So I had a follow up with the doctor today... but before I go into that...
Today I got an email from my children's father... he's in excess of $30,000 in arrears in child support ... hasn't paid what he owed EVER... has never lived up to the terms of the divorce or made any real attempts to see his children... he's seen Austin exactly twice in the past year. I don't know how much he's seen Ryan or Cody - I don't ask. They don't volunteer. The truth is that he's beyond deadbeat... I have really, really, really bent over backwards regarding child support. He's driving a brand new Jeep. I'm praying to keep my car on the road. Literally. So today I get a "poor, poor, pitiful me" email from him... poor thing... lost his job last Wednesday... doesn't know when he'll be able to find another... will try to get me some child support whenever he can... doesn't know how to get in touch with me...
Now... if he had been paying regularly and just hit a little snag, I'd have some compassion. He just doesn't care. Never has. He's always been alone on the planet. Never understood what it meant to be a parent. Seriously. How does he NOT have Austin's phone number?
I had just gotten home from the doctor. The doctor said, "are you still working full-time?". Yes. Shouldn't I be? Actually, as it turns out, I shouldn't be. She asked if I needed a note to be able to take some time off or reduce my hours. I shook my head "no". I can't afford to work any less. Especially now. She said to get as much rest as possible. No problem with that...
So you will understand my lack of compassion toward a man who won't take care of his obligations when I'm wearing myself out trying to do my job and his- as a parent. Most of the time I just sorta ignore him. He's not worth my attention. It's like a wise person once told me - when someone shows you who they are believe them - the first time. I met this man 24 years ago and he's been showing me who he is ever since.
So the doctor said to not push myself. She said, "You've been so tough through all of this... " And I'm thinking, "no I haven't been! I've been a big whiny baby about all of it!" But at least that made me feel like less of a whiner... having some medical validation that I shouldn't be feeling good. Cuz I sure haven't been... And then she reviewed all my tests and stuff with me. She said, "I want to prepare you for what the pulmonologist is likely going to do.... " Okaaaayyyy.... She said they'll most likely do a bronchoscopy. I had an idea of what that meant but still came home to google it to make sure I understood... She said there will be some down time with that... it will be under anesthesia so at least that day... and she said I won't feel great when that's done... but that's the best way to rule out any malignancies.
Malignant? Like... seriously... all along it's been benign, benign, benign... and even in the CT scan report (I read it today, finally) everything says most likely benign but there were some buts... like... "symptoms suggest further testing" or something like that. What does that mean? Everything that I had seen so far was in my left lung. The CT scan indicated a very small (like 4mm) mass on the right lung. It wasn't called "granuloma". Everything else has been called granuloma. The diagnosis on the CT scan is "granulomatous disease".
Interestingly... the doctor said that there are certain parts of the country that have a higher incidence of granulomas... I had seen some of this in my research... Ohio River Valley has a high incidence of histoplasmosis... but I didn't realize this part of the country had those sort of issues. But then... it's like i told her... I've lived in metro Atlanta for all of my life except the past two years... she said she was interested in what the pulmonologist said about it. Yay. I'm a lab rat!
And can I just be very judgemental and say that I think it's entirely unfair that I have any lung issues at all since I don't smoke? And never HAVE smoked!!!! I haven't even hung out in smoky places... like bars... I have lived a terribly boring life, so far. Ok. Maybe not boring... but if you can't catch it in church, at the ballfield or in the theatre... I haven't really been exposed to it!
The regular doctor doesn't want to change anything with my meds until I see the pulmonologist but since I responded better to the steroids than to anything else, she's putting me on another course of steroids. She used the phrase, "the best thing I can do right now is keep you comfortable until you're able to see the specialist". KEEP ME COMFORTABLE??? In the words of Purple Michael, "OH LorT!"... That sounded fatal! *yes, I realize this is overdramatic... cut me some slack!*
In the meantime... I'm still coughing like crazy... my mouth is horribly inflamed... my throat is red and raw... I'm exhausted... and today, I'm just mad. Far be it for me to say "It's not fair" but really.... it isn't!
And to further freak me out... this silver convertible mercedes ran a red light today as I was going through the square in Cleveland. The driver looked EXACTLY like Michael. Freakishly like Michael. Enough like Michael that I stared a hole through the back of his head. I think he thought I was either flirting or mad about him running the red light. It wasn't Michael. I'm sure of it. I have a feeling that he will do whatever it takes to make sure he is never in the same zip code as me. Especially if I'm potentially infectious.
And the bitter, angry person inside of me (who I keep under control most of the time) wished for a just a brief moment that I could have gone through this illness while we were still married because it would have aggravated the stew out of him to hear me coughing every night... and he would have worried himself sick over catching some deathly germ from me. He would have OCD'd the skin right off of his hands trying to wash away any potential infection.
And then the really pathetic, sad person inside of me (who shows her butt far too often) wishes that I could have gone through this illness while we were still married because it's scary as hell to go through this alone. And because I really need someone to change the lightbulbs in the kitchen. But then I was grateful because if I was still married to Michael we might still be living on the third floor and there is no way I could have handled those stairs... but then again... that's probably why those stairs kicked my butt like they did! Plus... if I was still married to Michael... he would have just made me feel bad about not keeping the house clean, instead of understanding that working expends all the energy I have right now.
Trying to remember anything else the doctor said... they did blood work again. My protein levels were high but she is certain it's related to unresolved inflammation/infection. She thinks my white blood cell count will look worse with each repeat blood test because of being on steroids. She wants me to try to balance my diet with probiotics and as little yeast as possible (someone I know is saying, "I told you so!" to that one!). She walked me back to the lab and gave some specific instructions to the vampires... I added, "she ordered the PAINLESS blood draw for me" and they all giggled. I'm sure it wasn't original but... I've still got my sense of humor...
Oh... and she gave me a new inhaler that will hopefully be kinder to my mouth than the asthmanex... this one is symbicort, I think? And a prescription for penicillin because my mouth and throat are PROBABLY hurting because of thrush... but possibly there could be a secondary infection and she wants to make sure to head off any other potential infections... as the granulomatous disease makes me more succeptible to infection. Joy. Which is actually NOTHING NEW... it just explains what has already been happening... I knew i was getting sick too easily.
Am I talking in circles? Trying to remember it all... make sense of it all.... so... anyways... that's what she said...
Monday, August 3, 2009
So I had a follow up with the doctor today... but before I go into that...
Posted by Heather at 5:43 PM