Cough….cough….

asthma-airways_lg

To find out more about asthma please click on this picture, or search the internet.

Yes, I am coughing a lot again.  I’ve been coughing for quite some time, it got better, but it has gotten worse again.  So much so I had a hard time swallowing because my throat has been so raw.

It started getting worse on Friday, I saw the doctor yesterday.  She says my Asthma is not uncontrolled.  So I’m on a different inhaler for a while, she said I’d probably start to feel better in about 4 days, I know I slept better last night. Thank goodness.

This issue has been causing a lot of symptoms that we thought were from my other illnesses.  I have not been getting enough oxygen, they tested it yesterday and it was at 95%, not bad, but not great…..and I wasn’t having an attack, so my oxygen levels will drop a lot during those times.  I was also given another test…and frankly I’m not sure what it was called, I had a hard time hearing the doctor, her frequency just wasn’t hitting right.  Anyways, the test showed how much air you can expel when you blow out as hard as you can.  It was supposed to read 380, the highest I could get it was 300, I had to blow 3 times, and I almost passed out.

So what does this mean?  Not getting enough oxygen, and not having my lungs working properly can be causing a lot of my dizziness lately.  Especially when I go from sitting to standing.   I was getting worried because I can’t walk from one room to the other without getting winded and the room starts to move.  I thought the getting winded was because I can’t really do cardio, it hurts my head too much….it raises my CSF pressure.  But now I found out that I’m getting winded so easily because I’m not getting enough oxygen. I also found out this is probably why I’m so exhausted and lethargic all the time.  I sleep so much, and have no energy to do much of anything except maybe watch TV, and sometimes read.  But reading takes comprehension and recall, things I simply haven’t had lately.

Having your oxygen levels just a little bit lower than it should be can really cause havoc.   I knew my mother was going through a lot when she had lung cancer, and her oxygen levels were low, but I feel so much more for what she had to put up with.  I remember the insurance company not wanting to pay for my mother to have oxygen at home…I don’t remember what level they said she had to have but her’s wasn’t low enough.  I can’t imagine losing any more breath than I have and being told I can’t get help.  Luckily her doctor called the insurance company and wanted to know how they could say what her patient needed when they aren’t doctors and haven’t examined her.  She demanded that my mother get oxygen, and she did.   I was impressed with her doctor for that…for some other things, well she took good care of my mother, but she did not handle things well.    But that’s for another rant sometime.

So my dear friends, I haven’t meant to stay away so long, or so often.  I simply haven’t had the energy.  For example, today I woke around 11am, I went back to sleep about 1pm, I woke coughing and sick to my stomach about 3:30pm….it’s now 5pm.  It’s the end of the day for most people, and I’ve only been awake for a total of 3 1/2 hours.  I will probably stay awake for a few more hours, but I’ll be asleep by 11pm at the latest.  You can do the math to see how many waking hours I will have today, it’s too hard for me to think that much.

Update on other things. My darling hubby hasn’t found a job, but he has a phone interview tomorrow, and he had a long talk with a recruiter today (they really think he’d be “perfect” for that job, but we’d have to move to Nashville….if he thinks he’ll be happy, I’ll live anywhere.   The big worry he has is leaving me alone all day.  He’s worked at home for years now, even before I got sick.  I think it will be good for him to get out and go to an office…..I’ll be fine, or I’ll hire someone to come stay with me. Another big worry about Nashville…my doctor’s aren’t there.   I’d have to try to find a Neurologist that’s a headache pain specialist because I have to get the Botox shots every 3 months, and I can’t see Stuart taking a day off every 3 months to bring me to Durham.  I’d keep my ear doc, after having the second CI implant…..(I still don’t know when, I’ve had to cancel many appointments with him..dang-it.)…I won’t have to see him very often unless something goes wrong.  And it just won’t…enough of that!

I mentioned the Botox shots, I got my happy little Botox bee stings on the 7th, and I’m a happy camper!  Oh my goodness those things sure do make a difference.  I’ve gone from having pretty much, NO, pain free days, to mostly pain free or very low pain days.   I’m not afraid I’m going to run out of medication, so I take it earlier and abort the migraine before it takes hold and ruins my life. My doctor also prescribed an NSAID shot that Stuart can give me if I have a really bad headache or have one that last more days.  That makes me feel good to know that it’s available.  She also prescribed a muscle relaxer….after I asked about it….I feel that my migraines last longer because I tighten up so much during it and just can loosen up even after I’ve taken my migraine meds.  She said they do often use that as a cocktail to help.  And it has helped!   I can’t take pain medication any longer…..unless I want to itch for at least a day.  For some reason, I’ve become very sensitive to pain medication.  We’ve pretty much tried them all, but since they are mostly all opioids I’m having a lot of the same problems with all of them.   And I can’t take NSAIDs by mouth, my tummy does not like them!  So that put a big dent in how I could fight my migraines.  Now I feel we are on the right track.  I hope the Botox last a good while….I don’t want to be bombarded with migraines before it’s time to visit the Botox Bees.

There we have it, an update on my little family……oh Max is doing fine, right now he’s trying to push my laptop off my lap.  He loves me so much more when I’m doing something.

