Note to self….

It really isn’t a good idea to call a client about tax matters after taking a vicodin and a dose of codeine based cough medicine.

Even if you take them an hour or so apart.

An old friend and my very first tax client called today with a question about his taxes. It was an easy question, nothing that puzzling so I figured what the heck.

I take the med’s at about the same time every day and, for the most part, I am alone during that portion of the day. I don’t really interact with anyone until the late afternoon or the early evening. So I wasn’t really prepared.

As I listened to myself talking, I know I was hesitating, stuttering a little, sounding like I wasn’t all there. Thank goodness it was Z or else I would have really embarrassed myself.

Lesson learned.

As those who read this blog know, I am in the midst of a few months of compromised health. It seems to have leveled off and I am starting to feel better.

To put it in perspective, I haven’t been able to exercise on any kind of regular basis going on four months now. Up until about the middle of June, I was exercising at least 4 days a week, I was out and about pretty much any day that I needed to be.

Now. Well sometimes it’s a chore to get to the bathroom and back. Even with my O2.

What was confounding to me was that I didn’t have a fever. I was trained, at least in my mind, that even if I had an “episode” or an uptake in my congestion, I wouldn’t call the doctor until I spiked a fever.

Well that was a mistake on my part. Dr. Haddadd, my current pulmonologist, told me that anytime I have shortness of breath and an increase in mucus, I need to call right away. I have an infection but it was just never bad enough to cause a fever.

He pointed out that by the time I present with a fever it may be too late. Thinking back, I might have caught a lot of what turned into hospital stays if I wouldn’t have waited until it was almost too late.

And for those of you who have been keeping up with the blog know that back in 2004, it almost was.  Thirty seven days in the hospital and a drug induced coma. Now that’s a crisis.

This time I had an infection that was stopping me from processing air. And, you guessed it; I might have done some more damage. To treat the inflammation, Dr. Haddadd put me on steroids for the first time. He told me that it would sooth the infection, strengthen the tissue.

It also made me feel really weird, almost disjointed from my body. I guess the cocktail of drugs I am taking to ward off pain; coughing, infection and congestion are wreaking havoc on my physiology.

I get jittery, like an addict who is jonesing for a fix. (Do they still talk like that?)  So far it’s been four days. The dose is four pills for the first four days, two pills for the next four days and one pill for the last four days.

Oh yea, forgot to mention that I was getting dizzy.

Plus I am in the middle of a round of Levaquin which is the antibiotic de jour these days.

We shall see by the end of next week if I am really getting better. Dr. Haddadd told me that I need to start exercising again. One of the reasons he felt I was doing so well, for someone in my condition, was because I had dedicated myself to exercising and practicing good nutrition.

I have kept up the nutritional part, but have really slacked off on the exercising. I was on the verge of giving up as every time I tried to do something I would get out of breath real quick. But Dr. Haddadd made it clear that if I didn’t get back exercising right away; I was risking all the hard work I have put in these last 7 or so years.

So I’ll start out easy, try a ten minute slow and steady ride on the stationary bike. He told me to crank up the O2 as high as I needed it. Since my air condenser stops at about 4.5 liters per minute, I have to break out my stand by tanks so I can get up to 5, 6 or even higher if need be.

One good thing out of this episode, I know for sure that my exercising and good eating habits have been worth it. It’s nice to have that kind of validation.

Last week, Laurie and I went to get our drivers license renewed. Last time my weight was 215. This time, 175. 40 lbs. in four years. I did it like you are supposed to do it, slow and steady.

I was wondering why Dr. Haddadd asked me if I was trying to lose weight. I told him that my activity level had dropped so I dropped my intake of food. That is the first time in my life when I brake checked my food intake.

When I broke my hip back in 1992, I was about 180 lb. By the time I was healed enough to start moving around again, I was pushing 210. I was not going to let that happen again. It took too long to stop that uptick. In fact I blew up to 250 at my heaviest.

Never again.

PS. Last night, I was able to ride the stationary bike for 20 minutes without my blood oxygen falling below 91%.

2 Responses to Note to self….

  1. Greg says:

    Another weighty issue:

    I have been putting on 2 to 3 lbs. every year for the last 10 years. Today I weigh 193
    An embarrassing thing happened to me yesterday while my 18 month old granddaughter, Maddison was visiting. Her vocabulary consists of approximately twenty-five words, all typical for her age. We had been playing with a little xylophone and some creatures from the ‘littlest pet shop’ then she came up to me and poked me in my belly and said, “ball, out”. She thought that I was hiding a big bouncy ball under my shirt. “ Out”, she said again as she pulled my shirt up to see. (It was just my fat-ass sitting on the couch.)

    Everyone laughed. I however, was only laughing on the outside.

    Before Maddie left for the day I had gone to the Westlake Recreation Center website and downloaded the membership application, I’ll be registered after Christmas.

    I am looking forward to playing ball with Maddie.

    • Greg, you were always in great shape. Me, oy did I pack on the pounds when I was running to political functions when I was active with the Democratic Party. Every place had donuts and cookies and so I didn’t want to disappoint the people who brought the food. I balooned up to 250.

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