Walking into a new and brighter life.

Walking into a new and brighter life.

The healthy me

The healthy me

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This I know.................

This I know.................

Monday, November 18, 2013

I wish I had had the foresight to remember or jot down dates.  I will do my best to remember.
This blog was started by a frightened woman who was diagnosed with Severe Emphysema and the journey she went through to get to the healthy and peaceful life God had intended all along 
                                                    **** This is my testimony ****
On June 4th 2009  I went to the doctor for yet another cold that wouldn't go away, accompanied by a cough that was relentless.  After testing and ex rays this doctor (who was standing in that day for my regular doctor) came into a small room, handed me a nebulizer (for those of you who don't know what those are it is a tube attached to a small machine that delivers a mist with medicine inside to open up your airways).  I was very familiar with this since both parents had used them.  Just having them bring that machine into the room made me realize that this doctor visit would be different.  I was scared and crying.  I knew what was coming.
After the treatment was over the Dr. came into my room, saw me crying and said, "we found spots on your lungs and want you to see a Pulmonologist soon."  I had been to the doctor with both my parents who had Emphysema, but never remember one called a Pulmonologist.
She said she would make the arrangements and they would call me for an appointment.

I don't remember walking down the hall and through the lobby to my car.  I do remember getting into my car and taking my cigarettes out of my purse and throwing them away along with my lighter.  I sat there for what seemed like forever.  I remember people walking by and looking at me crying.  I knew what they had just told me.  It was a death sentence.  I had lived through it with both parents.
I can't remember driving home, or getting out of the car and walking in the house.  I do remember Bill asking me what drugs they gave me this time?

I told him it was serious, that the doctors found spots on my lungs and had told me they would set me up an appointment with a Pulmonologist.  What was so devastating to me, so frightening... to Bill was just another chance to condemn me for smoking all these years.
He exact words were "I told you those things would kill you, but you never listen to me".  So much for sympathy. 
Pretty much as far as Bill was concerned the next 3 years were just an opportunity to remind me I did this to myself... or to go to my doctor appointments and try and look like a big shot because he had been a paramedic.  Several times the doctors just told him they needed to concentrate on what was going on with me... so after a few months he quit going to my appointments with me.  If I knew I had a big or scary appointment coming up, Brittney would go with me and always ask a lot of questions on how I could be more comfortable, or if this drug would be better than this one.  I could always count on her to take care of me.

Shortly after my first visit to my Pulmonologist Dr. P, and after all the testing was done... the MRI's, The CT scans, the blood work, the blood gas test, the stress test, ALL the breathing tests....  The results were in.  I had Severe End Stage Emphysema, and with good care I could live 3-5 years.  I was put on Oxygen for use just around the house within a month.  By Christmas that year I was on O2 24 hours a day.

I began having these pains in my chest that came on like a heart attack.  I still have them to this day.  The first few I went to the Emergency room where they ran all the heart tests.. EKG, ECHO, hooked me up to the blood pressure machine and the pulse-ometer.  They would give me shots or sometimes pills of pain medication, and then usually about 4 hours later send me home telling me it was an Anxiety attack.
The first few of these Bill took pretty seriously, from then on,, most of the time he told me I was faking it to get attention.  He used to tell me that about my dizzy spells and forgetfulness too. 

I could probably tell you more about Copd/End Stage Emphysema than most doctors.  I know I could tell you more from a patience point of view.

The more your disease progresses (and Copd is a progressive disease) it begins to affect your heart because the heart needs O2 to function.  Without the O2 your blood pressure can get higher or lower, your pulse just doing the simplest of tasks can jump into the mid to high 100's.  Also without enough oxygen it begins to affect your brain and memory, and cognitive function.  It can make you stagger due to dizziness, sleepy all the time because without enough O2 your body has no energy to work off of.
Some time around 2011 they had told me I needed a double lung transplant, only I needed to lose 70 pounds before I would qualify.  They began sending my files to Standford Medical Center.  And in July I received word I would go there in August for a exam and interview.  Not just anyone who needs it gets a transplant qualifies for one.  There is quite a bit of criteria you need to meet.  They told me that we would need to be there about a week maybe longer if I needed therapy prior to surgery.  That they had housing right on the grounds for patients and their families but dogs were not allowed.  This through Bill into a frenzy.....  We can't take the Dogs??!!  What will become of them.  I suggested we find someone to stay at our house.  He decided he would just stay there 3 or 4 days, then come home to the dogs for 3 or 4 days.  So, I was going to be undergoing a DBL lung transplant and my caregiver only could do it part time because of our dogs.  I needed someone with me there 24 hours.  I am not sure how they would have worked it out?

It is an ugly disease that begins to take your life and dignity away at about the same rate. 
I was getting my affairs in order.  Making funeral arrangements, buying a plot or trying to decide if I wanted cremation.  Writing out my Will.  Filling out an Advanced Directive.  I was calling friends to say goodbye, and calling those who I had had issues with over the years to try and make amends.  I wanted to go peacefully and not with a life full of hatred and regret.  I wanted everyone to know what they meant to me.
I had a best friend who I had not spoken to in 14 years.  It was over a silly business thing that later we found out was instigated my our secretary.  Anyway... I had seen her around town over the years.  She had even said hi to me on several occasions and I would look away.  It had bothered me so much that we were apart.  I loved her, and always had.  So, in about June of 2011 I began to drive by her house.  Which is not easy to do, it is at the end of the road at the back of a culdesac, so at any time she could have been outside or something.  I drove by at lease once or twice a month until September.  Finally I worked up enough courage to pull into her driveway and walk up to the door.  I knocked and she came out and looked at me like I was a stranger.  She didn't know me!!  I had oxygen on and had gained around 130 pounds since she saw me last.  My skin was grey... I was not the Kellie she knew.  Finally a glint in her eye and she just wrapped her arms around me and we began to cry.  I told her I had come to make things right, and she told me.... they always had been. 
We began to walk our dogs together every day at the park.  Bill hated it... Hated her... Still does.
I saw a big difference in her.  She seemed to be more at peace.  Finally she began to tell me about getting born again, and all the wonderful changes in her life since then.  I was skeptical.  I had heard about all this God stuff and religion, and was just not sure about it.  After we spent about 6 months together, I asked her if I could come to church with her.

She smiled like the Cheshire Cat!  So, I began going.  Sunday morning Bible School, Sunday Service, Wednesday Bible Study and Thursday Bible study.  I began reading the Bible at home, which Bill scoffed at.

In May of 2011 we were told this man was coming to speak at our Church from Andrews Texas.  That he was a mighty man of God.  I was excited, because everyone else was exited!  Me carrying my oxygen bottles around in large purses volunteered for anything.  Be a greeter, sure... take the offering, sure! 

