Friday, May 23, 2014

82-Year-Old Lungs

A few weeks ago I had a follow up appointment with my allergist.  I thought it was a regular, routine kind of thing.  And it was, until the doctor suggested I do a follow up breathing test because my numbers were low the last time I did this particular test.

I was REALLY sick just before Christmas and ended up in the doctor's office receiving two breathing treatments, antibiotics, etc.  Who knows?  Maybe my lungs haven't fully recovered since then!

I followed the nurse down the hall and did the breathing test.  By the way, I suck at these tests.  You are supposed to breathe in a deep breath and then blow out as many candles on the computer screen as you can.  I can never blow them all out.

The nurse made the comment that my numbers were really low.  Okay.  How low?  She points to the screen where it shows that my lungs are that of an 82-year-old woman!  I think I screamed!  I have never even taken so much as a puff of a cigarette, I have bouts of healthy activity, and I've never tested positive for asthma.

The doctor explained that he was going to send me to a specialist for a full pulmonology function test.  Yay.

That test was today.

First I had to have a blood draw.  You can see where they poked me.  I cried.  I don't ever mean to cry, but the tears just start streaming down my face.  I felt the poke, but it didn't really hurt.  Once the blood draw was over I was fine.

They were checking the hemoglobin in my blood making sure that my blood cells carry the oxygen where it is needed.  The numbers checked fine.

Then I went upstairs with Jere, the respiratory therapist, where we proceeded to do a series of six different breathing tests.  I had to wrap my lips around a seal and breathe in different ways.  Sometimes it was a deep breath where I was blowing out as hard as I could.  Sometimes it was panting.  Sometimes it was holding my breath.  That one was hard.

At one point, Jere locked me in the little booth so he could control the pressure.  That was also strange and a bit unpleasant, but nothing too traumatizing.

After all that, he gave me an albuteral treatment (asthma medicine meant to open the airways) and then we had to repeat some of the tests to see if the medicine helped.  It didn't.  Instead it just makes me super jittery and loopy.  I don't like treatments.

By the end of the session, I was pretty tired but still jittery from the medicine.  All in all, it wasn't too bad.  Hopefully I'll be able to get the results quickly to see if there are any serious issues with my lungs.

And for a super sweet and nice surprise, Eric dropped by school to deliver my Mother's Day present!  I love it!  I also love that he visited at school to give it to me.  This little necklace traveled a long way.  I forget which South American country it came from, but I think it is unique and special!

A picture of Hudson last night right before he started soccer practice.

We are going to a pro soccer game tonight.  Should be fun.  I am looking forward to the World Cup this year, especially since I am such a pro at soccer now!

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