Emphysema Update Exacerbation
God, or the Universe if you insist, has a way of putting me in my place. Any time I start to feel sorry for myself or feel like no one truly understands what is going I run into, meet or hear about someone who is much worse than I. It is always someone with an incurable disease such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) or some other horrible, degenerative disease. Yes I know my disease is incurable and degenerative, but still. I can get all thankful after meeting those folks. Even with emphysema I run into folks who are on oxygen or need lung transplants or even have some of their lung removed. So yea it can always be worse. But I went and got me an exacerbation of my disease.
I got a cold (maybe the Flu), but since your lungs are a huge part of your immune system and mine sucks, I didn’t feel better after 7 days. I know folks are miserable with the flu for longer, but the main symptoms (fever, vomiting) tend to lessen by then. For me it got worse. I held on for two weeks. My congestion would lessen then come back and none of the over the counter stuff really worked. Robitussin helped at night. I was pretty bad and I felt it going into my chest. Meaning my chest was starting to feel super tight and I knew that was not a good sign for me. I can learn from past mistakes. I called the doctor.
This time I got a telephone appointment. I am grateful for that because I was bad enough, who wants to hang around other sick folks at the hospital? Not me. People do not cover their coughs and sneezes. I would only get worse. I also got to talk to a pulmonologist this time because the nurse asked if I have ever seen a specialist for my lungs. Uh yeah. It took the doc like 3 minutes to send me a script for antibiotics and steroids. I was definitely going into what they call an exacerbation.
Exacerbation is just that, a worsening of the symptoms of your lung disease. Shortness of breath, loss of energy, lower oxygen levels all are signs. Mine was the tightening in the chest. I called so I did not get worse. An exacerbation can cause your disease to go to the next level and the symptoms become permanent. I have worked too hard to let that happen. So antibiotics (the first one made me SICK so had to change) and steroids. I hate the steroids, I have never know which side effect I will get. Always fun. Man can I breath good with them though.
I cried because I had no feet…
So anyway got over the worse of the illness after almost the entire month of feeling like crapola. I am still tired a lot. Not go to bed tired as much as just no energy tired. That is to be expected for now. As for the feeling sorry for myself. Well I will admit laying awake a night and feeling rather lonely. Like no one truly understands that what I have is a deadly disease and I can’t do all the things I have done before. I have difficulty losing weight and a hard time go go going all day. I actually have an even harder time staying positive. Since I try not to let my disease affect others, I think they forget I have it. And they think that I can do more or be better than I am. I try.
The cool thing is, though, that I know this feeling is most likely because of the medicines. And, heck, I am pretty sure God will put me in my place and I will run into someone worse off than me. The old saying “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” applies to me.