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14 thoughts on “Cough….cough….

  1. Isn’t it amazing how one thing can change so many others! I hope this discovery and resolution helps. I also can’t take nsaids because of stomach bleeds. I know things will work out for Stuart’s job situation.

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    • thanks Lisa, I’m hoping that things with the asthma work out quickly. I had an attack today and it really makes me so sick. It takes a long time to recover from it and feel like I can breathe somewhat normally again. Hope things are good on your end. love to you.

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  2. I hope the inhaler works for you. It’s so hard to try to do something when you can’t breathe properly, even something that requires mental alertness. I’m glad the botox is doing it’s magic. That’s always wonderful news.

    Hugs and love.

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    • Thank you my sunshine girl. I hope Canada is having wonderful weather, and most of the allergens are gone. You and I have both had a time of it with coughing and breathing over the last few months. I just didn’t realize how serious mine was. And yes I love my Botox bee stings…my neurologist looks like a fae, and she does work magic. Hope you are feeling better, and better.

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      • Weather sucks for us, cold north winds and rain. Temps only in 40s, won’t get better til next week. Went to the grocery store and had to use the inhaler when I got home. I can come up with reasons why I have to keep using the inhaler, and my doctor says to keep using it, but last month’s bronchitis seems to have left its mark. I just want things to get better for us.

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  3. Breathing in – Inspiration is the breath of life. It’s no wonder, Wendy, that you’ve not had the energy to be creative. I’m so sorry to hear about the on-going struggles and glad to hear about some of the small victories.
    Should you have to move it will be difficult but I know you and Stuart will persevere and make it work.

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  4. Good that some of your tiredness is linked to the level of oxygen in the blood and the breathing test. Can you regain lung function by switching to a different inhaler. COPD aids for various meds to help with breathing in between asthma attacks when using your regular inhaler.
    I used to get asthma-like symptoms after a cold or exposure to air born allergens. Then I was wheezy a lot with pressure on my chest. We did the same tests, got a script for an inhaler because I was so wheezy. Turns out my asthma-like symptoms were a symptom of acid reflux (I get only the weird, unusual, symptoms!)
    And, once again the Botox has helped with the pains — great!, and hopefully take care of any wrinkles you might have in the future, lol!
    I hope Stuart’s Nashville interviews go well, though it would be nice (for both of you) if he was home based. Sending good employment thoughts your way.

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  5. PS: which kind of doctor should I see for Botox injections. (looking in the mirror and seeing a strange, old looking person staring back.)
    Not sure my insurance would cover, but it’d be nice not to have a sort of brain strain!
    Good luck to Stuart.
    You’ve probably gone to your doctor for the shots — my teniongranes or migranation!
    Wishing you all the best!

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    • Phylor, My Botox is given by my neurologist. The injections sites do not help wrinkles. You can see where my injections sites are here: https://picnicwithants.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/not-just-for-wrinkles/ I don’t know about other Botox shots. If you meant for wrinkles, I think a dermatologist…but if it’s for migraines, a neurologist who specializes in head and facial pain. BTW…I too look in the mirror lately and think, who is this old person? and who is this fat person? It’s just strange. Then I think….I’ll be 50 July 2nd. How did I get so old.?

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      • I was being a “bit tongue in cheek” (oops, almost a pun!) about the wrinkles! I have heard of botox for migraine/facial pain, and wondered if this was something worth looking into!
        I know the mirror feeling oh too well — the day I looked into the mirror and saw my mother I knew I was no longer getting away with looking younger than I was.
        Fifty is nothing (lol); I’ve always told younger friends this is what they have to look forward to. And, yes, there can be life after (whatever milestone), just can’t promise what that life may look like.

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        • It is definitely something to look into. The Botox have been wonderful for me. It hasn’t gotten rid of all my headaches….but it doesn’t claim to. However, the migraines I am getting are much less intense. I’m so happy about that! They have a good list of doctors who specialize in this at http://www.mychronicmigraine.com/

          I know this is really an advertisement site, but it does have a good list of doctors. Mine is on there.

          It is very expensive from what I understand. Luckily our insurance covers it, I can only hope when Stuart gets a new job our new insurance will cover it.

          : )

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  6. Wendy, Some good news and some bad news, better than no news. I think about you so often and everything you have gone through, which is some pretty bad stuff in my opinion. Moving would be so difficult for you, but there have to be good doctors in Nashville. All the Country Western stars live there so good doctors should be plentiful! Good luck to Stuart!
    xoxomo

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    • thank you Mo. I think about you very often too. Funny how we think the other has been through so much, and think we haven’t been through that much. Well, I know I’ve been through a lot, but I’m dealing with it. Last year I didn’t deal with it all that well, but it’s getting better.

      I doubt we’ll move to Nashville, Stuart is not fond of the idea, and it’s not the only place talking to him. He’s just so afraid to get in a job again that he doesn’t like….unfortunately he liked his last job, and it blew up in his face, I think that is bothering him more than he knows. He’s been in a lot of jobs he hasn’t liked. He’s even thinking about changing careers. We’ll see. He’ll probably take a computer job and keep looking for something he will like more.

      Thank you for thinking of me. w

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