Thursday, 20 December 2018


I have been told for over five months now that my ferritin was low but the specialist was puzzled as I was not anaemic.  I explained to him that it was common for those of us with ph and that I would be fine after I had a ferrijnect infusion.  He was still puzzled and for sure it is hard for him to understand.  Iron deficiency without anaemia is a clinical challenge according to "Dr Google". Instead he has said I need to see a gastroenterologist, even though my ph team agree I do not.  So here I am still waiting to see said person and now my blood tests show I am also anaemic as the time has gone on without said infusion.  

We know full well how low ferritin makes us feel. More heart palpitations, more weariness, dizziness, leg pain, irritability and shortness of breath - like we are not short of breath enough to begin with! headaches. feeling sick, oh the list goes on.  So here I am longing for my infusion just so I can get my "get up and go back " which has got up and gone !!   I was told three weeks ago that I have been moved to the urgent list so hopefully this dilemma can soon be sorted and I can get back my zest for living.

Death of Joanne Witcomb

So sad to read of yet another ph death.  Joanne was a very private person so we do not know much about her life  but we do know she had a loving husband called Robert, she was 44 years of age and she also had two sons.

Joanne waited for her transplant with hope in her heart.  Sadly,  though the transplant was carried out at the end of November Joanne did not wake up from it and died a few days later.  We know the complexities of transplant is not a "cure me" fix but a life changing operation, sometimes for the better and sometimes not.

My heart goes out to all of those grieving for Joanne and the ph team that did their very best for her and her donor and family who freely gave in the hope of letting somebody live a longer life.  Sadly it was not to be but thy all gave of their best for Joanne.  R.I.P. Joanne.  I am so sorry I do not have a picture of her but I know you will all join with me in thinking about her and the sad outcome.

Here we go again.  How fortunate we are to have so much detail, so much help online for all aspects of coping with ph.  The above is a new online resource designed to help with all aspects of living with ph.  The research and care behind it to offer all of us here in the UK has been immense.  Once again I take my hat off to all those dealing with this new focus group.  Enjoy.

Interesting and pleasing to see that if you now ask Alexa what pulmonary arterial hypertension means she will tell you.  She tells of how it is the high blood pressure in our lungs.  Technology, yeah, another way to raise awareness for us.  

It was the LIE that was offensive

A couple of weeks ago my hubby had an appointment for a follow up at our local hospital.  As usual we arrived way too early, not for us the cavalier attitude of "they will wait for us" we sometimes see.  Always aware of how fortunate we are to receive such care we have always had the policy better to be early.  After checking in he was sent next door as is the norm for an x ray.  30 minutes later it was his turn to get changed into the gown for said x ray to take place.  I went back to the cliic to await his return and join him when he saw the specialist. After another half an hour and no sign of him returning for his appointment the receptionist and I were slightly worried. Others going for x rays later had returned and his appointment time came and went.  The receptionist from the orthopaedic clinic rang x ray to find out where he was only to be met with a derisory comment that he had only turned up two minutes ago!!!!    We were both aghast as she herself had clocked him in and I had sat with him in x ray and waited with him until he went into the cubicle.   So we both acknowledged that there was a lie going on here.

Hot foot me next door to x ray just in time to see him come out from his cubicle and scurry next door for his appointment.  He said there had been a problem with the patient before him for that particular x ray side which happens.  We had no issue with this but I went to see the receptionist to ask her why she had lied.  Why had she implied that he had only been in the department for two minutes which meant he had in fact turned up very late. Well to say she was an arrogant pompous soul would be correct.  Cold and distant she scurried off to see the x ray technicians.  I followed her down to reassure them that my beef was not with them at all but her.  It was the lie that offended me.  Anyway fast forward to the following day when I returned to take the matter further.  

It turned out that the receptionist was an agency one who had total lack of empathy with patients and it had already been decided that she would not be invited to return to the hospital for that reason.  It is not like me to kick up a fuss in hospital, indeed I kept if very low key, no raised voices and an interview room was made available so the I could voice my concerns away from the other patients.  I explained that we were so upset because by her lie it appeared we could not care less for the service we receive in the hospital.  that we put ourselves above all the staff and specialists that take care of us when in fact the very opposite is true.  We are proud of the care we receive and we know we are blessed.  It just takes one rotton apple to make it seem it is not working  Fortunately all times were logged, arrival, move over to x ray etc so it could be seen that the lie was there, that we had not been cavalier with our attitude. 

