Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Emphysema’

CHALLENGES AHEAD

CHALLENGES AHEAD

I am very sorry to share this information — my husband has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. He starts Chemo on Monday. He was just released from the hospital yesterday, home for the first time in over a week. What was a normal life has disappeared. Time spent in the hospital, time spent in transit, time spent communicating information to absent, concerned members of the family. NO TIME TO WRITE A THOUGHT RAMBLE OR TWO.

At this moment and time I don’t know if I will be able to publish a thought ramble every week. Everyone has a job to do. I do the best I can but sometimes circumstances out of my control intervene. I have learned that it is important I share my life in these rambles. It would be so easy to quit.

Until I have time to write a fresh thought ramble each week, I hope to republish thought rambles from the past. Since I have been writing more than five years there must be many to choose from. I hope that they are meaningful for you. I totally understand if your life is too busy to reread some thought rambles.

“MY friends in High Places” continue to “help” and support each day. Even though my husband was released from the hospital a few days ago, because of breathing or other issues, he ended up staying overnight again. Thankfully I have a strong faith and because of my many learning experiences, recognize the “help” when it arrives.

As hard as this challenge is for my husband who is fighting for each breath — it is hard for those who love him and are powerless to help.

OLD MAN

Sadly, right before my eyes I watched my husband change from a vibrant person to an old man. I became concerned with his breathing. We were in the country, I should have said that we needed to return home. I should have insisted that he see a doctor. Instead I watched, counting the number of days when we were scheduled to come home. I’ll admit that the night he couldn’t sleep because he couldn’t get comfortable worried me. I will admit that the night I discovered he was sitting out on the porch in the wee hours of the morning concerned me. I will admit that when he got the worst charley horse ever in his leg I was alarmed.

When we arrived home, I was still counting the days until his scheduled doctor’s appointment. I don’t know what moved me on a Friday morning to call his doctors office and leave a message that he needed an appointment. The message led to an office visit, a chest x-ray and the discovery of pneumonia. The pneumonia was well hidden behind a mass in his lung.

Tuesday morning, when I woke at 5 AM, he asked me to put ointment on his leg that I used for my knees. His leg was hurting — he didn’t sleep all night. I was ANGRY — Why didn’t he wake me. He had a scheduled appointment at the VA for his feet. Thankfully, although he was feeling better to make the trip, he didn’t get his nails cut. Instead we went to the ER where after waiting over an hour, he was given a room. Within an hour and a half he received another chest x-ray, an EKG and a procedure to check his leg. The medicine that he was taking for his pneumonia, although helping, wasn’t strong enough to heal it. The doctor decided he should spend the night. I took his cane and drove more than 30 miles home.

The VA is a very busy place. While we waited for a room, three gentlemen came in who were sicker. While they waited to send my husband up to a room in the hospital, a sicker person arrived who needed the remaining room. My husband was asked what hospital he wanted to be transferred to. He gave them the name of a hospital that is less than FIVE MILES from home.

The care he received at the hospital was EXCELLENT. Once again he got to take all the tests all over again. They even did a procedure to investigate his lung. The doctor he had took the time to thoroughly discuss his condition. After a couple of days he was released and is home.

Our son had been working out of town. When I didn’t update him with his father’s condition on Tuesday, he booked a flight home. I was glad he was home.

Sunday, in the car, heading for Mass, I turned the radio on. Instead of hearing music, I heard a talk show “I’m listening to you.” or a title something similar. The people talking recounted PSD, having a leg shot at a music concert and the aftermath. Another spoke of suicide. It DID NOT MATTER what station I got on the radio. The results where the same “I’m listening to you.!”

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NOT AGAIN

When my husband was young, he didn’t feel the cold temperatures. His body was young, he stayed healthy when he went outside in the winter without a coat. If he caught a cold — stayed in bed for a day — he quickly recovered. Sadly we have aged. Recently he went outside in just a sweater. The temperature dropped, the cold wind blew and he came down with a severe cold.

In December, the same thing happened. I don’t remember what caused that illness, but I remember spending a day in the emergency room at the hospital — before we learned he didn’t have pneumonia and that his heart was okay. This time he got sick Saturday night, high temperature, chills on Sunday. His doctor is only in the office on Monday and Thursday. I wasn’t sure if we should wait until Thursday. I was told that because of his health conditions, Emergency Care at the neighborhood clinic was not an option, he should go to the emergency room at the hospital. Because of his emphysema, colds often become pneumonia. I decided not to wait and phoned for an emergency appointment at the doctor’s office.

When he came downstairs, I introduced myself to him. Saying that he just met a B—-, who would become a nag if the temperature was below 40 and he wasn’t wearing a jacket.

On the way to the doctor’s office he told me that he woke during the night, and almost asked me to call for an ambulance. His left arm had no feeling in it, but he decided that he was home in his own bed, and didn’t need to go. All during the night, he had the same dream. He kept seeming a screen full of screwdrivers. Everytime he closed his eyes, the screwdrivers were still there. He had a stent put in two years ago because of a blockage in his left arm. We are scheduled to see the doctor next month for a follow up. Is the stent blocked?

