Feel free to skip this post if you are weary of hearing my tales of woe regarding my health.
Okay, for the rest of you then…
Today I successfully secured a coveted appointment at the Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital on my third day of trying. Oddly enough, I started experiencing shortness of breath about an hour before my 5 o’clock appoint. And it was the worst occurrence I’ve ever had. I was having difficulty even talking to the intake nurse about my symptoms. The took my blood pressure (185/100!) then I met with the doctor. He could immediately see I was in some pretty serious distress and asked me how often this condition occurred. I breathlessly explained that I never let it get this bad since acquiring my nebulizer. The good doc said let’s get you some nebulization going now and while I was inhaling that sweet relief, he listened to my chest and apparently didn’t like what he heard.
As is usually the case, I felt better almost immediately. But apparently my blood oxygen was staying in the low 80s (normal is 95+) which meant I was experiencing Hypoxemia. That’s not good and the doc wanted me to visit the emergency room then and there. And so naturally I did.
The took my blood pressure again (still over 180), did an EKG, and started me on another round of nebulaziton.
Then they wheeled me down to x-ray to get a gander at my lungs.
By the time I got back to the ER I was feeling much better and my vitals confirmed it (blood pressure back down in the normal for me 140s, and blood oxygen back in the high 90s. So, now I wanted to hear the long elusive diagnosis. Doctor says it seems to be a case of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Damn, I was afraid he was going to say that! (A couple of friends had suggested that may be my problem, but I was in denial).
There it is, the price I paid for 25 years of moderate smoking. The fact that I’ve been off tobacco for over 2 years now is certainly a positive. It appears my COPD is still in the early stages, and there are things I can do to slow it’s progress. So, that’s what I will do. We all got to die of something, but my death is far from imminent. My dad had COPD and made it to 83. That’s a worthwhile goal I reckon.
I came home with some drugs and an inhaler and instructions to return for a follow-on visit in a week.
In the meantime, it is always possible I will run into someone like this:
It’s all good. Onward!