So the last two months I have not been writing. Even though my doctors have said that my main disease, Wegener’s Granulomatosis, is under control. I have had other issues. My kidneys’ creatinine level spiked, which meant that the kidney function was degrading. My blood pressure started to rise and my sleep was disturbed.
The consequences of these symptoms was that I felt a general malaise, crankiness except for a few occasions, and foggy brain. So when I sat down in my chair to write, I couldn’t keep track of the story. My characters were uninteresting. I even had a hard time walking the dog– although I did it anyway. When I would walk around the block, I would start wheezing about half-way home. (It is a long block, but just a year ago I could walk it without feeling I had smoked a pack– and no, I don’t smoke.)
So this gradual slide culminated into a night, where I just couldn’t breathe. I called two of my doctors and was told that if it got worse to go to the ER. With my lowered immune system, I don’t go to the ER unless I am dying or feel like I am dying. So I propped my head up, doubled up on allergy pills, spritzed my nose with spray, and slept with a humidifier. It got me through a few nights until I could see a doctor.
Only a few years ago, if I had a problem of this nature, the doctor would see me the next day. Now it takes a week with the same doctors. Does this mean that healthcare is better under this new system? I would have to say, no.
So I am now diagnosed with asthma. Since I started using inhalers with allergy pills, a humidifier, and a new pillow, I am finally sleeping through most of the night. I can finally put two thoughts together without writing it down. I might even be able to keep my grocery list in my head. Though that would be pushing it since I still take mycophenolate daily. Plus my blood pressure is stabilizing. I’ll see what the kidneys are doing in the next labs.
It has only been a week. During that time, I have gone through my apartment to give it a good dusting, gave the dog a spa day, and bought new mattress covers and pillows. Hey, I will recommend “My Pillow” if you have neck problems or in my case asthma. It can be washed and has a ten year guarantee.
What makes this entire situation unreal is that I don’t look like I have asthma. I look very healthy. The only real symptom until the non-breathing nights was that I was becoming slightly more vague and I couldn’t remember words. Even my brothers couldn’t tell by just talking to me except some of the words would slip away.
Enough of my complaining. One of my best friends who has helped me through this disease for over ten years is in the hospital. The doctors have kept her there for two weeks because they had gone to a conference about how to deal with trachea problems and came back with a solution that would ruin her voice for life, when she could have been transferred to another hospital that dealt with tracheal stenosis. I won’t go into the procedure– except that it is painful and does work.
Please send thoughts to her that she can get herself transferred to a better situation and so that she will still speak when this is all over.
As for me, when I get this new condition under control, I expect to live many more years. Plus I am starting to write again.
Friends, family, and fans– I salute you.
As we go into the Memorial Weekend, please honor the ultimate sacrifice of our military. Miss you Otto–