A nurse practitioner was on duty, his lungs are clear but when she learned about his problem during the night, she did an EKG. She didn’t see anything to worry about with the test, but to be safe, she also made an appointment for him with a cardiologist for follow up.

I’M SO GLAD I CALLED THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE. I’M ALSO GLAD I HAVE “FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES ” WHO WATCH OVER THE FAMILY.

DETOUR

I make plans, if not plans, at least I have a general idea of what it is I want to accomplish. Often GOD LAUGHS! And it happened AGAIN. We were celebrating an early Christmas on Saturday, it was Friday and I wasn’t ready. The house wasn’t completely decorated, the cookies weren’t made and I planned to do some precooking.

My husband had a bad cough, and I was concerned. I didn’t like his color, his cough nor his lack of energy. He has emphysema. Colds have often become pneumonia in the past. Friday morning, I signed him up at the minute clinic a short distance from the house. The nurse practitioner listened to his lungs and told him he needed a chest x-ray. She didn’t have the necessary equipment but a clinic a short drive from the house did.

Three hours later, chest x-ray and EKG taken, the nurse practitioner was concerned. She thought his cough might have been caused by his heart. She wanted him to go the hospital — Emergency to be exact, via ambulance. I didn’t think we needed an ambulance.

Neither my husband nor I had breakfast, not even a cup of coffee. I planned to stop for food on the way. We were advised that tests might be delayed if we stopped to eat. We drove directly to the hospital, no stops along the way.

Long story short — my husband was going to sign himself out of the hospital at 4:00 in the afternoon. Another EKG had been run. The emergency room doctor was concerned about the level of oxygen in his blood. He had a oxygen treatment. She was able to contact his primary care doctor and learned that the oxygen levels in his blood were always on the low side. He was released with the promise that if he had any chest pains he would return to the hospital immediately.

Five PM and we were finally returning home. I had been on the phone with our children throughout the day. I was TIRED and hungry. I hadn’t accomplished one thing that was on my to do list.

Did we really need cookies? Saturday our family gathered at our home. Except for the family in Florida, we were all present — adults, children and dogs. What better gift for Christmas? We didn’t miss the cookies.

Monday, we visited our primary doctor. My husbands breathing was better — no wheezing. I didn’t accompany him into the office, but remained in the waiting room talking to a woman who was grieving the passing of her son a few years before. More recently she had also lost a loved dog. I told stories from my life — “help from my friends in high places.”

I don’t know why we received a DETOUR or ROADBLOCK on Friday. I don’t know why I was prevented from baking or cooking. I don’t know if there was something seriously wrong with my husband.
We are home. His color is better and so is his cough. The cookies still aren’t made.

On Friday, I kept reminding myself that God was in charge and so He/She is.

DETOURS

I make plans, if not plans, at least I have a general idea of what it is I want to accomplish. Often GOD LAUGHS! And it happened AGAIN. We were celebrating an early Christmas on Saturday, it was Friday and I wasn’t ready. The house wasn’t completely decorated, the cookies weren’t made and I planned to do some precooking.

My husband had a bad cough, and I was concerned. I didn’t like his color, his cough nor his lack of energy. He has emphysema. Colds have often become pneumonia in the past. Friday morning, I signed him up at the minute clinic a short distance from the house. The nurse practitioner listened to his lungs and told him he needed a chest x-ray. She didn’t have the necessary equipment but a clinic a short drive from the house did.

Three hours later, chest x-ray and EKG taken, the nurse practitioner was concerned. She thought his cough might have been caused by his heart. She wanted him to go the hospital — Emergency to be exact, via ambulance. I didn’t think we needed an ambulance.

Neither my husband nor I had breakfast, not even a cup of coffee. I planned to stop for food on the way. We were advised that tests might be delayed if we stopped to eat. We drove directly to the hospital, no stops along the way.

Long story short — my husband was going to sign himself out of the hospital at 4:00 in the afternoon. Another EKG had been run. The emergency room doctor was concerned about the level of oxygen in his blood. He had a oxygen treatment. She was able to contact his primary care doctor and learned that the oxygen levels in his blood were always on the low side. He was released with the promise that if he had any chest pains he would return to the hospital immediately.

Five PM and we were finally returning home. I had been on the phone with our children throughout the day. I was TIRED and hungry. I hadn’t accomplished one thing that was on my to do list.

Did we really need cookies? Saturday our family gathered at our home. Except for the family in Florida, we were all present — adults, children and dogs. What better gift for Christmas? We didn’t miss the cookies.

Monday, we visited our primary doctor. My husbands breathing was better — no wheezing. I didn’t accompany him into the office, but remained in the waiting room talking to a woman who was grieving the passing of her son a few years before. More recently she had also lost a loved dog. I told stories from my life — “help from my friends in high places.”

I don’t know why we received a DETOUR or ROADBLOCK on Friday. I don’t know why I was prevented from baking or cooking. I don’t know if there was something seriously wrong with my husband.
We are home. His color is better and so is his cough. The cookies still aren’t made.

On Friday, I kept reminding myself that God was in charge and so He/She is.

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