The man's name was R.L. Oop Shrauner.  The first night he was to arrive our little church was filled to the brim.  We greeted and greeted and was many unfamiliar faces, who had heard about this man coming.  So when this gentleman walked up to shake my hand, he said "This is about you!"  "I saw your face as we drove across the desert, you are going to get healed tonight." 

I can remember each word he said, but I cannot for the life of me remember if I answered him, or just stood there with my mouth hanging opened?  I looked at Kathie, and she had that Cat smile again and said Praise the Lord!

That night at the beginning of the service he called me up front.  He asked me my name and I told him Kellie.  He said Kellie tonight is your night.  He then took out some oil and put it on my forehead.  Asked Pastor Ann and his wife Patsy to come lay hands on me, and he began to pray.  Not like praying I had been used to, this sounded like it came directly from God.  My body began to tingle, my lungs began to get warm, and I felt dizzy.  It was over as soon as it started.  He said... you are healed praise the lord.  He told me to find a scripture to stand on, and to believe I am healed.

I went to all 3 of his meetings those next 3 days, and each day grew a little stronger in faith.  It wasn't what the man was saying.  It was  how Jesus worked through him.  How by him telling his story of struggling and wanting, but having the faith to always believe that God would provide for him.  And, God ALWAYS provided for him.  In supernatural ways. 

God works wonders through this man.  What a gift he has been giving.  A simple farmer, who is more comfortable in over-alls than suits.  Who loves his wife with everything he has.  Who also has a love of Chevy Trucks. He is just a man who listens to God.  Is quiet and listens, and then does what God has told him to do, even when it seems crazy!

So R.L. Oop Shrauner went back to Texas and through some odd occurrences with a few doctors I was sent to Portland for surgery, instead of Standford for a double lung transplant. 

On August 23rd I had both upper lobes removed from my lungs.  The doctors afterward said I was doing fine.  My stay at the hospital was nothing but terror.  Once taken out of ICU and put in my  own room, I was pretty much just shut away.  I was supposed to be gotten up once a day to walk the halls to help remove the fluid from my lungs and begin to get my strength back.  I was not gotten up once.  I did not receive one "sponge bath", or not once helped out of bed and to the toilet.  They would bring me water but never clean out my cup, just go to the faucet and fill it up.  I asked for ice, and it never came.  I had dinner the first night and threw it up on my bed and gown and they came in and changed the bed, but just wiped my gown.  I didn't eat anymore the entire time I was there.  I was on such heavy medication and a epidural in my back to help with the pain from the 5 chest tubes they had in me t, and I also had a pain pump that I could push the button when I needed it.  I am not sure which was the problem, but I was hallucinating terribly.  Dark, Scary things of the devil. 

On the night of the 4th day I called my daughter and asked her to come get me that I checked myself out.  I was supposed to be there 3 to 6 weeks. 

I came home, recovered.  Did everything they told me to and more.  I got back to church as fast as I could and life began to get normal again.  It took quite some time for the places where the tubes were removed to heal and not be sore.  But I was alive and well.

My first doctor appointment they told me I was doing well.  That my O2 stats were holding their own and they wanted me to come off oxygen during the day and while I was out, only to use it at night... or if I needed it.  They told me to not use my oxi-meter which shows what your O2 saturation levels are.  That they wanted me to gauge that for myself.  That took some time to get used it.  A couple weeks for me not to slide in on my finger, only to find out I was good.

My exams just kept getting better.  I began to come off of this medication, of this inhaler.  I was told I was doing everything right.  My blood pressure began to become normal, my O2 stats were staying at 97.  That is what a healthy lung SAT is!! 

I began to notice that I was losing weight... it seemed overnight.  My doctors told me they were not concerned with it as long as I was eating healthy and drinking lots of water.  To date I have lost 136 pounds and feel like I am in my 20's again. 

Sometimes around January of 2013 my Primary Care Doctor told me that a year ago she was preparing me to die, to help me through that process.  Today she said I am watching you live, and live life to it's fullest!!!!

Recently, I have had a injury to my rib and tissue around it.  Because I had lung pain... burning and stabbing when I was breathing in and out, I saw my Pulmonologist who sent me for ex rays and told me to come back the next day.  That same day I saw my Cardiologist... He told me I didn't have to come back anymore.  That my heart is perfectly healthy, my blood pressure is that of a much younger person, and I looked great!!

The next day my Pulmonologist told me something similar.... Kellie, your lungs are healthy.  You and I don't need to see each other for a year, unless something comes up and you need me!! 
He had asked me if I would be interested in going to a seminar with him to talk about Lung Volume Surgery and how well it works.  I told him I had no problem going and long as I could give glory to God for Divine healing.  Needless to say... there was no seminar for me.  lol

I have been DIVINELY HEALED.  It can be nothing else.  I recently got the surgeons records who performed the surgery on me and he gave me a 20% chance of coming though the surgery, and only a 30% chance of making it 6 months after.

I can tell you the work of the Lord is Magnificent.  I stood on Isaiah 53:4-5 .........................
Surely His has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken.
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions
He was bruised for our iniquities
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

For those who don't know this scripture is talking about Jesus on the Cross.  Where He and His own Father agreed to sacrifice him so we could have life and life more abundantly.  He took those lashes (stripes) and shed his blood for us.  Then when near death he forgave those who harmed him. 

So, that's why that scripture is so important to me.  "By His Stripes we are healed".  Praise His glorious name!

Now let's continue with Gods continued walk beside me..........................................

            ***The healing is over, a new life begins to shine***

So, as I mentioned above Bill and my marriage had been rocky for years.  If truth be known it was over years before I got sick, I just didn't have the courage to leave.
I began to go to bed early (I had my own room for probably 7 or 8 years) and read the cd's of Oop Shrauner.  Actually I forgot to mention that during those dark days before surgery, I watched those cd's every night.  It kept me in the word, it reminded me nightly that I had been prayed for and healed, and it showed me how a true Christian should live and think and behave. 
Those are mighty tapes.  I also read the Bible.  I thirsted for Gods word.  Like the mulititudes I was in awe of a man so unselfish who wanted so much good for the people and they turned their backs on him. 

