The Great, Stupendous Revelation

I’ve had a problem for years. Starting the day, my feet and ankles would be slim as when I was a young woman. By afternoon, they would have started to swell. In the evening, my toes would look like little balloons on larger balloons and my ankles would be puffy and plump.

This continued until I started on the BRATT diet. If you don’t remember what that is, it’s a very bland diet the surgeon wanted me to eat to keep my gallbladder from causing me any more pain before he could get it outta there. The primary foods are Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast and Tea. I could have jelly on my toast and I threw in a plain potato with kala namak now and then.

When my gallbladder calmed down (what a relief after four days of having it riled up!), I noticed my ankles and feet weren’t swelling. At night, they were still slim as they were when the day started.

Now that I’ve had my surgery and the offending organ is somewhere in some pathology lab’s infectious waste, my ankles and feet still don’t swell. There has to be a connection or am I imagining things? I’m halfway afraid to put it down in black and white because I may have to come back and admit they’re swelling again. It’s too bad my belly hasn’t followed suit but it’s been stretched all out of shape and the muscles modified to the point of, maybe, no return. I can’t discount the fact that I’m still alive and gangrene free.

On to the activities of the day. Today was my appointment with the pulmonologist. My cousin and I met at the van an hour and 15 minutes before my appointment time. It would have been an hour and a half but I’d gotten a call from them yesterday wanting me to be there 15 minutes earlier. I love the way Google Voice transcribes such messages:

Yes this is saying he would badgering daddy’s office. Your schedule comes a doctor and get it tomorrow September, the 19th could be here at 12:45 Please again be here at 12:45 tomorrow. Thank you. Bye bye.

It has the option to play the message, as well, but I got the gist and we were at the window at the appointed time. I’d told my cousin it was so we could wait 15 minutes longer and that’s what happened.

Bless her heart, she was hurting but she insisted on taking me. She’s done something to her back and when she’d move the wrong way, she’d wince. The chairs in the waiting room and the exam room didn’t help, either.

We had false hope when the nurse called me back. I was duly weighed and we were shown to the exam room. My blood pressure was 130/76 and my O2 sat was 99%.

Sitting there talking, I kept an eye on the hands of my watch. The time crawled by. Not having my aids, I didn’t hear what was going on outside the room but my cousin could hear some poor soul being subjected to a pulmonary function test. Then the chart was taken off the door and even I could hear the doctor’s voice. It was still several minutes before there was a tap and he came in.

His demeanor was totally different than my first visit. He was so harried that day, I felt like not ever going back. Coming in, he shook my hand and asked how I was doing. I told him better. “Do you want to get on the table?” “Not really.” He laughed.

I was wearing The Dress. It’s ankle length and very loose and comfortable. He advised me to wear a two-piece next time. I was hoping there wouldn’t be a next time. He listened to me breathe and then sat down to look at my chart.

My arterial blood gases result was good. The walking test was good. He said my O2 sat dipped for a bit but came right back up. I already knew that but he was satisfied with the report and that was nice. Asking about the CT, he said the scarring is at the base of both lungs. At my next appointment some four months from now, I’m to have a DLCO/Spiro. PFT isn’t checked on the card so I hope to heaven I don’t have to go through that again.

He actually sat and talked with me today instead of just at me. His phone rang at one point and he stepped outside the door to take the call. It made me much more at ease to have him less stressed.

Explaining that there is no real treatment for interstitial lung disease, he said he wants me to take a supplement I could buy over the counter at a health store. I figured GNC? He said it could help me breathe more easily.

Then he wants me to do a barium swallow and possibly a biopsy. When I made a face about the swallow, he said, “Not a barium enema! You drink the barium.” Big whoop. I don’t want to drink barium, either. As for the biopsy, he said I would breathe a mist with Novocaine and a tube would be put through my nose into my windpipe, down into my lungs and a little instrument would take tiny snippets of tissue. There’s a risk of bleeding (oh, joy!). I figure what he was describing is a bronchoscope. If it comes to that, it will be on down the road.

He left, my cousin left and I was going to leave, too, but the doctor stopped me and asked me to wait for the nurse. She came in after a long time and said she would schedule my barium swallow. I asked for it to be done at the local hospital and to give me a couple more weeks. She asked for a day and a time of day. I gave her both and she went out again. My bladder was getting increasingly uncomfortable.

She came in again and I asked about the supplement I’m to take. She went out again. Presently she came back with the information written on a slip of paper and said I could leave. That was two hours and five minutes after we arrived.

My first stop was the bathroom and then it was on to the van. I had a carton of coconut water I opened and drank down, probably more quickly than I should have. We were both hungry so it was on to Olive Garden. The doctor’s office had been chilly and Olive Garden’s temperature could have been a bit warmer. We both had minestrone with salad and bread sticks. My poor cousin was so cold and hungry, she ate two bowls.

Back out to the van and on to Walmart. I went to the pharmacy and asked if they had the supplement. I’d looked for it but hadn’t had any luck. The girl came out to help me but she couldn’t find it, either.

I’d crossed everything off my list I’d gotten the other day so that didn’t leave much. I still felt like I took too long because my cousin was still hurting.

She needed to stop at Lowe’s. I stayed in the van while she got what she had to have for tomorrow. I people-watched and dozed.

When we got home, I checked the mailbox, came in, changed into my robe and collapsed for a good half hour before I put things away.

The supplement I need is on Amazon. It’s Nac-Acetyl Cysteine 600mg. I’m to take it three times a day. From what I read about it, it helps form glutathione. That’s fine with me. I already take it in a liquid.

Twinkle has to be fed. She already got her B-12 for the day. That reminds me, my cousin has offered to fill my syringe since it’s hard for me to do it when it gets so low in the vials. She won’t shoot me, though. 🙁

2 Responses to The Great, Stupendous Revelation

  1. Lila September 20, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    My, you had a busy day! I must say, your cousin is the kind of friend everyone should have.
    You are fortunate to have her as your neighbor.

    • Tommie September 20, 2013 at 8:30 am #

      I am very fortunate. Her husband is amazing, as well. I hope they feel as good about having me as their neighbor.

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