“CHECK, PLEASE.”

Okay, YouTube totally stood me up this time.  I don’t get it.  I thought I was doing everything right.  I shower it with attention, promptly answer mail, backrubs now and then… I don’t deserve this.  There must be a good reason.  Should I try again or just sit back and wait?  I don’t want to seem too eager, but playing hard-to-get is really not my style.

Anyway, back to the original programming.  The part that comes after the Prologue…

This is maybe the most difficult post I’ve attempted so far.  I’ve shared this already with a few of you and wasn’t going to talk about it here, but this new thing is going to be part of my life now and not talking about it isn’t going to make it go away.

If you recall, a few weeks ago I saw my doctor, concerned that I was getting short of breath and having headaches and a couple of other complaints that are so insignificant now that I can’t really remember what they were.  I wasn’t quite prepared when he read me the results of the chest x-ray that I had taken.  It seemed like a long time went by from the time he read it to himself before saying it out loud to me. And it could be my imagination but it seemed like he read it to me real fast and then kept going, as if it wasn’t terribly important.  I don’t know him well enough to be sure, but I wonder if it was his way of trying not to alarm me too much.  In the time I’ve been seeing him, one of the things I love about him is his straight-forward, no bullshit manner.  I actually had thought I misheard him and asked him to please stop and go back and say that again.

Chronic pulmonary emphysema,” is what he said.  I got deaf right then.  I couldn’t tell you the next few things he said to me if my life depended on it because all I could hear was a big booming voice in my head screaming, “Emphysema!  You have emphysema.  What the hell is emphysema and what am I going to do with it?”  See, I had myself convinced that the breathing issues were due to anxiety and there’s a pill for that. And it seemed to be working.  Or I had myself believing it, anyway.

You see, in my eyes, only old people get emphysema.  Coal miners and overweight people who are too stupid to stop smoking and carry around those horrid, cumbersome oxygen tanks so they can fucking breathe.  But they can’t so they hack and gasp and are not fun to be around.

No, I don’t personally know any of these people so I can only go on second-hand impressions.  I just know that I don’t want to be like them.  I know I should feel sorry for them but at this point I’m just angry and I hate that every  other pack of cigarettes I’ve smoked in the past was emblazoned with the words “Smoking Causes Emphysema” and I thought for some fucking reason that it did not apply to me.  It’s not like eating jalepeno peppers even though you know you’re going to get a pretty miserable case of heartburn.  Or drinking that fourth glass of alcohol, knowing you’re going to have a pretty nice hangover in the morning.  Nope, not like that at all.

So I don’t want to talk about this anymore right now.  There is still a lot I need to research and talk to my doctor about.  I have a pulmonary function test scheduled for Aug. 8th.  Between now and then I imagine I’m going to feverishly plot to find a way to purge myself of this evil intruder.  Yeah right.  The scariest words I’ve read lately are “progressive,” “incurable,” and “irreversible.”

And get this.  Now I have something in common with Amy Winehouse.  She’s fucking 24 years old and recently diagnosed with emphysema.  I’m gonna give her a call.  Maybe we can do lunch.

(okay, so maybe that’s not true after all…)

I’ve decided that my mom and PD’s parents seriously don’t need to know about this, so I’d appreciate no one saying anything about it.  I know that is a weird request, being that I’m telling the whole rest of the world.  Still, and I’m not talking about it at work either, so…  Just sayin’.

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16 responses to ““CHECK, PLEASE.”

  1. I think that the best thing I can say at this point is… That sucks. And that you are human and we all think that we are infallible – those are things that happen to “them” not “us.” And that you are loved.

    I wonder, too, if the area you live in has something to do with it. I know that my lung issues became greater when I moved into a metropolitan area. I never had bronchitis or pneumonia until I moved to Columbus.

    In any case, I am here for you, as many of your friends are.

  2. Yoiks, I’m sorry, that really sucks. Don’t know if it helps to know or not, but you are still on my prayer list.

    I think we have both recently found that we are not bullet proof. Now more than ever we need to turn to God. He will give us rest, if we allow Him control.

    Alright, I’ll shut up now! 🙂

  3. There are things in this life.

    I hope you ‘get’ this…

  4. Sorry to hear this. If it’s any consolation my mother has emphysema and she lives a pretty normal life. She’s also very active. She visits the elderly in nursing homes (and she’s 74), takes cookies to people who’ve visited her church, volunteers time at the church’s food bank, and still makes dinner every Sunday night for me and Bob (when he’s around).
    So, you’re not looking at a death sentence. You may have to make some changes in your life. And you may even get a nifty oxygen concentrator for your home, just like mom. But mom doesn’t have to use her oxygen very much. Only as needed.
    And just so you know, I’ve still got you in my prayers too…

  5. I don’t know what to say……. I will be praying for you and probly doing some research myself. I am also one of those that think, “it couldn’t happen to me, that’s something that happens to old people who have smoked for 50 years or more, and they definitely smoke way more than I even have time in my days for…..”. I, as many others, are here for you. You know my door is open and my phone is answered 24 hrs a day!