The more I began to learn the Bible and expect things a certain way at home..... like no cussing, or using the Lord's name in vain, or telling dirty jokes, or watching murder on T.V. every night.  I just wanted to try and live a happy, peaceful life.  I had had so many years of darkness, of sickness, of disqust from people... I had one young man in the line at Safeway push his way in front of me (while I was sick) and the lady in front said " this woman was next".. he just said, she is damaged goods, she can wait.  No one came to defend me.  It made me not want to go into public anymore. 
So... After living like that for so long I just wanted to live.  To experience life, to live by God's word... and Bill WAS NOT having it.  It started a terrible life that I was not ready for.  He became very verbally abusive.  He began drinking at 9:00 a.m. and would go until he fell into bed at night.  He would say things to pick fights and quickly I learned not to fall for the trap.  Then it just didn't matter, everything made him mad.  My diet made him come after me with hateful words, the way I dressed annoyed him, my friends and my Church made him very hateful.
I got to where I was crying myself to sleep every night.  I needed out of there. 

A couple at our Church had bought a newer car and so one night after Bible Study I asked them if they were going to sell their old car?  That I needed one to continue to come to Bible Study and that I couldn't pay much,  but I could do payments.  She told me to let her pray on it.  The next Sunday she asked me to come into the Pastor's office.  Her and her husband had a Bill of Sale for $1.00 and had the title transferred.  I told her I only had a $5.00, she said nope just $1.00.
What a blessing they were to me, and continue to be.  That car started out as my freedom from Bill.  No longer did I need to ask or beg to have the car to go to Church or to go see my friend.

Not long after that I was still trying to figure out how or where I could move to get out and away from Bill.  Kathie (my BFF) and I were driving down the road when she called a warehouse store to thank them for a great job on a carpet install she had.  They asked her if she knew anyone who wanted a job?  Kathie said YES, I had an appointment the next day.  I walked in with confidence and told them I didn't have much to put on the application since I really haven't worked in many years.  I explained about the lung surgery but assured them I was healed and healthy.  They said they liked me but needed to see a few more and they would get back to me.  As I left I said "Thank you for this opportunity and they wouldn't be sorry."  I spoke as if I already had the job.  I have never had that kind of confidence.
That afternoon Kathie and I were pulling out of a drive through coffee house when my phone rang, they wanted me to come in and get the paperwork to take over for a drug test and I had the job!   The job paid enough wages for me to move out and after 3 months I would begin to earn a commission.

Within 2 months I had enough money to buy furniture and find an apartment.  I moved out in July and have the cutest apartment ever.

Each time I have needed God he has seen me through.  He walks with me everyday.  I don't even question it anymore, I just know.  I can tell you... my life with Jesus is so much sweeter than my life before.

I am no one special.  If God can work these Miracles in my life he will do it for you too. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

♥ This is my testimony. I am a blessed child of God. ♥

Months ago I gave control of my life to Jesus, for he knows me better and knows my needs more than I know of myself.

With Bill and my split... but still living together there have been moments that are really difficult to get through.  His drinking is getting worse, along with his prescriptions he takes.  I have always worried about the combination, but there is no telling him.  Now with the impending separation you can feel the tension at times.  There are ugly words spoken, that I know he doesn't mean.  He is hurt and lashing out and I am right here to throw it all on.  

In times past I would have cried and thought of myself as a loser, or that something must be wrong with me.  My frustration level would be through the roof, and I would get anxiety attacks and medicate myself.  

Now, I hand it over to God.  I read my bible, I study positive scripture, I stand on Jesus' promise that I am a child of God.  And because of that, I am highly favored and under the protection of the Father.  He blesses his children and saves them from condemnation.  I started to see a change in my tolerance.
I still am living with a man who at any given moment I don't know what I will encounter.  He is not violent and I don't want to give the impression that I am abused.  I have strong feelings for this man.  We have been through terrible times during our 30+ years together and came through it always together.  It's just our time to move on.  I wish him only the best.

Now for the good part!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My faith has only gotten stronger over the months.  I am spending more time with the Lord, reading his words and living life as a Christian. 

I have been praying for unmerited favor and grace.  I had been praying to God to help me find a car that I could pay off and that would be better on gas than the Dodge Durango I had.  So in March there was a couple in the church that had bought a new vehicle.  They had mentioned that they were wondering what to do with their other car.  One Wednesday after Bible Study I asked them if they would consider selling it to me.  I told them I could make only small payments because my income was only $700.00 a month, but I could also put down a small down payment.  She told me... "Let me pray over it and I will get back with you."  The next Sunday she pulled me into an office and said we have agreed to sell you the car, here is the bill of sale sign here as the buyer.  I looked at the paper to begin to read it and saw the price of $1.00.  Yes ONE dollar!  Praise God.  This was just the beginning of blessings God had for me.

When Bill and I decided to split I began to pray for a house.  One that I could afford and that would be easy to pay off after the sale of our house.  Not long after that my best friend told me that she had a house she would sell to me for $45,000.  It over looks the lake and the park.  The view is amazing and the house has so many possibilities, it's amazing.  It has tenants in it right now, but it has been taken care of very well.

Yesterday out of the blue I was asked to call a woman about a job I didn't ask for, nor knew nothing about. Today I had an interview and 3 hours later was hired at Diamond Home Improvement (a store like Home Depot) as a Sales Specialist in the flooring department. I will make a good hourly wage plus receive a very nice commission on all sales I make, not only that but I will have a 401k and full benefits. 

This makes it possible to begin to rent "my" house within a few months and begin my independence, my peaceful existence, my new life... taking care of just me.

No one can tell me this is not of God. I praise Him and give Him all the glory!

This will allow me to support myself with no fear of lack.

A year ago my doctors gave me 3 years to live. Who would have thought I would be healed so quickly? Who would have thought I could manage a full time job? Who would have thought I could be independent and live my life according to Gods will?

This is God's works. God is good, he wants the best for us and all we have to do is to believe we will receive it, and give him thanks and the glory!!

Thank you Father!! ♥ This is my testimony. I am a blessed child of God. ♥

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Everyone should have a chance at a new beginning.

I have taken a few knocks for not blogging enough since my surgery and healing.  
I put years into this blog.  Blogging about everything: very personal, sad, pathetic, heartfelt and happy.  I have had a very hard time coming back here and blogging negativity.  This blog is a large part of my life; of who I am and why I am the person I am now.

My daughter is expecting a baby boy in April.  My first grandson!  I couldn't be happier for her and Fernando, and Layla too.  I love my church and the people there.  I love all the pastors and congregation.  I have found a long lost friend who I love spending time with.  I have bible studies 2 or 3 days a week.  I am living in a body that now responds to my physical demands, so I am enjoying going to the gym as often as possible. 

Does one try and push aside life's painful experiences and focus on the good?  I do.... And, I have been.

For some time my private life has been a mess and I prefer not to dwell on it.  I prefer to look forward at everything life has for me in the future.

