Saturday, September 01, 2012

I've seen the elephant!

   An old expression, from the guys that wandered this part of the West and further for when they'd "had enough".

   Very sorry for the long disappearance. I made the mistake of tying Facebook to my blog and when something came up I couldn't share with family I couldn't put it here either. Now, after over a year, everyone that needed to be told has and I can finally rear my ugly head again!

   When I had my physical last year, the blood work and all came back very nicely; it was even better this year. The curve ball come in being told I was in the beginning stages of COPD and have an enlarged heart.

   That explained what I thought was a "weight induced asthma" as I panted when I ran up the steps at work, or from the basement here at home; why the hot days were really hard on me (and this has been a wonderful summer for those).

   My oldest was in the process of changing jobs and I was told I couldn't tell him because it might influence his decision as to where he wanted to look for work. If I couldn't tell him, I couldn't tell other family members who might mention it accidentally.

   After 4 or 5 months I finally told my younger son because he knew I needed help with things I hadn't before. I had to swear him to secrecy, something I've always detested. I've never been one for keeping secrets or keeping things in! I remember a line from an old B.B. King/Bobby Blue Bland version of "Cherry Red" where B.B. tells Bobby "I ain't no refrigerator, I don't keep nothin' in". A much easier and I think healthier way to live life...

  Everyone in the family finally knows now, except for my Mother and there's not really any point to telling her as she would just figure a way to make it about her, anyway.

  My part time job is still called that, but they get 40 hours out of me and though I get two days off a week, they aren't together. It takes until the end of one to start to feel like doing anything and the next day I have to go back.

   One of the things that goes with the COPD is that respiratory bugs are harder to get over; they take longer doses of antibiotics and the first one last fall ended up with me also getting  a Ventolin inhaler. The first one lasted me 10 months. Between the heat and perhaps the worsening of my lungs, I've gone from using it once every couple of weeks except for when I'm fighting a bug, to using it 2 and even 3 times a day to keep that "elephant" I referred to above from sitting on my chest and making it so very hard to breathe.

   There are times that I can tell I have to stop for a few moments and let my lungs catch up with me because I'm either chuffing like an old locomotive, or I don't have enough breath to speak, or I can feel myself actually being confused from lack of air. There are times I wake up the same way in the middle of the night (one of the reasons I'm using the inhaler more often, as I seem to sleep better if I use it just before bed)

  To all who've left notes or inquired elsewhere, I'm truly sorry to have had to lie low for so long.

   May life be kind to each of you!



Rain said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your health problems. It must have especially hard to not be able to discuss this with your friends and family. You matter as much as anyone else in the picture. Whomever told you not to tell him, well I think your son would want to know. So that's my two cents. It's nice to see you back blogging.

Kranki said...

Great to "hear" from you again but so sorry about the COPD. The whole life thing can be a challenge, can't it? Sounds like you are hanging in there and I hope to hear from you more in the future.

Anji said...

I'm sorry to hear your news and I'm glad that you're back.

We had to keep a secret over the last 18 months- I hated it.

Take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

It's lovely to see you back on the interwebz, Alan.

I'm so sorry to hear of your health problems.

And yeah, keeping secrets sucks.

Anonymous said...

It's lovely to see you back on the interwebz, Alan.

I'm so sorry to hear of your health problems.

And yeah, keeping secrets sucks.

Calamity Jen said...

Glad that you are posting again, but sorry to hear the reason for your hiatus. I hope that the inhaler keeps it under control. Be good to yourself!

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robin andrea said...

It's good to see a post here, even if it does have this sad news. I've been wondering where you'd wandered off to. So sorry to read that you have been ill. Thinking of you and sending good wishes your way.

Hawaiianmark said...

You scared the living shit outta me. be in good no; great health my friend!

Hawaiianmark said...

I know it is mute but I for 1 hate FB. Wont do it.

Samantha said...

OMG, Alan! How I've missed you!!! You know you can "unhook" facebook from your blog if you want to?

I'm glad you're back, but sorry to hear about the elephant I know oh so well. I've had asthma my whole life, severe enough that it's landed me in the hospital more than once. Once so bad the ambulance had to come collect me and take me to the hospital where I spent a week.

So I'm very familiar with rescue inhalers (Ventolin) and long acting daily inhalers like Advair. Very not fun. Even with the Advair, there were often times when I'd have to take a few puffs a day of the Ventolin.

Six some years ago, as part of cutting costs on prescriptions, and being less dependent on big pharma I started looking at alternatives. It's now been more than four years since I've had ANY inhalers. Yup, you read that right. NO medications for the asthma.

I take instead "Cat's Claw" which is an herbal supplement that boosts one's immune system and is an anti-inflammatory. It's also way cheaper than the inhalers. It's available from GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin Cottage, and so many other places. It really is amazing stuff.

Something else I've been doing while you were gone is I got back on a bike for the first time in decades. That was March of 2010. Since then I've ridden 3,353 miles in seven states, including two months in Tucson Arizona. I was going to stop through and buy you lunch on my drive out or back but I couldn't get a hold of you. :(

I'm glad you are back and taking care of yourself! I really missed you!

Anonymous said...

hey sweet soul...i just reconnected with my blog again, after a long absence as well, and wanted to say hello. hope to see you around here more. :)

Nancy said...

I have had you on my mind for a long time and thought to look you up tonight. I am so sorry about your health problems. Glad your family knows and can help you. So glad that you are still alive after wondering where you disappeared to. I hope you will keep blogging or facebooking so we can keep in touch! I miss you. You take care and again, happy to see you blogged and let us know what is happening.

CrackerLilo said...

What a horrible thing to have to hide from your family. I'm glad everyone knows now, at least. So sorry you have to go through this at all. Knowing the true name of the problem is a good start, but it's only a start.