Yesterday was stressful from the git-go. I’d not slept a lot the night before and I still had to get up early enough to be ready for Cuz to pick me up by 10 TT to go see the pulmonologist.
(BTW, my sisters wanted info on what happened but I figured I wouldn’t invent the wheel twice.)
Cuz had brought the smaller van so it was easier to climb up and get seated. I was feeling like you-know-what so, after a while, I leaned the seat back, used my purse as a pillow and closed my eyes. I didn’t really sleep though I caught myself making snoring noises several times. I’ve heard how a person should be able to identify their surroundings by sounds and turns so I concentrated on that.
When I opened my eyes, sure enough, we were in sight of the Mother Ship. Cuz found a parking space close to the entrance so I was able to make it inside with no problem. The man in the golf cart picked us up and took us to the elevator. I signed in about 10 minutes before my appointment time and sat down, along with Cuz, in the two remaining chairs. The waiting room was more crowded than I’ve ever seen it.
There were a couple of other people on O2 and one of them had a nifty portable concentrator. I would love to have one but it would require a doctor’s order.
I tried to get comfortable in my chair but it was hard. I watched the time pass and when it was more than an hour and a half after my appointment time, I was called back. Cuz went with me.
The nurse practitioner was the one seeing me so she told me to sit wherever it was comfortable. I asked to be able to lie down on the exam table. She got me a pillow and, after Cuz told her about my reflux, she adjusted the table so I wasn’t so flat.
She was sad that I have to sleep on a hospital bed but I told her it’s a good thing. Much better than wedge pillows.
She’d already weighed me. If I remember correctly, I was down by about seven lubs vs my prior visit. BP was 118/70 but it was my O2 sat that concerned her. It was 85% when she first put the pulse ox on me and it took about four minutes to get up to 90%. That was me breathing pure O2 at two liters per minute.
After she’d questioned me and had the basic information, she told me she was going to have to get the doctor to come in. I was outside her area of expertise.
He came in and demanded to know what was going on. I told him about my sudden decline, loss of appetite and altered taste. He wants me to be there next week for a bronchoscopy. I’ll show up at 6 (5 TT), have a breathing treatment with Novocaine to numb my lungs. Then the surgeon will put a tube through my nose and into my lung where a solution will be used to “wash” the lung and then retrieved to see what kind of cells are in there.
Once again, he questioned me closely about environmental causes. Did I ever have any hobbies that would have had me breathing dust or chemicals? Was I exposed to pigeon droppings? Did I ever own a parrot? What about mold? I looked at Cuz and she confirmed she hasn’t seen evidence in my house. He said three different kinds of fungi had shown up in my blood work.
I asked him about stem cell therapy. He pooh-pooh the idea. He said stem cell therapy is very much in the experimental stages and that, at this time, there’s little application to lung treatment. According to him, those in the business of promoting stem cell therapy to repair damaged lung tissue are targeting people who are, essentially, grasping at straws.
Based on the findings of the bronchoscopy, he may put me on a six week course of steroids along with something to keep my bones from rotting away and an anti-anxiety medicine. I told him I was on steroids while I was in the hospital last year and I definitely would rather go another route. He assured me this would be a lower dose and not nearly as traumatizing.
After that, he may send me to Vanderbilt to see what the doctors there think of me and my condition. Then he started talking about a lung transplant. He agreed I’m “somewhat” outside the age limit. The thing would be finding a donor. I also think “the thing” would be having to be on anti-rejection drugs the rest of my life.
I asked about a portable oxygen concentrator but he discounted that by saying it would only give up to 2 LPM. As you can see in the above picture it goes up to 5. Some will go to 6. If I need any more than that, I would be at death’s door, anyway.
The nurse brought the paperwork in for the bronchoscopy while Cuz was getting the other tank. As it turns out, there’s a conflict with the date but Cuz assured me she’d work it out.
We were given permission to leave and made it to the first floor without mishap. It was just after 4 EDT and the golf cart man was off duty. Cuz borrowed a wheelchair and got me as far as the exit before she had to park it.
On the way home, I still leaned back some but not as much and once again had my purse for a pillow. We didn’t stop anywhere but headed straight here.
Before we left, Cuz had stripped the bed and put the sheets and pillowcase in the washer. I’d had her set it to wash after three hours and figured we’d be home by then. Well, guess what? It was well past that and they were ready to go in the dryer.
DS1 called about something else but we ended up talking about my doctor visit. Sometimes it was hard to hear since Cuz had gone out to mow but that was okay.
With the lawn mowed and the bed made, Cuz took her leave. Probably an hour after that, DD called. I’d had some cashews and some soup was heated up but I put it off while she talked and I coughed for 25 minutes or so. I’m to get in touch with her if ever I need to talk or email. She is notoriously bad about emailing but she promised she’d do better just for me.
The mold question had lingered on my mind. I remembered when we lived in the “Bad House”, black mold would form on the inside of the front door and I’d clean it off with bleach. DD said she seemed to remember that, too. She said she coughs some at night. I told her she needs to get that checked out.
There was no way I could blog last night. I did eat half of the soup and stowed the rest in the fridge. I was fried.
Cuz had predicted I’d sleep. I wish. I didn’t, much. When I’d get settled down and start to drift off, I’d cough. I chewed a couple of Tums at one point and that calmed it down for a very short while. There was more than a quart of water I drank after we got home, too. I was up and down, going to the bathroom.
I’d dragged out of bed at 9:30 and was in the bathroom when Cuz came by with some fruit. She heaped up the Catz’ bowls to the point they only had to be fed once today. My nurse friend was supposed to be by at 10 to give me my B12 shot but I assured Cuz I’d go back to bed after that. There was a miscommunication and my friend didn’t show up.
Suffice it to say, I haven’t been back to bed. I felt marginally better this morning. I don’t know if it was the cashews or being on pure O2 for so long yesterday. Whichever, I ran out of gas in a short time.
My portable tanks are down to one and a bit so I called and ordered more O2. It will be here Tuesday. I also called and canceled my dental appointment for that same day. The girl wanted to reschedule but I told her I’d have to do that later when I was up to it.
I’d been unable to get a message through to my nurse friend until this afternoon. She’d just gotten home and changed into her grubbies but she came right on over and gave me my shot. I’m to let her know if there’s anything I want her to pick up in town. She asked if I’ve ever been to ALDI. Have I??!
The helps have been sitting out there, taunting me, so I buckled down and did #6. There was an email from the editor that the day anchors were missing from some of the Biblia lessons and would I take care of them? When I did, I noticed she still hadn’t inserted the links for the helps but I didn’t say anything. I’ll let someone alert her like the user did today.
Supper was the rest of the soup and more cashews. I had four or five animal crackers, too. My taste buds are either getting a little better or I’m getting used to things tasting “off”. My stomach still feels a bit out of sorts, though.
This has taken ‘way longer than it should but I’ve had to stop for coughing breaks and just to rest a bit. I think I’ve probably about covered everything. If I haven’t, you’ll never know.