Exactly this time last year Bill asked me for a divorce.  Well he did again a few months ago.  This time he told me that he doesn't love me anymore.  That he wants to move on, and will be moving out of the state as soon as we can get our "lives" separated.  We have still been living together and he is drinking, which makes things very volatile.  I don't know if I am coming home to good Bill or angry Bill.  He wants to live as roommates, yet there are so many feelings involved that it is an impossible request.  

I still love him, and I suspect he still loves me.  I think he spent so many years being my care giver that now having a healthy me around, he doesn't feel like he has control anymore.  No more does he need to cook and clean for me.  I can do my own shopping, and I can clean house.  I think he misses that control.  He has been a care giver and one of those people who always wants to take care of those he loves..... that now cutting the strings and letting me go do things alone bothers him.  

I found out that I love life.  I love Church.  I love exercising.  I love being out and about, and he prefers to stay home.  I did that for too long.  I wonder if this sort of thing happens to people who come through serious diseases and their spouses can't adjust.

I told him when I was sick that I just wanted to get out and live life before it was too late.  Well, now I am living and I won't just sit at home any longer and talk about things to do.

So... That's why I haven't been here for a while.  I just wanted to get through this privately.  But I suppose once I began opening up I lost the right to privacy?  That was suggested.  I don't want anyone to think that you following this blog didn't mean anything to me, because it did and still does.  I thought part of this blog was venting, but also a large part of it would be helping people going through the same circumstances, and yes having a support system of those who chose to follow me. 

Once I had my surgery and it went so well, I thought it might be time for a break before I continued the next chapter.  

I will be back more often to post.  I may begin slowly to change my future to more of a private life.  I hope my friends will understand.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

We had a wonderful sermon today at Life Community Church.  Our Associate Pastor talked about something that was dear to her heart.  By the grace of God it was also something I had been praying for....  Something I could do to sow good seed and to help others prosper.  I had been praying for the Holy Spirit to show me my work.  I think I heard the message!  :)

Ann (Our beloved Associate Pastor) began to talk about the mission we have here in town and the need that exists there.  For a small community like ours, last year they fed nearly 118,000 people.  Ever increasing are meals served to families and children.  It used to be our Mission was used mainly by the transients who came through town.  Today we were made aware that this year most of those meals are being served to families, who come 2 or 3 times a week to feed their families so they can save money for rent and utilities.  

After church I came home and knowing Bill usually cooks Thanksgiving dinner I asked him if he would mind me going to the mission to offer my help.  He agreed that it would be a wonderful thing to do.  And, to bless me more... Brittney said that she would like to do it also and bring Layla so she could see that other little children don't have all things she does.  She is hoping to teach Layla that giving feels good and is a nice thing to do for others who may not have all that she does.

I could not be prouder that all the women in my family will be at the mission this Thanksgiving!  

I plan on making this a monthly thing for me.  I have been so fortunate with health and my needs that I have a need to give back.  

Tonight my prayers will be thanking Jesus for showing me my purpose.  I may not be able to help anyone with money, but I can surely offer my help.

One last thing before I say goodnight.... Tomorrow at 10:00 I have my first appointment with a personal trainer at the gym.  I am both excited and nervous.  lol  I'll let you know how things go!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I can see my toes again!!

Almost a year ago on January 5th, 2012 I decided to be honest with everyone about my weight.  I actually got the nerve up to take photo's in my underwear and bra.  You have no idea how difficult it was just for me to see that, let alone share it with the world.

Today almost a year later I took a new picture.  Here is then and now.

I still have a ways to go.  I have went from a size 3x to a size 12 almost to a 10 now.  

God has been so good to me.  Since my lung surgery I have healed so quickly, and had no issues with  limitations.  I breezed through physical therapy and tomorrow I am joining a gym.  

The irony does not escape me that I was 47 and 100+ pounds overweight, told that I may only have 5 years to live without major surgery, and only IF I qualified for the surgery.  First I would have to lose at least 70 pounds.  At that time I thought that was impossible.  
Now I am 50 and feeling healthier and stronger than I have since my 20's.  

I am looking forward to beginning the gym and to continue to get stronger and stronger.  

I have not forgotten that Emphysema is progressive, but I can slow down the continued progression if I can keep a strong body.  I have not forgot and I realize that even with good health and exercise I still will one day be looking for a transplant hospital.  But now I am convinced it is YEARS ahead of me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I am feeling amazing

It's been 3 weeks since I have written.  I have had 6 Physical Therapy appointments.  I am working on my back, my core, my arms and legs.  Isn't that pretty much every part of my body?  
I know that I leave there and feel like my legs and arms are noodles.  Today not only was my back sweating, but my butt was too!  Glamorous huh?  lol

As hard as I can work out my O2 saturation is still not going below 90 which is great.  

I honestly have not felt this good since I was in my 30's.  I am now a size 12, down from a 3x.  Needless to say I have had to buy all new clothes, bra's and undies and a coat.  It gives me that much more confidence that I won't allow myself to gain weight and to keep losing.  I would like to settle at a size 10 or 8, and lose another 20 pounds.  
I have lost several inches since surgery.  

I still have this blob in my stomach which pooches out from the Fibroid Tumor on my uterus.  I am hoping in January to have the surgery back in Portland to have it removed.  
It seems that Bill needs to have his knee replaced, so I will plan my surgery after his so I can take care of him.  Lord knows he took care of me long enough.  

As much as I am getting used to me living in a healthy body... Bill still hasn't.  I have to call and check in with him everywhere I go.  He constantly reminds me to take medication or to not forget my O2 at night.  When I go to Physical Therapy he tells me not to over do it.  I think we both need to watchfully realize that I am not the damaged person I was 2 months ago.  Still being careful and to listen to my body, but I am ready to live now.

I am finding my faith getting stronger, which makes my spirit just want to shine.  I am struggling and praying for Bill to make small changes like terrible cussing and drinking.  It's sometimes difficult to remain positive when he gets so negative.  I just keep on praying for him.  I can't get enough Church.  I would go every night if Bill wouldn't put his foot down.  Already I am going on Sunday's then twice a week to Bible Study.  

I will keep posting and letting you know how things are coming along.  I have a feeling I might put up the Christmas Tree this week.  I will have to talk Bill into putting the lights up outside before the snow sticks.  
I'll post pictures after it's all done.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I am learning to be healthy

I have found out that years of watching every thing you do, everything you eat, every place you visit... to finally have freedom takes a while.

I still carry O2 in the car with me just in case.  I really haven't tested myself too hard.  I go grocery shopping, I go to Church and Bible study twice a week.  I volunteer on Saturdays for the Democratic party in town.  I do a little retail therapy with a girlfriend once in a while.  That's been about it.  Probably the most strenuous thing I have done is vacuuming, which I take breaks and sit down to let my heart rate go back down.

