Healthy lungs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Does that make sense? Oh, who cares, right? I haven’t made a lot of sense for several weeks now…
I saw the pulmonary specialist yesterday (yes, I showed up at the right time and on the right date…how about that?). I still don’t have very many answers although the answers I do have sound pretty good. I know that I don’t have cancer. I know that I don’t have COPD. I know I don’t have emphysema. That’s what I know.
What I don’t know is what’s wrong. Why I can’t breathe. Why I can’t move without having a prolonged coughing fit. Why I’m still so sick after such a long time.
They performed some tests…something to measure lung capacity, another to measure lung function, something else that I’m not really sure what it was supposed to test…anyhow…for now the doctor is terming what I have as an acute long-term upper airway infection. (Is that another term for “we don’t really know”???).
His prescription to treat that was multi-faceted…one inhaler to administer steroids, another inhaler to open the airway, a different antibiotic, an old-fashioned antihistamine (he said he’s had better luck using these rather than the more modern ones to treat conditions like I have), and something to relax the muscles in my chest and back. Fortunately, he had samples to give me for both inhalers and the antihistimines…enough to get through a month…which is when he wants to see me again.
He told me to keep kind of a journal detailing how the different meds affect me, when I get to feeling better (or worse), what I’m doing when I have one of those coughing fits, if I have a fever (how high, how long it lasts), and so on…That kind of tells me this is still a mystery to him and that he’s looking for clues as to what’s really wrong and what we can do about it. But he did spend a lot of time with me, asking questions, making notes, explaining things, and talking about what we can do if all of this doesn’t help.
My next appointment with him is in the first week of April. He did say that if this “cocktail” doesn’t work, he’ll want to do a CAT scan of my lungs as well as some other tests. In the meantime, guess what!! I’m off work…and before I publish this post, I’ve got to call my boss and let him know…whew! I know he won’t be happy about it, but I don’t know what else I can do. I can’t imagine that they want me in the store scaring the customers with that constant barking cough (and really, I’m not able to do anything that involves any kind of physical activity and that’s what most of my job consists of). Now I don’t want anyone to think that Chris is a bad guy because you honestly could never find a nicer boss anywhere. He’s said, on multiple occasions, that I just need to get better. But I also know having a manager out for a prolonged period of time makes it rough on everyone else…and I do feel guilty about that. I know, I know…it’s not like I got sick on purpose, but you know what I mean. I care about the people I work with (most of them…haha…you know who you are) and hate that I’ve not been able to be there to do my job. Hopefully, what we’re doing now will do the trick and I’ll be able to return to work after my next appointment…keep your fingers crossed for me, would you?
Filed under: health | Tagged: Health, lung diseases, medical leave, Pulmonology | 6 Comments »