Walking into a new and brighter life.

Walking into a new and brighter life.

The healthy me

The healthy me

Finding your way around

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

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Testing is done & a weight is lifted :)

Lot's to update you on.

I now have had all the tests that Seattle University of Washington wanted me to have.  The last appointment that I had was with my Pulmonologist's nurse and she is a doll.  I had a full Pulmonary Function Test and then she tested my blood gases.  She asked me if the Dr. had gone over Nancy's (from Seattle) information with me.  I said no.  She asked me if he talked at all with me about Seattle.  I said the only thing he had told me was at the last meeting with him that he wanted me in Seattle by winter and I needed to pick a transplant hospital.  She sighed, then went on................................

First of all, the reason he wanted me to pick a transplant hospital and have them familiar with me was because at this stage of emphysema/copd if I were to have a lung collapse or in case of emergency they would need to know where to send me.  Oregon does not have a specialized lung hospital that can do transplants or Lung Volume Reduction surgeries.  She told me that my Pulmonary function (FEV1) level is high 30's 37/38.  And, in order to be put on the transplant list levels need to be nearing 20.  She said it is shameful that the criteria is so low for transplant, that is a lot of suffering, but that is the standard.  So..... I have time.  She couldn't tell me how much time, only that how many exacerbation's I have and my over-all health will have an effect on my time.

I asked her about the BMI, and she said she didn't recall Nancy mentioning that, however she would measure for me.  She did, and I am @ 36% BMI... I need to be @ 32% for LVRS and 30% for transplant.  That made me feel so much better.  That is within my reach.  She figured that for me to be @ 32 BMI that would be around 186 pounds.  I can do that standing on my head.  My goal was far beyond that anyway.

She said once all my test results were sent and received and looked over I would be getting a call from Seattle for an appointment.  She said most likely February. 

All in All I came home elated.  This was good news for me.  Also, my blood gas tests showed that I can be without oxygen on room air for about an hour at a time if I am not moving around.  :) :) :)  This pleases me very much. 

We went to Britt's boyfriends mom's house for an early Thanksgiving.  It was a lovely evening.  Lot's of good food and great company.  I was feeling big for my britches and left my O2 off for almost 4 hours.  I could tell.  My lungs began to burn and it was more difficult to get a good breath of air.  So, I showed myself didn't I?  LoL 

I have continued to watch what I eat and exercise.  I have only been to Britt's twice this week, on Monday and Tuesday, but I have been working out at night with my 5 pound ball working on upper body muscles. 
This afternoon I paid Bill's for December and have them ready to mail out, and have almost gotten my Christmas cards done.  That is a relief to me.  It is the one time every year when I actually sit down and write.  Everything these days is done on the computer and it is so impersonal.  I try and be good at Birthday cards, hoping to be better each year... But Christmas is a never fail.

I feel hopeful now.  Like even with LVRS ahead of me, it's not a transplant.  It may be a long surgery to recover from and a longer stay in the hospital... but there are no immunosuppresant and anti-rejection drugs that will need to be taken every day forever.  It will buy me 5-10 years before I have the worry of transplant.  That is a wonderful thing.  I can use this time to live, and enjoy every moment I can. 

I am learning to be positive.  I tell Bill and Britt all the time now, that mine will be a happy house.  Yes, we will have sadness once in a while... but I want this to be the place people can come and relax.  No worries, no judgements... just a happy home.  I watch very little news anymore.  I am just so tired of political bickering, harsh and hateful actions taken by those who are supposed to be working for us.  And, all the crime shows on T.V. ... Bill watches them, now he watches them in the bedroom and not in the living room.  I don't want to watch death and depression on T.V..  This doesn't mean I am burying my head in the sand.  I still read the headlines online, and I still watch T.V., it's just that I try and lighten the mood every chance I get.  I have learned first hand that life is precious and it goes by us quicker than we think.  So, I don't intend on missing out on any part of it, and I am not waisting it worrying who is getting patted down or put through an x-ray. 
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