Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Getting closer – Health Update

Inova Fairfax Hospital - my hospital

It has been a year since I started pulmonary rehabilitation, and about nine months since I started the transplant work up process. I’ve finished all of the transplant tests, and everything came back just fine except my teeth. Go figure.

I’ve almost lost all the weight I have to lose to be listed and expect I will be there by my appointment in Sept. Ideally, I will still have to lose more weight, but at least I’ll be able to be listed if they decide it is now time. I have a feeling they will.

Sometimes I’m not sure if my take on symptoms is paranoia, or if it is accurate. I do feel like there has been some progression over the summer. My cough is worse. When my oxygen does fall, it takes longer to pop back up again.

The dental stuff has turned into quite the saga. I need a root canal. Everyone knows I’ve never been an easy dental patient to start with, but now it is worse. It isn’t the dentist. It is me. When you know someone is going to be drilling on your teeth and you can’t cough, yet you cough all day long almost every day, you can’t help but be a bit concerned. We aren’t talking about a nice dainty cough here. We’re talking about a violent cough that often results in throwing up or losing control of the bladder because I’m coughing so hard. My oxygen now always falls during a coughing fit, often into the 70s. I put oxygen on, but it doesn’t come up until I’m finished coughing. Now, instead of popping right back up on its own, it takes being on oxygen and several minutes for it to return to a safe level. Add all that to my existing issues at the dentist, and well, this upcoming dental procedure, while very routine, is scary! Because I need several things done, I hate to just pull teeth to avoid all this – but if it comes down to it, that may be what has to happen. That, of course, isn’t problem free either. There are a whole other set of risks with that option too.

I continue to go to pulmonary rehabilitation twice a week. I really enjoy it. I’ve never been into the gym, but now, with unlimited oxygen, it feels good to exercise and I enjoy competing with myself. Lord knows I can’t compete with anyone else these days!!!

I am now in the process of repeating some of the transplant work-up tests because they have to be updated every so many months. Yep, the hamster wheel never stops turning!

Thanks so much to all of you who have been so supportive. I would have never made it this far without awesome friends, family and doctors!

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