A great journey in progress!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snowy Weather

It’s snowing! It’s gorgeous outside, I’m thankful I didn’t have to drive in it. I had fun watching the giant snowflakes fall from the sky, and watching the kids play in the snow.
I now have a TV to watch my DVDs on, a friend’s mother gave me a 19 inch TV and I just got it all set up today. I’ve got a lot of things to look forward to for 2010, my sister Joy is visiting from Phoenix Oregon, school, more weight loss, I can breath, and of course, my beautiful apartment. I am slowly getting back into the groove of my life, concentrating on getting healthy for the fall quarter of college. I am still a bit sick, coughing, but I still sound good and its not getting me down at all.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Blessings

A slight set back made itself know the last couple of days. My right ankle swelled up and my left wrist and elbow too. I am still grateful that I can breath and these are symptoms of my body trying to heal itself with oxygen and also I haven’t been able to function for a long time. Epsom salt baths help the pain and so does ibuprofen.
Despite the pain, I went to my brother Rob’s house for Christmas where we had a fabulous dinner. I got to see my mom, who hasn’t been able to see me well and she’s doing awesome herself, my sister Carri and her son Levi, and of course, Rob’s family. I enjoyed myself playing games of Apple to Apples and a new game of Catan. My brother Rob who doesn’t usually participate in games played both with us. It was fun…
I received a blood pressure monitor and warm fuzzy socks for Christmas from my sister Carri and my mom. I also got a new wardrobe from my sister Vickie too. My friend Monte gave me a gift card for Barnes and Nobles, a nice surprise.
I am still taking it easy, not going to let my ankle, elbow, and wrist detour me from exercising or accomplishing my plans. I won’t be my usual bull self and over do it.
I got an unexpected coffee invite from an old friend that I have not seen in forever. I am going. It will be awesome to see her and hear about her adventures.
I am also working on my list of goals for 2010 and I’ll be posting them here and on Creative Change. I feel that I have missed so much with the strydor breathing issue that I am having a hard time not overwhelming myself with everything I want to do and accomplish. I am having a hard time remembering that I must take it easy… It’s also about choices and I believe I am going to just choose 3 things at a time for now. I don’t want to wear myself out or discourage myself from even trying. How do you encourage yourself when you have new goals ahead of you?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sick, But Grateful!

I feel terrible. After last weeks big deal, now I am fighting a stuffy nose, sore throat, and an ear ache. I want to go spend Christmas with my brother Rob and his family, but I fear that will not happen if I continue to have this sickness. On top of that, someone that I consider to be a friend is acting like a butthead. Saying he only likes hanging with me half the time and I make him uncomfortable and so on. I don’t need anymore. I am feeling so exhausted by last weeks ordeal and the year long battle to get some oxygen and now this. My head cold is not what’s bothering me. It’s the fact that for 5 years this same old battle with my friend goes on and on. He is not clear on anything, I do not know what the heck is going on. I never will, I realize.
I am taking a week to myself, to rest, to heal, to get better both physically and emotionally. I need this. Today, I did absolutely nothing, no chores, nothing at all. I watched several movies Alexander with Colin Ferrell and Angelina Jolie. I don’t know if I like Oliver Stones version or not.
Despite being sick, I am thankful I can take a deep breath and walk to my mail box and not sound like a moose. I am still making long term plans for my future. I need rest and retreat to come to terms with everything I’ve gone through. I’ll keep everyone posted on what everything and my progress.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Can Breath!

