Thursday, 4 August 2011

4th August 2011

I've not posted for a few months because there's been nothing to report- until now.

The last time I went to see the specialist back in June he gave me a clean bill of health. Because of my tendency to attacks of gout after eating liver (one of my favourite foods)he prescribed allopurinol. I have to take it at a specific time of day and such is the nature of my current lifestyle I've not been able to take them regularly.

Nicki Gillis arrived at the end of June for a four week, twenty one date tour. Last year I suffered badly from mouth ulcers but survived, having spaced my chemo treatment on either side of the tour. This year I have not been so lucky.

The first thing to go was eating regularly. I made sandwiches and bought supermarket pasta and ate as much fruit as I could, but I couldn't maintain my regular drug intake. First to go was the allopurinol, then the co-trimoxazole. I started getting mouth ulcers within a day or two of starting the tour, but it was nothing I hadn't handled before.

Nicki was offered two more shows, plus a TV interview and about six radio shows (of which I played on two). This meant that on the third week of the tour we had eight shows in seven days, spread out right across the country.

We started in Widnes (near Liverpool, then travelled overnight to North Devon where we stayed in a caravan and played a show. We slept during the day, played the show and then slept overnight before driving back up to Derbyshire. I think it was then that I started to get ill. The rest of the week involved even more travel. On Friday night we were just outside Doncaster. On Saturday afternoon we were near Evesham and on Saturday night we were in Corby. By now I had constant diarrhoea but was able to get through the shows.

The final week saw us play most nights. Immodium kept the diarrhoea at bay but my sore throat got worse and worse. I managed to eat Sunday lunch with Nicki and Tracy (her manager) before they returned to Australia, but since then I've felt really ill.

I had an appointment to have treatment on my finger last Monday, so I gatecrashed the Haematology clinic and persuaded them to examine me briefly. I had a mouth swab, blood test and gave a stool sample. My specialist prescribed a mega-dose of aciclovir (5 pills a day instead of the normal two) plus a double dose of fluconazole in an effort to clear up my throat and as I write, I'm waiting to hear back from them.

I've hardly eaten a thing since Monday as my tongue is too painful to chew and my throat too sore to swallow. I did manage to sip my way through a cold can of chicken soup yesterday, but couldn't manage half a plate of scrambled eggs at teatime. I recall that my weight about a month ago was about 105Kg. It's now 98Kg and dropping.

I hope they are able to diagnose what's wrong soon.

This looks like the end of my professional touring career. I can't afford to place my health at risk any more.

UPDATE- I have an appointment at 12.00 to see the specialist

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