I thought long and hard about writing this post. Should I or should I not? But even if you don’t read it, I will feel better knowing that I have told the people who have been my readers for years what has been going on in my life.
I am sure that some of you thought I might be ending this blog. Or perhaps, you thought that because I am getting older that I just couldn’t do it anymore. Wrong on both accounts. Even though I will be “very old” this week, my brain is still functioning! I thank the Lord for that!
It all started a few weeks before the 4th of July. I had not been feeling well. After watching the neighborhood fireworks, I went to bed that night about 11PM. About 3AM, I woke up with horrible chest pain and could hardly breathe. I woke Hubby up and he called an ambulance. They took me to the local hospital ER pretty quickly. After hours of being there and waiting for tests to be done, I finally was taken for a CT scan. Getting the results took hours.
The nurse practitioner in charge of me finally came in and told me that it wasn’t heart but that she and the doctors determined that I had pulmonary fibrosis which was showing on the CT scan. That diagnosis hit me like a ton of bricks! I was well aware of that disease because my mother died from it. It was a slow agonizing death that took over 6 years. There is no cure.
Hubby and I were both in shock on the ride home after they released me. They told me that I needed to get a good pulmonary doctor and to follow up with my primary doctor.
When I got home, I tried to pull myself together so that I could call my sons and my sister and let them know. Of course I fell apart after I told them. They all knew what this disease is and that it is terminal.
I called my primary doctor the next morning and was given an appointment for the next day. Meanwhile they gathered all of the records from the hospital and the CT report. Hubby and I went and saw my doctor and he listened to everything that had happened.
He told us that he was more concerned about 3 heart blockages on my CT scan than the pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis at that moment. I said they never told me about that in the ER. He also told me that I have a nodule on my thyroid.
He said we needed to take one thing at a time starting with the heart. He said I needed to go to my cardiologist. I told him that he had retired 6 weeks before all of this. I did not have an appointment with the new doctor until November. He told me to call the cardiologist when I got home and explain about the ER visit and what the CT scan showed and that I needed to see the Dr. asap. He told me if they wouldn’t fit me in that I was to call him and he would find me a cardiologist who would see me quickly.
To make a long story shorter, I called and they couldn’t fit me in until October. This was in July. UGH! So I called my primary and he got me a new cardiologist who would see me the next business day.
Hubby took me to the new cardiologist, who I love, and he set up a stress test and ECHO test for two days later. I had those done and they told me that I should hear from the doctor by noon the next day. That if I didn’t, most likely there was no major problem. But if I wanted the results, I could call his office after 1 o’clock that day and his nurse would give me the results. The nurse told me that my heart was very strong and that the blocked arteries were non obstructive. In other words the blood finds other pathways in other arteries. I followed up with the cardiologist the next week. He told me basically the same thing but that they had determined that I have ” a sticky valve”. What that means is one of the valves is slow opening and closing. He said he didn’t want to see me for two years and at that time I would have another stress test and ECHO test. Meantime, he put me on what he said was a better cholesterol drug which made my feet and legs swell up. I evidently was allergic to it. We have gone back to the drug that I have been on for years for now. So if the doctor isn’t worried about my heart then I didn’t need to be either.
Next my primary set up an appointment with the pulmonary doctor who he said he would go to for himself or his family if he or they had my problem. I waited about 3 weeks for that appointment. All the pulmonary doctor had was the report from the hospital describing the CT scan and the pulmonary fibrosis. He told me he was going to try to get the actual CT scan from them. He also told me that he wanted to run two tests on my lungs. The office set me up for those the end of September. I had those tests done and went to see the doctor to get the results the next day. I had waited so long but this one day in between doing the tests and getting the results seemed to go so slowly. I was a nervous wreck to put it bluntly!
I went to see him and came home with very good news. He said my breathing tests were pretty good. He said my asthma which I have had for 45 years needed better treatment than I had had over the years. He put me on a new drug which he said would help. Let me tell you, that drug is a miracle. I haven’t felt this good in years. I have never been a good sleeper at night. I usually wake up in the middle of the night and get up for my day very early. Since I have been on this drug, I am now sleeping 7-9 hours a night and getting up usually around 7AM. I haven’t felt this rested in years.
Then he went on to tell me the best news! He said he got the actual CT scan and he does not believe that I have pulmonary fibrosis. He said between the CT scan, chest X ray that was done at the hospital, and the breathing tests, he is 98% sure that I do not have it. He said there is a small amount of scarring in one lung but that could be caused over the years by pneumonia or even bronchitis. They have set me up for another appointment for breathing tests in December to see what difference this new drug makes on these new tests.
I have not gone to a thyroid doctor yet but will soon. That seemed to be the least of my problems.
But anyhow, my mind and time have been elsewhere. I have been very upset during these months and tried to keep up with the blog but just wasn’t motivated to do it.
We had a lot of visits from family during the month of September and that helped by just enjoying everyone even though I was very tired and my mind was kind of on my health. Them visiting helped me tremendously.
After company left, I needed to catch up on some work in the house that had been neglected. I am still working on that a little at a time now but with my newly found sleep and energy it shouldn’t be long before that is done. And I guess I need to do my Christmas shopping. At least everyone seems to be saying do it now.
I am also planning for Thanksgiving. My son who lives across the state will be coming this year along with a friend or two. So I am praying that we will be able to find a suitable turkey at a decent price.
I didn’t want you to think that I was disinterested in the blog anymore and that is why I decided to tell you. I also want you all to realize that none of us know when our last day will be so spend as much time as you can loving your family and friends. That is what is important in life! Nothing else compares.
I also would be remiss if I didn’t call out Chris. Chris, who some of you may know from her great comments, has been a true online friend for years. I have never met her but she is a genuine, loving and caring individual. It comes across in her comments and her e-mails to me.
She was the only one who comes here who I told what I was going on these past months. She has been praying for me for months. She checked in with me almost every week. Chris, your prayers and caring was so important to me and I thank you for that! You are the best friend anyone could have.
Soon I will be back blogging like I used to. Just let me get caught up a little.