    Lots of love and hope.

  6. Damn, Wink. As has been intimated already, that sucks. You are the first person I know to be diagnosed with this. Like you, I usually took the merciless approach to folks who “brought that on themselves.” Just as with anything else, it’s much easier to do that until it affects someone you care about. Also, you might have developed this without ever smoking a single cigarette.

    Good luck sharing it with the people who so far don’t know.

  7. Thanks everybody, I’ll be back tomorrow to be more personal. Love y’all 🙂

  8. damnit, shit, frack, piss, and poop.

    it helps to “talk” about it, a burden shared is a blessing multiplied. (i didn’t make that up, i was trying to quote a friend that said that and i’m sure i screwed it up.)

    many xo’s to you,
    leah

  9. I got deaf right then

    I have that happen every time the wife asks me to do something. But seriously. news like that will certainly make you stop in your tracks.

    I suppose that it is time to try and figure out what it really means and what sort of impact it has on your life.

  10. L’girl: I don’t live particularly close to a metropolitan area. From what I’m reading though, I will probly have some problems with cold weather. Uh oh, time to pack up and head South.

    Jeff: Thanks. Oh, I’m saying prayers, allright. And for you too.

    LY: I appreciate that. I did get something nice from it. I’ll mail you when I get time…

    M+: This was comforting, thanks. And for the prayers, always.

    Nat: Thanks and Love. 🙂

    Mark: Thanks. I’m struggling with telling the folks… just don’t want them fretting, you know? Time will tell…

    P’let: It’s always a blessing to be cared about and y’all sure are making me feel it. XO Nice potty mouth 😉

    Jack: Ha 🙂 Yep, it’s that time. It’s hard… I’m finding that it affects way more body parts than just your lungs. Yeah, like I need that!

  11. Ok…..here comes that long, lost stranger that you thought who fell off the face of the earth. This is not preaching in the least, just to share with you what’s on my heart and my life experiences. Matthew 19:26 says that….” with God all things are possible.” I know that it is possible for you to be healed of Emphysema beacuse this thing has a name, and it is said in God’s word ( Philippians 2:5-11) that Jesus was given the name above every name. The name of Jesus is above the name of Emphysema. God comes to those who trust and believe. I have struggled before with the trusting issue, mainly because I am impatient. But I know this one thing, God is faithful to His word and it will not return to Him void….meaning this, what He sent it to do it shall do.
    From the beginning I needed a savior, one to save me from myself, and I found that in Jesus. But after that I found that Jesus could be Lord of my life, meaning that as I have given Him my life completely, I fully trust that He is responsible for the life of mine that He alone died for. This life that we live is not our own. We live on borrowed breath and walk with a beating heart that was not started by ourselves. It is all His….my life, my plans, my hopes, my dreams,…..my life…His life. With Jesus, regardless of what we might face, is a win-win situation.
    I am going to step back for a moment and let you respond when desired. Thank you for being a friend. I have found that in you and Jeff over the blogs.
    Really…this is the last and I feel the most important word for you in my spirit…Genesis 2:7 says that the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. God literally taught man how to breathe with His own precious breath. And with that breath He asked us one thing, that everything that has breath praise Him (Psalm 150:6). I am hear for you and extend my love and hand as a friend.

  12. Been out of town and just now getting caught up….wow. Sorry to hear your news…hope you get some answers soon that help you out. Will be thinking of you and checking in more frequently….

  13. Yeah, like everyone said, that really sucks big time. I am beginning to think that it is not only the cigs but the residual radiation in the area that is affecting alot of people ’round here. They say the radiation levels are safe but who really knows? R has emphysema and I’m pretty sure I do too but don’t want to know it. Oh well, what can I say? Just, KEEP ON HANGIN’ ON!!

  14. This truly sucks one wink but listen gal, it is NOT the end of the world. You have time to deal with this, make it better and move on. Emphysema sucks but it is no death sentence. Do your research, get the BEST treatments there are out there and put your energies into your health. It is just a wake up call. Now all you have to do is answer it.

  15. I really loved Melinda’s last sentence. It seems simple, but it’s very powerful.

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