saturated oxygen in my lungs. I was picked up at 8.15 for my 9.30 appointment by a very nice old boy, a truly Norfolk, man Philip. He was the first of theseâ€™ volunteerâ€™ driversÂ who has been decent enough to telephone me in advance and let me know what I should be ready, as opposed to be Hospital who says I should be prepared to be picked up any time from seven o’clock onwards which would have meant getting up from just after 5.00am.
I went through the range of respiratory and exspiratory, sucking and sniffing tests, sitting and supine, and then saw the duty doctor who gave me the bad news. Basically, it seems my Forced Vital Capacity Â has deteriorated (significantly?) since my last visit but I will not know the severity of the deterioration until I receive the doctorâ€™s letter. I suppose the most alarming aspect of the was the need for me to oxygen available on the â€™plane to Sweden and I am not sure whether Ryanair are prepared to make such provision. I shall have to check.