All I Know Is I Know Very Little

Healthy lungs

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?

Just another Monday

Come Monday

Come Monday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not a manic Monday, not a hated start of the work week Monday…just Monday.  I guess I never thought about how we give certain days special significance when we’re working. It seems like just about everyone hates Mondays. I suppose because most people don’t work on the weekends, Monday means a return to the dreaded work week. Now I’ve pretty much always had jobs where I’m required to work at least some weekends, so there have been times when I really liked Mondays because that would often be the start of my “weekend”.

But still being off of work on medical leave kind of changes how I look at things like that. I woke up today thinking that I could be going in to work today on truck day…a hectic, active, yet kind of fun day…it’s all what you make it! If only I could actually be going in to work…but…nope! Still off, still struggling to breathe, wondering what’s going on and what’s going to happen. I have to admit, it’s more than a little scary. I’ve always worked, since I was 14 years old. So not being able to work has me questioning myself. I mean, how am I going to cope if I don’t get better? What in the world would I do?  I have some money saved up, but not enough to get by on for the rest of my life.

No…stop…I’m not going to go looking for trouble where it might not exist. I see a pulmonary specialist Thursday afternoon and we’ll go from there. It’s not like worrying about it between now and Thursday will do anything to make it better anyhow. In the meantime, I’m off for this week and next week, and then we’ll see. Hopefully they’ll be able to figure out what’s going on and then correct it.

I think I’ll go rummage around in my yarn stash and sit back and crochet a scarf…take my mind off my worries for a while.