By Christopher Green
Yum Yum, sounds real good don’t it, but more about that in a moment.
Now I know it’s been a long, especially in blog time on the blogosphere, stretch since I last posted. It is not that I haven’t had anything to say, because I am almost never at a loss for words, but rather because of continued frustration with how my health is starting to play out.
To put it bluntly, I was starting to drift, ever so slightly, to the dark side of my emotional state of mind. After living with this: the congestion, the shortness of breath, the endless series of breathing treatments and all the other stuff I do to stave off the inevitable lung transplant hanging over my head since 2004, I was just getting worn down emotionally, physically and, worse yet, intellectually.
To tell the truth, I kind of lost my way over the last two months; fell behind in almost every aspect of my life. It has all been directly related to this slow, but steady downturn in my physical condition, which ultimately has had an enormous effect on specifically, my pulmonary situation, and generally, my overall health.
Back in late December, Dr. Budev scheduled me for the six-minute walk in early January. I felt optimistic about the walk all the way up until about a week or so before I was scheduled to schlep over to the Clinic for the 10th time in the last 3 years.
As my pulse ox numbers started to trend down, I became anxious, and that affected my breathing, so I was essentially snowballing to a bad performance.
Sure enough, I tanked. Turned in my worse performance. I barely made it 1,000 feet and my pulse ox was 84/125 by the time I gasped over the six-minute mark. And, the O2 tank was stoking out at 6 liters per minute. That’s way high.
Well, Dr. Budev increased my Levaquin and steroid treatment to 20 days. I was scheduled to come back in four weeks, for another six-minute walk.
So on that day, Laurie and I talked to the Social Worker. I was a little disheveled being that I had not trimmed my beard in a while, nor had I shaved that morning. She looked at the scripts I take and immediately started in on me, looking at me and talking to me as if I was an out of control, drug addled biker. Not even stopping to ask how I was. A very caring individual, that one.
She zeroed in on what she must have thought was a weak spot and attacked me about my pain meds, the cough syrup and the muscle relaxer. It was like I was in some bizzaro world. Worst experience I have had at the Cleveland Clinic since I started this crazy trip way back in 2004.
Now up until this point in the process, I was cruising along without worrying about the support system I will need to have in place for when I come home from the hospital after the transplant. The Social Worker attacked us about that as well. She was just plain rude.
Anyway, I had to go back and get an intestine test to see if there were any problems in my digestive track. That is where the Egg Beaters and radioactive particles come in. That test came back showing no problems.
After that awful Clinic visit in early Jan, Dr. Budev scheduled me to come back this last Tuesday, the 21st of February, for another six-minute walk. As I mentioned before, the good doctor put me on a 20-day regime of Levaquin and 25 days of steroids to try to strengthen my lungs.
Everything was going fine and I was able to ride the bike again for the first 20 days. But within 5 days after the scrip was done, I tanked. I deteriorated fast.
By the time I went to the appointment on Tuesday, I had given up even trying to ride the bike. I felt okay when I was sitting down. But as soon as I got up, BAM, my O2 levels dropped faster than the second Vanilla Ice album.
Which brings us to today.
I am back in the new wing at Fairview for the third time in five years. The best part is I have a single room in semi-isolation. They think I may have a MRSA bug, so everyone who comes in has to wear a mask, gloves, and such.
They put a port into my right arm, which is a durable IV gateway, so when I go home in a few days, I will be able to administer my own IV antibiotics. So we shall see how that all works out.
There is a lot more to talk about, but I do not want to make this post excruciatingly long. Especially since this is my first blog entry this year. I want people to come back.
Bottom line is I was drifting to the dark side and I was frightened for the first time since I was wheeled out of this very same hospital on July 4th of 2004.
Three presidential elections and five hospitalizations later, I might be closer to a transplant than ever.
As I stated before on this blog, I wanted to push the transplant off as far as I could. Now, well, it is the first time I am actually getting use to the idea that I could very well be under the knife sometime soon.
I will get back as soon as I find out how things unfold, probably the middle of next week.
Thanks for being there to listen and thanks for all the encouragement. I know it sounds like a big old cliché, but…
I do not think I could have made it this far without this blog.