COPD?

Who knew?

I’ve never smoked. Never. Okay, there was ONE cigarette in Jr. High School (Hi Heidi!) and a bong hit or two in college (Hi – er, I forget your name) but I’ve never been a SMOKER. Never bought a pack of cigarettes (except for someone else), never smoked a cigar, pipe, hooka – any of that stuff. I shouldn’t have this. Or should I?

But – as we all know – I have asthma. Or thought I did.

I finally visited the Pullmonary Specialist to whom I’d been referred. It was a good visit, and I spent an inordinate amount of time sucking on a tube hooked up to a computer, then blowing through the same tube. It was kind of cool how they were able to measure different elements of my breathing.

Apparently my breathing was bad, and after I was given a dose of asthma medication with a nebulizer, it was STILL just about as bad as when I walked in. This led my PS to talk seriously with me about COPD. In the mean time we’re concentrating on just getting my breathing back to a servicable level with broncho-inhalers (some with steroids) and another round of antibiotics to knock out the infection that will not leave. I asked about a possible fungal infection, but he said that would have been apparent in the Xray and Catscan as a “fungus ball” – another beautiful image brought to you by Annie’s blog.

There have been times when I’ve had a bad day or two of breathing, but this has gone on for quite a while – since my trip to Maryland in October – making it difficult for me to walk any distance, go up stairs, carry ANYTHING. While I was in SD that was the hardest part of the trip, walking to and from the convention center (thank heaven I had a rolling carrier for all my stuff, but even THAT was hard to pull) I think that whole experience scared me a lot more than I wanted to admit.

For now I’m limiting much of my physical exertion – not carrying anything heavy – just taking out the trash this morning made me dizzy and wheezy with quite a light show going on in front of my eyes. (Who needs stinkin’ illicit drugs? I have GARBAGE to carry!)

I’ve been taken off of Advair – apparently there can be some bad side effects with overuse. I’ve been put on two other bizzarre inhalers (the calesthetics one has to go through to get these things OPEN!) one to help the asthma symptoms, and another for the COPD symptoms. (why do I have the feeling that the happy fat woman with the salad drives a PT cruiser?)

With a clear, sunny, cool day today I’m breathing better than I have for the past few wet days. Rain is my nemesis, yet I love it so (curse you, you beautiful, soft and insidious raindrops!) I do have to admit that my breathing was better in San Diego than it had been for quite a while.

So a new adventure! The way I feel right now, I couldn’t teach a bird to whistle, but I also know how fast I tend to bounce back from what I thought were asthma attacks. But this time (actually, since about October) this has just felt so different, I guess it’s good to have a name for it… My fear factor has been higher than I liked to admit.

Totalled??????????
The ’78 Impala wagon that I slightly dented (okay, hit) was declared TOTALLED by my insurance company. Actually they said that the cost to fix the car ($800) was more than the car was worth. Oy. Gerry and just stared at each other. Earlier this year (yes, 2006) Gerry’s car was hit by a ladder that fell off of a truck on Rt 280 as he drove home, so that’s 2 claims in 1 month, and we’re pretty certain that our insurance company is ready to drop us. So in case anyone is keeping score, it’s official. I’m an idiot.

For Diana – see what happens when you ask?

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