I am back on the net. I haven’t been able to blog for five months. In the mean time, so many things have happened to me.
For over a year, I’ve been literally fighting to breath. It first started when I gained seventy five pounds of water in two days, they couldn’t hear my lungs with the stethoscope. That was over a year ago. Slowly, as time went on, it got worse. I do not know how to describe the debilitating feeling and embarrassment I felt going out in public. I sounded like a moose to myself, so I can just imagine what it sounded like to everyone else. I knew something was wrong, family and friends did to, but nothing was discovered which was irritating. I couldn’t function well, I forced myself to accomplish what I had to. It was not a life at all.
In March of 2009 I moved in with my nephew and his wife, did not go well. They couldn’t handle watching me, I truly do not blame them. While there, I got myself established with a great doctor. Dr. Collins started helping me, doing blood tests, I wasn’t making blood, a vital part of being a human. He couldn’t figure out why. In October, I got so tired of living a mundane existence that I made an appointment with him to help me with my breathing. It seemed to have gotten worse. I could take a breath in, but I couldn’t feel it in my lungs. Try this, take a huge breath, feel your lungs and see your chest rise, mine was not doing that. When I got to his office on that October day, he heard my moose call, it alarmed him. He gave me a nebulizer treatment, a steroid shot, an inhaler, and steroid pills. It all seemed to help for a brief moment, I felt high, but still no lung action. He also scheduled me for a lung function test, thank God he did that instead of an x-ray or a CT scan, because that is what ultimately saved my life. On December 10th, my sister Carri and I went in for my lung function test. Oh man, that was the hardest thing I had to do. I couldn’t do it. Carl the technician was patient and kind and seemed alarmed. He made several comments to me " I never seen anyway breathe that way before". In the car, Carri my sister told me that my lips were blue. After the test, I drove home. Rob, my brother met me at my apartment and carried my groceries in. I had to take several breaks. 15 minutes after Rob left, Dr. Collins called me personally. He couldn’t reach me, because my stupid cell phone kept going to voice mail. Finally he reached me, he told me that the lung function test said I had a constriction somewhere in my neck or chest. He wanted me to go back to Longview a forty five minute drive back to get a CT scan and then I was to go back to his office where he was going to have me admitted. I did not feel up to driving back to Longview, so my sister in law and my sister got me there. Carri, a trooper stayed with me thru out the whole ordeal. I had to wait 3 hours in the CT scan for the blood test and then they injected contrast die into my arm and ran the test. Then we waited in the waiting room for hours it seemed. Where the desk nurse thought for sure I was going to be admitted. Dr. Collins went home, and his on call Dr., Dr. Randall called the desk to talk to me and told me the CT scan saw nothing and I was free to go home. He said to me that I should be ok sense I’ve been dealing with this for over a year. I was too pooped to scream or do anything. That is what I wanted to do. Carri saw that my face was disappointed and I was going to cry, but I didn’t. So we called my big sister in Alabama and told her what was going on. She told Carri to take me to the ER. So, we went. The desk lady there heard my strydor cough. A strydor cough is the cough that happens when you are getting close to dying. She rushed me into the ER room, and the doctor was in there in seconds. I had several nurses working on me. I felt overwhelmed, tired, pissed off, grateful, and so many feelings that I couldn’t keep it all together. I tried to remain calm, but I felt this stinging anger towards Dr. Randall. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t hear what everyone else heard. Dr. Lucas, the ER doctor, called a Dr. Davis, an Ear Nose and Throat doctor from his home. He thought I sounded like an interesting case. He came in, talked for a minute then took out his lycroscope, which is a long tool, looks like a fishing pole with a microscope at the end of it. He stuck it in and down my left nostril and to the base of my throat and had me do sounds so he could seem thru my voice box. That was the most uncomfortable thing I have ever gone thru. It didn’t hurt, felt so strange having something go down my nose and to my throat. Felt like a big, long burger, yuck. I felt like one of those alien movies where the alien was sticking his probe down my nose. I am thankful for that tool, because of that tool, Dr. Davis saw what the problem was. He didn’t say anything, accept that he was going to see the CT scan and then talk to the radiologist. He came back with Dr. Lucas and told us what was up. I felt relieved. Scared, but relieved, because finally there was an answer. I was admitted to the hospital at OHSU in Portland Oregon. I was so glad I didn’t drive myself. I didn’t leave for OHSU until 2 Am and got to OHSU at about 3 AM. Where I got examined and admitted into the hospital, at about 5 AM I had my room. I was so exhausted, but still felt relieved. I had a beautiful room, the presidential suit at OHSU. I saw Mt. Hood and a glorious sunrise. My room was so huge for just one person. Even though I was struggling with breathing, I felt a huge weight lifted off of my body. I didn’t mind the IVS, the blood pressure checks, the IV drip, and all the hoopla associated with being in the hospital. I had a team of Doctors who were going to help and I’ll soon be able to function again.
At 11 Am, I went in for my surgery. Dr. Flint performed the surgery, thank you so much. They put another IV into my wrist, ouch… I had a 90 percent blockage of scar tissue just below my voice box. They took a biopsy, all the tests were clear. They think I have an auto immune disease. So, I am going in for blood tests to see if that is the case. There is a 50 percent chance it can come back, at least now Dr. Collins and I can take care of it. My throat still feels sore and I feel stretched just below my neck, yet, I am so thankful for all the doctors, family, and my few friends who have and are still supporting me. My sister Vickie flew up from Alabama to stay with me. She just went home today. We had a great time visiting and getting to know each other as adults. She went with me to Dr. Collins office. She told me she felt that I was just going to give up and that was what I was doing. Ricky my nephew felt that was too. That wasn’t the case. Dr. Collins, Dr. Flint both asked how did I do it. How did I not lay down and give up on my life? All I could say was I do not know. I forced myself, but that really isn’t the answer. I feel that it wasn't my time to go. I still have many goals and pursuits to journey thru. I have been told and I am thinking to myself, since I am strong enough to survive this, I can do anything I set my mind to.
Now, I am on my way to recovering. I now feel that I will be able to go back to school next fall, to lose the 80 pounds to reach 200 pounds, and whatever my heart desires. Now I feel free to dream again. All I could concentrate on was trying to breathe, that I didn’t dream of other projects, or try to do anything else but survive. I feel, look, and have a different outlook on my life. Thank you universe, Carri, Vickie, Joy, Rob, and my friends…