Tuesday, June 7, 2011

pulmonary playtime

December 9, 2010 at 6:02pmToday was my pulmonary appointment.  I need to be cleared by pulmonary in order to schedule the surgery that will set me on the road to recovery.  I dreaded this appointment.  I needed to have another arterial blood gas done - a very painful procedure.  At least it was painful while I was in the hospital.  The doctor sent me to his nurse for the full workup and I mentioned how stressed I was over the blood gas test - she seemed a little confused when I told her how it had been done before.  In the hospital, the person drawing for the test had gone in through the top of my wrist, dug around - and I'd even bent the first needle when I flinched from the pain.  Now she seemed rather upset/angry.  As in "there's no sense in doing it that way!" kind of angry.  She turned my hand over, gently placed her fingers over my pulse - and said "see that? where you take your pulse is an artery.  right near the surface. couldn't be easier to draw from there!"  And she was ever so correct.  I barely felt it - at least during the draw.  She only needed 3/10 of a cc for the test.  The syringe was the size of a drinking straw and the needle was tiny.  In and out in seconds. Granted my wrist is rather sore still, but there's no bruising and it was a nearly painless procedure.  Whew!

The breathing-into-the-machine part of the test was more difficult.  Left me rather dizzy at times.  Set me into a coughing fit twice.

The nurse gave me a newer form of albuterol than the ventolin I have been taking (for part of the test) - and it didn't make me nauseous At All!  The ventolin has been making me ill even with the spacer in place... so I was thrilled with finding something that works just as well but has fewer side effects.  Hoping my doc will switch over my prescription there.

Oh, the results?  I'm good to go for surgery!!  Blood gasses are just fine, function (when adjusted for my low hemoglobin) is just fine - the only thing the doc wants them to watch out for is my adrenal function since I've been on steroids somewhat recently - but he says he doesn't see any problem with my going ahead and having the procedure done and I should have no issues whatsoever as far as my breathing and pulmonary function is concerned.

He attributes my chronic cough to 1) the high blood pressure meds 2) the recent illness and 3) seasonal allergies.

So... best day ever!  Well, best day in a freaking long time.

And it doesn't end there.

I was nearly out of my meds, so we stopped by CVS to get refills... and was told that I couldn't refill them until Dec. 22.  What?? Oh wait, it's because they've already been pulled for this month and were sitting there already ready for me to pick up! Niiice.  The only problem was that one of the meds was over $100 for 30 pills and I just cannot afford that right now.  So, I didn't get that one. Not optimal, but necessary at the moment.  I will talk with the doctor about substituting a different med that is covered by my insurance.

Then... my sister-in-law (who was driving my husband and I to all these places this morning) treated us to a delicious lunch at Gondolier - So yummy!

We went to Publix to do a little grocery shopping - picking up things for our impromptu while-Sissy-is-here holiday dinner tonight.  Pierogies, bacon, sour cream, kielbasa... and Peter made challah again.  YUM!

So the day has gone fairly well.

Other than my being completely wiped out from the trip into town, of course.  I went to take a quick nap after we got back to Mum's house - and ended up having a sort of seizure.  Sissy's puppy Pixie barked like mad to let Peter and Sissy know I needed help - and then barked at KC when he tried to get on the bed with me.  All of this has been told to me - I don't remember it happening.  Mark that on the list of things to talk to the doctor about at my next visit.

Next up - December 16, Gyn, to schedule the surgery!

Then regular doc and rheumatology.

It is progress!

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