I went to my Cardiologist last Tuesday and he said I have made a remarkable recovery.  :-)  I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that.  He even removed one heart medication from my huge list of meds.  This Tuesday I went to my Primary Care Doctor and she said all my "stats" are O.K.,  She was checking my incisions from the surgery and felt 2 lumps in my breast.  She said she thinks they are only cyst's and I will have an ultra-sound next week to look at them.  I am not worried.  I think after everything I went through God wouldn't let this get me down.

Other than that I feel wonderful.  I have bought new clothes and got my hair re-done.  I can wear jewelry for the first time in 3 1/2 years.  I am still losing weight and actually will start Physical Therapy to begin to build back up my core muscles and stamina next Thursday.

I'll blog later with some results.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

This is a letter that was posted on BecomeAnEx.org a quit smoking site that I joined to quit smoking once I was diagnosed.  It touched me so much I wanted to post it here.

Dear Kellie,
August 27, 2010 by pir8fan Comments (9)

You don't know me, and I don't know you, but I sure would like to meet you! I have read your words and marveled at your courage for a while now! I look around and see so many with so much to be thankful for who "try" to quit smoking! We sit around our keyboards and pat each other on the back and talk about how hard it is to quit! We do not discuss the hardships associated with not quitting! Those reallties are a little too scary to talk about! Where is our courage?

Then we come to you! In an open and frank discussion of your real life, you force, us to look into the mirror. And often we turn away, at a loss for words. How hard it must be to spend your life trying to divert us from the trap you fell into, and seeing the indifference to your warning! Yet you summon up another snifter of courage, and and battle on. You struggle for everyone of us, in a tireless manner, and never looking for anything in return! I wish I had something to offer you, besides my unwavering respect! That and this salute to true courage!

One day we shall all take our last breath before we go and stand before our Maker. Shakespear said thru the words of Jullis Caesar " Cowards die many times before their death, but the valiant taste of death but once." I pray that we might all face our future with the courage you display everyday. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you face each new challenge. Forever, Tommy


hear! hear!

Dawn 2 days ago

well said! Thanks

onvacation 2 days ago

Thank-you for including us in this moving letter to this awesome woman!

LaurieA 2 days ago

Tommy - You are such a dear man! Thank you for this beautiful letter to Kellie. I have always said that I can't even imagine how difficult this journey of quitting would be if I wasn't in the best of health. Those who do it amaze me...those who do it and help others do it - have "true courage" as you said! Thank you!

Strudel 2 days ago

I feel privileged to be part of this letter. God bless Kellie and her efforts to help save others from the ugly truths of the effect of smoking. Everyday I see more and more people here that have been touched by her and there lives forever changed for the bettter. I have no doubt many lives will be saved because of her courage. Thanks Tommy for your beautiful touching tribute.

marie Burgess 2 days ago

Very powerful. Everyone needs to read what she has to say. I dare anyone to feel sorry for themselfs afterwards. God bless this dear woman.

daisy 2 days ago

I came in this morning and saw this, looked away, started reading, stopped, and then through teary eyes finished reading it. It took me a little longer to be able to read the comments.

Why is it that hearing nice things is more difficult than hearing the bad? Thank you for the beautiful words, it is humbling, As much as you say I have helped someone else, I feel they have helped me. Anyway, I am trying to find of a nice way to show my appreciation and how much it means to hear such nice and kind words.... I am just stumbling. Thank you too <3 br="br">
Kellie yesterday

I went back and read my blogs today and noticed that the very first day I quit, on my very first blog, the very first person to reply is our dear Kellie!!! <3 br="br">
Dawn yesterday

Mom, I love you and this sweet man Tommy has made it clear what an incredible woman you are and what strength you have. Through all of this pain and sadness there will come happiness. You helped me be the strong woman I am today so I know with the strenth and power in you, you will make it through this and help people along the way. I love you and I am glad others are seeing what we've seen all along! You are my strength... You are my world... I love you!

Brittney yesterday

Getting used to the new me

I got home yesterday from my post-op appointment with my surgeon.  
First they removed all my stitches and said my wounds are healing nicely.  They said 2 or 3 more weeks and I can swim again and take baths (yeah!!).  They still want me to stay on my pain medication full time and take the next 2 weeks easy.  But, then I can begin to exercise again!

I have an oxymeter which tells me by putting it on my finger what my O2 saturation level is and my heart rate.    Since surgery I have used it often to see if the surgery worked.  Most the time I had really good stats, but as before when I got up and worked a little my heart rate would sore and my O2 level would drop.

The doctors told me to try very hard not to use it.  To listen to my body as to when to slow down, sit down and deep breath, and when I may need a little O2.  That I have to build up my core again and become stronger before I can cut down and come off the O2 while exercising, or activity.

I have to say it is hard for me to live now as a healthy person.  I want to pick up that oxymeter and use it always to tell me when I am O.K. and when I am not.  I have a very hard time trusting myself to be responsible for me.  So, I am still using the oxymeter every so often.  

I will get used to the new health plan.  It has changed 100%.  No O2!  Wow!  For a while I will still carry it with me... just in case.  But, chances are I will not need it.  I can control it myself.  I have to keep telling myself that.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My 5 days post surgery

The 22nd as planned I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 for my surgery at 7:00.  Brittney, Bill and Layla were there with me and my brother was on his way from his hotel to reach me before I went "under".

Honestly, I don't recall that day or the 23rd and 24th.  Parts of those days are sketchy.  Bill, Britt and Greg left by Friday the 24th.  I was under the impression that Bill or Brittney would stay with me at the hospital until my release... taking turns and coming back to Klamath Falls in-between.  The nursing staff told them I needed rest and they didn't want them in my room.  I kept telling them to just leave and go home and take care of things, that I had good nurses and I would just be laying around being drugged and the hospital staff could take care of whatever I needed.

The 22nd through the 24th I was in the Trauma ICU.  I was well cared for, fed, bathed or washed off, helped to the commode, had my I.V.'s flushed every day, was given all my medications, had water or ice chips without even asking.  They were good nurses who knew what I needed before I even asked for it.

Then around the evening of the 24th they told me as soon as a bed was ready on the recovery ward I would be moved.  Friday night/Saturday morning around midnight I was transferred.  

Being on such heavy drugs I had been hallucinating the entire time and getting moved late night in the dark surely fed into my paranoia.  So began the worse experience of my life.  Each day several times Bill, Brittney, Greg and Robbin (my brothers) would call and ask how I was doing.  Even in my darkest times I always told them "fine".  I didn't want anyone to think they had to drop what the were doing and run to take care of me.  