The head of the department said their goal was that anyone who entered their department felt welcome  This woman was NOT welcoming to anyone, not just us as previous complaints had been made.  When we attend hospital it is because there is something wrong with our health.  We do no need to be looked down on and lied about  This is the first time we have EVER encountered anything other than the best care ( except for when the A & E could have killed me four times over if we had not refused their treatment) - they do not understand ph.  I hope that she learns a lesson so that wherever she goes after this appointment she is kind to the patients.  

I thought I knew

I bought a beautiful linen tablecloth and napkins a while ago as our table is now a different shape to the previous one.  I carefully stowed these items away in our linen room thinking I would know just where they were.  I have shelves for flat sheets, shelves for pillow cases, towels, duvet covers in abundance etc.  I have drawers containing other items that I use frequently and drawers in here with old photographs, we all have so many do we not. I just KNEW how well this room would work.  Guests could just walk in and see at a glance clean towels and sheets etc and help themselves.   So why did it break down when I - the organiser - wanted this table cloth.  I searched and searched, though everything was clearly in view and neat and tidy.  In the end I gave up and went out and bought another one.  On Monday I needed a frame for a picture and this room also houses the drawers containing all of these.  In the last drawer there were my long lost items.  I must have stuffed them in on moving day and forgot about them.  So  I was not as clever as  believed at my organisational skills.  

It is THAT time of the year again

Most of you will enjoy a day with family members surrounded by love and laughter.  Memories will will bandied around, do you remember when, who, how etc.  I know I do this every year but once again I ask you to think of those that will be missing a special somebody at their table.  Not always lost to ph though we do concentrate on them here but those that died and donated organs etc.  or lost to other illnesses, For those it is a bitter sweet time as the table is incomplete.  The smile or hugs from the one missing is so sad.  So please take a little time out to share a thought for those in such a position.  

Living a life with PH Blog

Below is a copy of an article that appeared in the Winter 2018 Emphasis Magazine, some UK readers will have already read it but posting again for newbies and overseas PH friends alike.

All change

Though we loved our sofas we had at our old place it became obvious that this furniture did NOT work in this house, wrong colour, wrong texture, wrong shape.  So we made the plunge and bought new ones  and they will be delivered on Sunday.  I cant wait as I believe it will turn our lounge into a really cosy living space.  We went out last week and bought two tables for the sides of the sofas and now I am heading out to buy throws and more cushions.  I hope we made the correct choice of colour.   - will post a pic next blog so you can tell me.  I went against one persons thoughts and for another so we will see.  It took some convincing to get Colin to agree so I just hope I got it right or it will be an expensive mistake to make.  

Up until last week nobody had used our upstairs shower room so Colin decided he needed to try it out. Good job as water came out of the shower and onto the floor. So once again our wonderful (NOT) tilers let us down. Colin can sort it fortunately as we never want them in our home again. Yesterday saw us going out to buy silicone of the correct colour and grouting to right their mess. I am thankful though that this be be rectified before we have company staying over as a flooded bathroom is not the first impression I want them to take away with them. 


Weather being for us it would appear that Pen y Ghent, the mountain Izzy will next  climb with her granddad will be on Saturday. Clearly as an experienced leader all must be in place to make sure of safety, weather, times of darkness, correct clothing and as always a first aid kit holding enough stuff to mount Everest!.  As Colin himself said he is taking precious cargo with him this time, Izzy.  

She is very excited and keeping her eye on the weather.  Failing this Saturday we hope there will be an opportunity before she heads back to school in the new year.  If she gets this one under her belt then she has been promised Snowdon in the Spring, her goal!  So I am hoping the weather is kind and that this climb happens for them both.

So as this year comes to an end I know I owe such a great deal of thanks to my A Team, each and every one of them for their devotion to us all and their amazing care all round.  I am also thankful we have ph forums where we can go and talk to somebody who really knows what we are talking about, that GETS us.  We have an amazing organisation called PHA UK here in the UK and they have once again organised for us a conference in the Spring, a chance to meet old and new friends.  I have been blessed so much by so many and I thank you all for being my friend, whether ph or otherwise.  I hope that 2019 brigs us ever closer to the cure and that we do not lose any more to this cruel disease.  

Warm love to each and every one of you  Take care, have a great time and speak in 2019!!!!

Carole xxx


  1. If only there were a simple "Like" button to show that your blog had been read appreciated.
    Pen y Ghent is a lovely hill, and a fairly gentle climb so I hope they get the weather for it.

    Have a great Xmas.

    1. You too and your family. Thank you for reading and commenting. Xx

  2. Happy Christmas, Carole.
    And may the new year be a kind one to all of us.
    With lots of love,
    Pat Goh

    1. My hope Pat is for a cureand no more needles deaths. Would be the best present ever. Go well. Warm love. Xxxx