Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Like Waking Up From A Long, Dark Dream To A Sun-Filled Day

Image credit: BabyPictures.org

I recently shared a moment with my readers in which I recounted the trouble I’d been having breathing.

After visiting a lung specialist at the behest of two urgent care doctors I had seen in December, I underwent a battery of breathing tests and x-rays.  The lung specialist informed me that the breathing tests revealed that my lung capacity was a meager 54%.  The x-rays he ordered were inconclusive so he ordered a high resolution CT scan of my lungs.
The CT scan was done on February 4th and I have waited and waited and waited for this day to find out the results.

Meanwhile, Adrienne of Adrienne’s Corner, read the post about my health scare and called for prayers.  As the word spread, good friend and blogger Bob Belvedere of The Camp of the Saints did the same.

This site was visited by so many wonderful folks who wished me well and promised prayers for a good outcome that I was overwhelmed.

So here’s what happened yesterday.  My appointment was at 11:15AM.  All the doctors were running late.  I was finally called into the examination room at 11:55AM.  At 12:29 PM my doctor entered the room.

I sat there frozen—too scared to ask THE question.

I know my eyes were as big as saucers when he said, “Well, it’s not bad, but it’s not 100% either.”  The CT scan is showing me that you do not have interstitial lung disease.  What it does show is that you have chronic bronchitis and possibly occupational asthma.”

He said that my shortness of breath on exertion, cough, fatigue, and chest congestion were most likely from chronic bronchitis.

Here, I will admit that I thought bronchitis was no big deal, but now I know differently.  Chronic bronchitis is a long-term, often irreversible respiratory illness.  To be categorized as having chronic bronchitis you must have a daily mucus-producing cough (check) that persists for at least three months a year (check), at least two years in a row (check).  This is not to be confused with acute bronchitis which is a mild inflammation of the air passages of the lungs that clears up in a few days.

So, what the doctor thought initially, that I had restrictive lung disease turned out to be wrong based on the CT scan.  But, I’m not out of the woods either.  Turns out I do have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) that can lead to gradual deterioration of the lungs.  It’s the fourth-leading cause of death in this country.

My doctor prescribed an inhaler called Dulera®.  It’s specifically for asthma.  He wants to see me again in 30 days to see if this medication helps.

I want to thank all the folks who stopped by here to leave their thoughts and prayers.  If ever there is a time that you feel prayers don’t work.  Kick yourself in the pants.  It does.  Perfect strangers were stopping by telling me they were joining the prayer brigade.

I guess the best way to say how much you guys mean to me is to quote Anne Frank, “Crying can bring relief, as long as you don’t cry alone.”

God bless you all.  Thank you.

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