I can't honestly remember much of the next 3 days so I will only comment on what I know to be fact.

In this room my door stayed shut and the lights remained off, unless a doctor came in the check my tubes or remove them and my epidural, the rest of the time I remained in the dark.  Yes, there was a T.V. but I could figure out how to change the channels.  I slept most of the time.  I was supposed to be given a shot in the stomach once a day to help keeps clots from forming, out of 3 days there.. I got only one shot.  I would call the nurse to help me to the bathroom and she would say back on the speaker that it would be a while.  So, I always got up by myself to use the bathroom.  They had one of those buckets in it to measure stuff.  The entire time there no one checked it, and I was the only one to empty it.  I never was cleaned up or washed.  I through up one day all over my bedding and I called the nurse, she came in and removed the sheets and changed the sheets.  I asked her for new clothes and a washcloth.. nada.
I would occasionally leak urine on my bed and just sit in it until I had enough stamina to get up and get new underwear and a "leak pad".

Sunday night the doctor came in and took out the last chest tube.  I began to tell him how filthy I felt and that I had asked for help but no one ever showed up.  He was the one to tell me I needed to go home.  That I was at more risk being in the hospital for germs and bacteria and pneumonia.  So, Monday morning I called Britt and told her to come and get me.  

My conclusion and advice to anyone facing a major surgery is this.......
Family is there to help you.  I should have never thought I was a burden to them, and insisted that someone stay there with me.  When you are in the hospital alone you are at the mercy of the staff.  If you have someone there on  your behalf then they can demand a bath, or less drugs, or new clothes, or just better care.  That's my surgical story.

I am doing fine at home.  
Thank everyone for their prayers.  I needed every one of them.

Lung Volume Surgery benefits to emphysema patients

Lung-volume reduction surgery benefits emphysema patients

By Gila Z. Reckess
A procedure known as lung-volume reduction surgery (LVRS) appears to improve overall health and quality of life for individuals with end-stage emphysema, and these effects last as long as five years in more than half of this population, according to School of Medicine researchers.
The findings appear in the March issue of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
Principal investigator Joel D. Cooper, M.D. (right), the Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery and head of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stephen S. Lefrak, M.D., medical director of the Lung-Volume Reduction Program, and their colleagues found that the success of lung-volume reduction surgery in patients with severe emphysema is overwhelming. – Photo by Bob Boston
The procedure was developed at the School of Medicine in 1993 by the study’s principal investigator, Joel D. Cooper, M.D., the Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery and head of the Division of Cardio-thoracic Surgery.
“Evidence of the success of this surgery in patients with severe emphysema is overwhelming, and these latest findings confirm and underscore its potential for treating this critically ill population,” Cooper said. “This publication represents a major, interdisciplinary team effort, which depended on expertise from a variety of areas, including pulmonary medicine, anesthesiology and nurse coordination.”
Emphysema is characterized by destruction and overinflation of the lungs. As the lungs become progressively bloated, they fill the chest cavity and thorax, making it difficult to expand and contract during normal breathing.
The disease relentlessly progresses and is responsible for close to 17,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
In select patients, LVRS provides an alternative to lung transplantation, which until recently was the only option for patients with end-stage lung disease that cannot be controlled with drugs. By removing the most diseased portions of the lung, the procedure provides the lungs with more room to expand within the chest cavity.
Though LVRS is not a cure for emphysema, studies suggest that the surgery increases breathing capacity by more than 50 percent. Such improvements allow otherwise debilitated individuals to resume many normal, daily activities, including moderate exercise.
This study is the first to examine the long-term endurance of patients following surgery.
The research team maintained a detailed database of lung function and quality-of-life assessments for the first 250 patients who underwent LVRS at Barnes-Jewish Hospital between January 1993 and June 2000.
Follow-up evaluations were performed six months and one year after surgery and again each year afterward. Patients were followed for an average of 4.8 years.
All participants first were enrolled in a rehabilitation program for about three months prior to surgery and were given medical and dietary programs to make sure they were as healthy as possible for the operation. They also remained on fitness and medical regimens after surgery.
At the conclusion of the study, more than 60 percent of the 250 patients were still alive, and only 18 patients had received a lung transplant since undergoing LVRS. Without surgery, it is estimated that half of the 250 patients would have died within three years and that those still alive after five years would have significantly deteriorated.
Overall, the surviving LVRS patients still had measurable improvements in lung function after five years. For example, patients were tested to see how much air they could blow out in one second, a measurement known as forced expiratory volume.
Six months after surgery, 95 percent of patients had improved on this test by an average of 54 percent. After five years, 53 percent of patients still had better scores than before surgery, though they were only 7 percent better.
The team also measured the amount of air left in the lungs after a deep exhale, a value called residual volume. People with healthy lungs have low residual-volume scores because very little air remains in the chest cavity after breathing out.
Evaluations six months and one year after surgery revealed that 90 percent of participants had improved residual-volume scores, and that residual-volume values declined an average of 30 percent. After five years, 79 percent still had better residual-volume scores than before surgery, and the average improvement was 14 percent better than pre-surgery scores.
Quality-of-life assessments also were positive: Almost 80 percent of patients still reported better quality-of-life scores five years after surgery than before surgery.
“This procedure is not a cure for emphysema,” Cooper said. “No matter how successful the operation, emphysema continues to degrade the lungs and progressively impairs breathing.
“However, our results confirm that LVRS can in fact extend patients’ lives and allow them to continue participating in normal activities of daily living.”
Determining selection criteria is one of the most controversial issues in measuring the effectiveness of LVRS. Therefore, Cooper’s team analyzed data from patients with potential risk factors.
The team found that individuals who required surgery to the lower portion of the lungs benefited from the procedure, but their lung function degraded faster than in individuals with damage to the upper portion of the lungs. Other identified risk factors include advanced age, male gender and very low forced expiratory volume.
“We strongly believe that patient selection is one of the keys to success for this procedure,” Cooper said. “With rigorous preoperative preparation and stringent participation criteria, lung-volume reduction surgery appears to improve life expectancy and quality of life for patients who otherwise have very poor prognoses.”

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Time for LVRS

I have been holding off writing this blog.  The less I think about it, the less real it seems.  Nice that I picked now to be a scaredy cat!  

I'll get to the essentials first:

On the 19th we will drive 5 hours up to Portland.  We will make one pleasant stop along the way to meet one of my friends from the "Ex" smoking site that I belong to.  I am really looking forward to that.
The 19th we will just drive and get to the hotel and rest.  
I am finding that for long periods of time the vibration of the car on the road bothers my lungs and makes me cough.  This is a new condition, or maybe not?  I really haven't had many long trips in a car until recently.

