This has been so surreal having pneumonia (the third time in a year and a half)….AGAIN! It felt like this!
This time around, the thought of another round of steroids and another 25 pound weight gain #ughimsofatagain and another 6 week recovery period sent me to straight into the arms of my adorable and wonderful new therapist! I realized that I needed help coping with the crushing weight (pun intended) of being sick again. In counseling, she helped me come to terms with my situation.
After talking it through she helped me see that it wasn’t that crazy that I had pneumonia again. I spent a good deal of my childhood hooked up to my Nebulizer and riddled with chronic bronchitis. Every time I got super active outside, the season changed, if I was around dust or mold, or I had any type of infection, it lead to bronchitis. This was frustrating as a kid because they tell you you need bed rest, and you really do with any kind of lung thing, but then they put you on a bunch of steroids that give you sooooooooooo much energy. I really resented being sick and incapable. As I got older, I just accepted it in a passive way. I took whatever medicine they gave me without question and just fixed the problems as they arose. But I never really looked deeper. I just thought, I’m kind of sickly and it has always been like this. Then I just ignored it completely and partied my way through my 20’s and early 30’s which brings me to today. When I get sick now, there is nothing to suppress it. I just want to feel better. I take the shots, I take the rounds of steroids, I take the nose spray, the narcotic cough syrup, the albuterol inhaler that makes me a total physical and emotional wreck. Everything has a steroid in it and the antibiotics wreck havoc on my body. But I have no other thoughts than getting through this exhaustion. I am incapable of being my happy, shiny self. Jenny called me a curmudgeon and its true. Existing takes all of my energy. Working out is off the table. Showering and working become all the activity I can handle. I actually ended up in the hospital this time. The doctors are always threatening to send me there if I don’t rest and after 11 hours of sleep one night I woke up Lindsay Lohan exhausted. It was scary. I felt like I had take 12 Tylenol PM’s and it was 9am. I could;t physically talk and work at the same time. Jenny took me, what an amazing friend she is! We went to Wake Med North and ended up in the waiting room for 3 hours! I felt so tired and unable to get an oxygen. They gave me an EKG just to make sure bc my chest was so tight!
I started getting really tickled on this last picture but I can’t remember why!? We finally got called back at midnight!
They gave me an IV and I tried to get comfy!
At 1 I begged Jenny to go home, she was so sweet to hang out with me! Thank you Jenny, love you so much!
As she was leaving we noticed a massive hole in the butt of her dress, we were dying!
I had to bustle it with a clothespin! Then they did blood work, X-rays and gave me 2 breathing treatments. I was really dehydrated and I wasn’t heeding the bed rest warning. They put me on more steroids and told me to stay the course with my meds and to get in the damn bed. They discharged me at 5am and I went home and slept for hours. But I was still so tired. The breathing treatments made me feel so much better physically though. I stayed put on my couch for the rest of the weekend and asked for help! My parents, sister and Jenny brought food and dvd’s and coloring books and hung out calmly and quietly. I started meditating and trying to really find the meaning of balance. And about a week later, I finally felt better. Six weeks had finally passed. Now what?!
So my therapist suggested the idea of accepting my current situation. My boss introduced the idea of accepting that I was doing everything that I could conceivably do to get better! Both of these things really helped! I also finally got a plan together, I called for a referral to a Pulmonary specialist! I love feeling like I am actively doing something. I’m not sure why I avoided this for so long. So, this past Friday was my appointment and I was nervous to hear what they had to say but pumped to find somebody that wanted to work with me to figure out the future. I can play a bigger role in this, accept that something is wrong and be more proactive!
They took me back promptly at my appointment time and a nurse walked me through several breathing tests. Then I met with another nurse who took my oxygen absorption levels and other stats and history. Then the specialist came in and we talked for a long time. Can I just say, I love her. Ultimately she decided that I have probably had undiagnosed asthma my entire life. That the chronic bronchitis and habitual pneumonia were more than likely an aggravated side affect of not treating my daily allergy induced asthma and get this you guys, I passed all of my breathing tests, above average! All this time I thought I had these wimpy, weak little lungs but I have the lungs of a champion! All I’m missing is the right daily medication and some precautions I can take on my own. She also told me I need to lose weight #umduh #readmyblogboo and that my job is not ideal. But she really explained everything to me and came up with an action plan that I’m pumped about. She started me on a daily pill that helps with allergies and asthma. Then she told me to use my inhaler twice daily and more if I need it. she also switched my nasal spray to a non steroid and took me off my inhaled steroid as well. She said I didn’t need them! I’m also supposed to avoid aerosols at all costs, get an air purifier, get some house plants, and try and exercise mostly indoors especially during the big season changes because I’m allergic to grass and trees! Ahhhhhhh!!!! She told me to try this for 8 weeks and if I don’t feel significantly better then we will try blood work for more extensive allergy testing, possible immunotherapy and possibly a sleep study! I feel like I have a plan and a new outlook on life. And at every turn, I find myself being confronted with the same concepts. Find balance, not such high highs and low lows of energy. Keep my energy on a lower playing field so that I can build up my reserves. Don’t cannon ball into the middle of the ocean…wade in from the shore. Be more in tuned with my body and its needs! Listen to it, head its warnings. And sometimes you have to accept your situation as is and don’t pile on with unhelpful things like guilt and shame! I honestly feel like I just got a new lease on life. I feel like I am actively helping myself stay more healthy and if I needed motivation to want to continue to lose weight and get healthy, this is certainly it! I celebrated with Jenny by returning to see Sandra after a long break! She was so great about letting us ease back in! It was exhausting but I brought my inhaler and gasp, listened to my body!
It felt so good to feel back in a routine and to move our bodies!
We love you Sandra, thanks for being patient with us!
I also finally made it back to Pure Barre. Honestly that is how I know I’ve really changed! I desperately wanted to be exercising again. I wanted to see my friends and hang out and feel good again!
I love this little community and all the support they have given us! Everything about this past 6 weeks has been a challenge but it has lead me to some amazing people and caused me to dig deeper in every way and I feel like I have come out on top. I feel like I am really about to spring board off and explode into this next phase…calmy of course! Winky face. I love all of you and can’t wait to see what new lessons are around the corner. Health mother fucking yeah!