I’ve been looking out of the window a lot this week. It used to be that gardening was my passion. It was what kept me sane the summer I was made redundant and my life went belly up. That and a certain radio DJ (more of him another time). But the garden’s been neglected a bit lately. Partly because I’ve been so busy running a business, mostly because I have struggled with the jobs that need doing. Looking out of the window wasn’t so good last year.
I have a rather rare condition – genetic – that effectively eats away at my lungs, making physical work very difficult and tiring. Last summer mowing the small lawn took me a good hour because of all the rests I had to have, and digging was out of the question. (Lots of necessary things like carrying groceries home were getting to be impossible too.) I’ve worked really hard since then, with the help of extra medication and physiotherapy and losing some weight, and am much better this spring.
At the weekend I decided to make a new flower bed. And to re-turf an old one. I don’t do things by halves you know! Cutting turf from one side of the lawn and moving to the other, digging out weeds, digging in compost, dividing plants, planting divisions, laying mulch…. I wouldn’t have been able to do that last year.
So, thanks to a lot of determination and the NHS, I feel like I’m getting my gardening mojo back. I even remembered to save a bit of Astrantia for a friend. Things are looking up.
Alpha1 Anti-trypsin Deficiency (AATD) is a relatively rare genetic disorder found mainly in Northern Europe. Anti-trypsin is an enzyme produced by the liver to protect the body during infection. In people with AATD the liver does not release the anti-trypsin properly leaving the lungs very vulnerable to progressive damage by infection and pollution. In some people it also causes liver disease. There is no cure as such, although many therapies are being trialed in Europe and the USA. Treatment is through steroids and anti-inflammatories, enabling people to maximise what lung power they have, and as much protection from infection and pollution as possible.