The 20th I have a meeting with the surgical staff to go over the surgery and what to expect, what can happen, and answer any questions.

The 21st I will go back to the hospital to have a pre-op visit and have most likely blood work, maybe some testing like MRI or Ex-Rays or whatever.  Then I am told to go back to the hotel and relax, eat a good meal and get a good nights rest!!!  LOL  I am sure I will sleep like a baby.

The 22nd I am to shower, wash and do my hair and this will be the only time in at least a week that I can shave my legs.  This has to be done around 4:00 a.m. so I can be at the hospital in the surgical unit by 5:30 a.m..
Surgery is to last 3 to 6 hours.  They will put 3 holes from my arm pit down on my side.  They will repeat this on both sides, then put one hole either in my chest or in my back.  These holes is how they will do the surgery.  They will be using camera's, suction, a cutter that has a stapler attached.  Then they will remove what they need to.  Try and make sure there are no air leaks, which is common.  

I will be in ICU at least one day, then taken to a private room where there is a bed for Bill or Brittney.  I think they are planning on taking turns staying with me.  They will have me up walking the first day out of ICU and keep it going a little longer everyday.  I will be sitting in a chair a lot.  Many people get pneumonia while recovering from these surgeries.  So I will be upwards as much as possible.

I don't really have many comments about this, except to say if something were to happen to me... Jesus look after my family and give them strength.

I don't want to talk to much about fear.  Because I have been prayed over and have healing in the lord.  I also truly believe that either way "I" will be fine.  Either I go to be with Jesus... or I come home to my family. It's my family I worry about.  So... I won't go on any further.  

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as well as my family and my doctor.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A hopeful update

It's been a long time since I have blogged.  Shame on me!  There were times I wanted to come here and write, but I did not want to complain, other times I didn't feel well enough to spend time sitting here using my brain to come up with words lost to me.

So much has gone on since I was last here, so this may be a long blog.  Hang in there.... take a break and go for a walk if you get tired of reading!  ;)

I will start with my emphysema which is what started this blog in the first place.  I have had some rough times in the last months.  There is a terrible heavy pain that used to come and go.  Now it stays and I find myself taking pain medication and gritting my teeth through it daily.  (I dislike pain meds very much)  Because my lung function has declined so much now most of the new symptoms are showing up in my heart.  I am now told to use SALT.    For so long I had been dieting and had been told to stay off the salt, so it had been a few years that I wasn't using it.  Now I find out that it will help raise my low blood pressure (68/54) or a little higher most times.  
I was informed today by my Primary Care Dr. that when blood pressure gets that low it is trauma criteria.  Who knew???  When I get really dizzy or my head gets fuzzy I go lay down with pillows under my feet for an hour or so, and it slowly rises.  She told me I should be at the hospital then.  I know the procedure.... I go into the emergency room... they take my vitals, check for blood clots, ex-ray my chest, give me pain meds and after about 4 hours..... send me home.
I also was put on Digoxion and was told today that Monday morning not to take my meds and to go back to the Dr. to get a Digoxion level.  They think they may increase it to get my pulse rate down which still is running above 100 even resting.

My Pulmonologist sent me to Portland to see a CardioThorasic Surgeon about doing a Lung Volume Reduction Surgery.  It took a few weeks to get all the paperwork sent up and then the beginning of June Britt and I went up to the Oregon Health Sciences Medical Center.  The first day I saw the CardioThorasic surgeon and he went over my files and the testing I had done here by my Pulmonologist.  He told us that he hopes that one set of numbers is wrong, because if they aren't wrong then it means I have a lung defect which disqualifies me for LVRS and puts me right into a double lung transplant.
So he scheduled a full day of testing in July that I will go back up for.
Then the 2nd day I saw an OBGYN Dr. concerning my hysterectomy and fibroid tumor that I need removed.  She examined me and said that she would do the surgery, but first wanted me to see a URO-OBGYN, to see about putting a mesh sling in during the hysterectomy.  Having two surgeries at once would put less strain on my heart and lungs.  
I could not get an appointment with her then so I will see her in July when I come back for lung testing and hopefully scheduling this surgery.

The Cardio Dr. told me he was already made aware of this issue and suggested I have that surgery first so I would have time to heal and make sure there are no infections and everything is healed or healing nicely before he would mess with my lungs.

So actually I know nothing new... but I am now at the right hospital and talking to the right surgeons.  I am hoping my next appointments with them will help me get some answers and maybe even take steps toward fixing some of this.

So, I believe I mentioned in my last blog that I had started to go to church again.  I can't remember where I heard it but someone said they had also been a crisis Christian.  Boy I hope I am more than that!
I am a child of God.  I feel his spirit and have been healed.  I still struggle with this however.  God's goodness and forgiveness is sometimes hard to imagine in a world so much in chaos.  Our Associate Pastor ordered a small pocket book written by Dodie Osteen.  It's titled "Healed of Cancer".  
She writes about being diagnosed with metastatic cancer of the liver, and with or without chemo or surgery she would only have a few weeks to live.

She went home and told her husband and they began to pray.  She told her family she didn't want to hear the words cancer or death or sickness in their house.  She asked god for healing and god always gives you what your heart desires.  She read scriptures everyday, even as she felt the symptoms she would keep going... doing house chores, cooking, laundry and taking care of her family.  Continuing to pray and thank the lord for healing and speaking of his healing words which she knew were acting in her body, even on those days she lay in bed unable to get up.  She would push forward the next day.  
Having total faith, never wavering and when she doubted she would first tell the devil to stand away that god had her in his care.

She was sent home to die, but God had a different idea for her.
She was healed 100%.  Her doctors believe it was supernatural healing.    

So I read her book every day and pray the same scriptures that she listed for healing and even though I pray to Jesus for healing and thank him, every once in a while fear and doubt sneak in. 
I wonder why I am worthy?  I am because I turned myself over to God.  
I can say that I feel now so much more at peace and lighter.

My worries are just not there like they used to be.  It caught me off guard at the Dr. this morning to hear words like terminal and 3 to 5 years survival.  I had been all this time knowing that things were getting worse but just not paying attention.  
Now instead of fearing what is ahead, I need to believe the doctors have healing power.  That God promised it to me.  When I have those moments (which are getting fewer and fewer) I rebuke Satin and restore my love and trust to the Lord.
I am doing my best to live the life he wants me to.  After years away it is wonderful to be back and in a church that feels like home.  So, I don't consider myself a crisis Christian.  Just a child of God.

We went over Father's Day back to Bend to meet up with my brother and our cousin.  Every year we meet to have a little memorial and to catch up with each other.
We had a beautiful suite right on the Deschutes River, extra comfy bed and a fireplace. We'll go back there next year.  Everyone was so nice.

