Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Saliva Issue Shows Itself in New Ways

For almost too long to remember I've gone on about how the treatment related saliva "sacrifice" has what can only be called an ongoing presence as it impacts to varying degrees on my day to day life.

By and large I've adjusted well to the changes, but every so often I find myself being caught out by something that either I've taken for granted previously or something new.

Summer is a wonderful time of year and one thing I've had to be extra careful of now is ensuring my face & neck are always well protected.  The treatments have meant I can't handle direct sun like I used to, so extra care is taken regarding sunblocks.  But the new realisation is with regards to how the summer heat is triggering my dry throat.
I've been  doing a fair bit of work outside of late, and with the unusually hot weather over the last week or so I've been finding that merely drinking copious quantities of water isn't sufficient to deal with the dryness in my throat.
Last summer was really hot (at least for a week or two) and I can't remember this issue being of concern back then.  Yet in 2013, and we're not really into full-summer heat mode yet, this turn of events has had me thinking about how I'll deal with it over the coming months.

Couple this with another event of the last few days, and my limitations have been well and truly been brought home.  On Saturday we went to a concert and having got caught up in the moment, decided (in my tone-deaf way) to sing-along a bit.  As we left the venue, the dry throat kicked in with a vengeance.  Sure it was rather warm on Saturday night,  but I hadn't had similar issues during the preceding days which were equally tropical.

Now, not being able to vocally participate at a concert is probably a good thing for those around me, but given it is now 3 years down the line, I'm surprised to be experiencing such "fluctuations" with my throat.

I've got some biotene spray that seems to provide some degree of relief, but I'm also resorting to an array of other "remedies" that seem to help and some of those aren't good long term for my waistline, so I think it is going to be a case of keeping an eye on what I'm eating, how much talking I'm doing, etc to see if there is some tweaking that I can do to bring this issue back under control.

You may also have noticed I've updated the template for the blog.  I decided it was time for a change and the chequered flag image is somewhat symbolic of winning the 2010 fight and moving on.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ticking Along Nicely Thanks

OK, so I've been a bit slack of late with regards to updating this blog.  I could bore you with the myriad of reasons, but it all comes down to the fact that life is pretty damn good right now and the infamous new normal just keeps rocking on.

That doesn't mean that nothing has been happening though.  In my post of June 1st, I mentioned I had resigned from my job.  I ended up staying on for a bit longer as a contractor, and finally walked away on Sept 20, closing the door on the best part of 16 years of my working life.  My employers had been nothing short of fantastic during my 2010 challenges and for that I'll be eternally grateful.  But, as I said at the time, it was time for me to face a new challenge.

I've enjoyed the opportunity to unwind over the last few weeks, and getting back into the job market after such a long time has been quite a revelation - especially with regards to how the employment agencies treat their clients (generally rather poorly) and how one can't take the on-line job descriptions as being entirely accurate.  I must admit I'm somewhat amazed at how philosophical I am right now about finding a new job in that I'm not overly stressed about it - although I do admit to a degree of "cabin fever" kicking in.  I know the right role will come along, and until then I'll just keep looking and staying positive.

On the health front, I've had a couple of dental dilemmas over the last month.  Firstly, having suffered a tooth ache for the best part of a week, the dentist found there was a gum infection/ulcer that wasn't healing (potentially a radiotherapy side effect that means the jaw doesn't heal like it used to), but some antibiotics dealt to it just in time before it would have required further investigations from an oral surgeon.  Next, I managed to break part of one of my front teeth, and it seems that was partially due to a loose filling.  The filling concerned had been there for 18 years, so had exceeded it's expected useful life by many years.  My dentist recommended replacing the filling on the next tooth as well because it was also loose, so an hour later I was all fixed and back to dental normality.

The free time has also resulted in a couple of self-inflicted injuries as I work around the section, etc.  My right ankle seems to be the repeat offender with a slight strain a week ago curtailing activities outside for a few days, while last Friday I went whole hog and got myself into a situation while out on an early morning walk that saw my right leg fold under me.  Ankle is now strapped and feeling a lot better today (albeit still swollen), and despite a couple of days of restricted mobility, even my knee seems to have come through the experience largely unscathed.  And why do these injuries happen just when we get a run of good weather?  I wouldn't mind so much being laid up when the weather outside is rubbish, but on both occasions (actually same thing happened with the tooth ache) I've been unable to exploit the good weather that ensued.

The other little health curve ball has been that, for the last week or two, at around 2pm each day my throat has been getting really dry.  In my last post I said my throat had been getting raspy again, but it seemed to have settled down. The usual cures don't always seem to work, so I'm experimenting with alternatives and changing eating patterns as well as meal choices to see if I can get to the bottom of it.  I've always had good days and bad days with the dry throat side of things since the treatments, but I've never had the situation where it recurs on a daily basis at the same time before.  Weird.

And finally, because I'm not working, I've largely stopped wearing my hearing aids.  I have however found that when I do fit them again I almost need to readjust to the effects.  It's not like putting your watch on for the first time in a couple of weeks.  You hear things with increased clarity instantly and because your brain is adjusting to it, I've found I get the odd headache as a result.  There is somewhat of a balancing act here as there is no point wearing them around home when I'm here on my own, but I've found I need to wear them for the day preceding any planned "outings" to get things back on an even keel.