These are pictures of the spot where Mom, Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Donna's ashes were spread.  I love this cannon.  It is so peaceful up there!  I am not sure how many more years I will be able to make the climb, but I will go every year as long as possible.

So, after such a long silence...... I will be back to update after my Portland trip.  Sorry to all of those who follow my blog for the long absence.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A hospital stay

It's been another week or so since I have written.  Let me see, where should I start?

A few day after my last appointment with my Primary Care Dr. I was playing with Priscilla on the floor... on my hands and knees bouncing back and forth on my hands and she would chase them.  I twisted wrong and felt a RIP and then immediately it started to burn.  It was pretty late in the afternoon so I just took some extra pain meds and went to bed.  When I woke up from a terrible nights sleep the next morning it was still burning like fire and I could not stand up straight, so I called her for an appointment.

I got into see her at 3:30 she saw the pain I was in... gave me 2 shots in each "cheek" and sent me to the hospital for a contrast CT scan.  Shortly after I was admitted.  This was Thursday.  For the next 3 days they gave me Dilotid (sp?) and (Demerol) and both made me terribly sick.  I had a terrible headache and was throwing up everywhere.  Finally Saturday afternoon I asked the nurse to get a hold of my Dr. and see if I could be taken off those pain meds and just put back on my normal pain medication (Vicodin).  Finally I began to feel better, I even ate dinner Saturday night, and came home Sunday evening.

I still have pain, she said a torn muscle will take some time to heal.  Of course with every sneeze or cough or sudden movement I want to crawl out of my skin!!  But, I am home and getting back to normal.

I went for my cardiologist appointment and he told me that I am showing signs of A-Fib.... which means suddenly I begin to sweat, feel dizzy and light headed and my blood pressure drops around 75/53.  All I do is for about 45 minutes to an hour I lay down with my feet above my heart and breath.  Eventually my blood pressure comes back up and I feel fine.  He thinks it is my lungs that is causing this.  He says so far my heart is healthy.  It is just reacting to things going on in my heart.

Then I went to my Pulmonologist appointment later that day and he said my sleep lab hadn't changed from 2 years ago, so all is good there.  His Respiratory Therapist told me she had talked to Stanford and they have sent my file to my insurance company for approval and once they have approval they will call me to come down for a evaluation.  

So, I am practicing patience.  I am not dwelling on being sick or having  pain.  I am doing my best to be kind to me every day.  I am still losing weight, however the stay in the hospital with all the fluid they gave me had me gaining 7 pounds.  5 of which I have already lost and I am back on the protein shakes and one meal of 4 ounces of protein with plenty of veggies.

Once again... with any new news I will let you know.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More meds but no word from Stanford yet

It's been a week again.  I am sorry for not keeping up on this better.  It is Spring Break and so we are helping Britt with Layla more.  She exhausts me.  In a good way most days.  She is a only child (more or less... Fernando has a daughter who is hardly ever around) and so she demands attention and doesn't play by herself very well.  So, we read, we color, we watch her cartoons, we play ridiculous singing games.  

I am not sure if I mentioned in my last blog that my blood work came back showing my thyroid levels were normal, but that my iron levels were very low.  
Also, my CT scan for the Thyroid came back good only showing that my right lymph node was enlarged.

So, I went to my Primary Care Dr. yesterday afternoon.  Like every time I have an appointment with her she cracks up at me.  Nothing with me is ever normal.  She cracked up about the "2 week" thing I seem to have going on.  Every doctor, nurse, hospital says I will hear from them in "2 weeks"!    
She increased my iron to twice a day for a month, then I'll have more blood work to see if it is rising.  She found a long acting medication to take the place of Vesicare... I only take it once a day and it is supposed to not have the dry mouth side effect.  I am waiting for my insurance company to approve the new drug.

She examines me and thumps on my forehead, cheeks and feels my throat, looks in my ears, makes me say AWE and tells me I have a severe chronic sinus infection and an infected lymph node on my right side.  Which would explain why my neck hurt.  She still wonders why my throat feels like it is hard to swallow, or my throat is narrowing.  This could have something to do with my infection.
so... I am on anti-biotics (horse pills) for 30 days possibly longer.

Then she asks me about my problem with my Gynecologist?
I told her that I liked him when I had my first visit.  He made me feel comfortable during his exam, and then took probably 30 minutes or more talking to me.... which I greatly appreciated.  Then he scheduled me for the pelvic ultra sound and found the fibroid and enlarged uterus.  But I never heard back from him or his office.  I had to call his office for an explanation and then I didn't hear any news only that he wanted me to go to the Urologist in Medford.  And, even then I had to hear all the results from my Primary Dr..  So, I told her my problem with him is just not hearing back from him and feeling like I have to be a mind reader to find out any information.
And, I told her I feel like he is afraid of me.  I heard from some Dr. (I can't remember who) that he thinks I need to be sent to a much bigger hospital with a good respiratory department to undergo ANY surgery because of my lung damage and the real possibility that I will have problems coming off of a ventilator.

So, she (my Primary Dr.) tells me that she would prefer a surgeon who is cautious and knows that I have a problem being put under for surgery.  That she agrees it would be frustrating not hearing from him or his staff regarding results... follow up appointments or something, but she said she would call him and discuss what is to be done.

I mentioned to her that the more I lose weight and my "middle" shrinks the more the tumor is bothering me and becoming painful.  There is less fat for it to snuggle into and I have this lump that looks like a baby bump!  lol

I have an appointment tomorrow for a Echo cardiogram and then a follow up appointment with my Cardiologist next week.  Also next week I have an appointment with my Pulmonologist to go over the results of my sleep study.  The following week I have an appointment with my Dentist.  Whew.....  Dr.'s Dr.'s Dr.'s!!

Tuesday I made an appointment to get my hair cut.  It needs it so bad.  All this medication is killing it and making it even straighter if that is possible.  Plus it is just dead and dull.  So, I am looking forward to that.  

I will proudly say that I have went from a size 3x or 22 to a size 16 and those fit well, so I might even drop down another size soon.  :)  This makes me very happy.  I needed to be at a lower weight for transplant and I am there.  Of course I am on the high side of alright, so I have room to lose much more.  

Church is continuing to bless me.  My dear friend Kathie gave me a beautiful gift of a Woman's Study Bible, and she put tabs on it for me, so I can actually find what we are studying.  Which reminds me.... my Primary Dr. asked me if I had gotten a hold of a counselor and started counseling?  I said no, but I have started going to church which has helped with my stress and anxiety. 

O.K. ..... I think that catches us up once again.  I will as always keep you updated as I hear anything.