Monday, November 18, 2013

The Cough

November 18, 2013:

Well, Saturday marked 4 months since my transplant. Things have really progressed well for me. I am happy to report that I am regaining my strength and stamina. My sensations in my feet and legs seem to be holding steady, but I have definitely seen a remarkable improvement in my arms and hands. While in Chicago, Ann would have to type the blogs and now she is only responsible for proof reading my ramblings. However, my recovery did hit a little bump in the road this past week.

Last Tuesday I developed a cough deep in my chest. You know the one that sounds like a fog horn and leaves a burning sensation through your chest. Yeah, well that was the one. It kind of startled me how fast it came on. Typically, I am not one to run to the doctor for every little cough or sneeze that comes my way, but this one snapped me into action. I feared it would be pneumonia. I knew sitting out on those cool nights watching high school football would come back to haunt me.

Wednesday morning I called my family doctor and they got me right in. They scheduled me for 2:30 and my mom graciously drove me the 14 miles. We arrived about 15 minutes early and found a spot in the waiting room. Now, those who know me best understand that patience is not my strong suit. Every click of the clock sounded like bombs going off. Tick...Tock...Tick...Tock. Finally, after a mere one hour wait my name was called.

The first order of business was a step on the scales. Lately, this is not something I am proud of doing. Begrudgingly I obliged the nurse. Looking at the numbers on the scale kind of startled me. It read 228. Could it be ounces? NO! Could we have converted to some "new math" in order for ObamaCare to allow citizen to keep their current health insurance? NO! The facts are the facts; I have gained quite a bit of weight. I need to own up to that and develop a strategy to start shedding some of these unwanted pounds. More on that to come later...Now back to the actually doctor visit.

After nearly 2 hours, my doctor entered the exam room. This is the first time I seen him since I returned from Chicago. He was more than willing to listen to my adventures in Chicago. He also did an excellent job of scouring through my chart to ensure that he was up to date on all my blood work. Once he was satisfied with all the information he order a rapid strep test. Which to my delight came back negative. He then listened to my lungs and determined the sounded good and strong. Then he determined that I most likely was suffering from an inflammation of my bronchial tubes (AKA bronchitis). Doc prescribed me an additional antibiotic, some cough syrup, and a nasal spray. Two days later I woke up feeling like a new man.

This past week has been a reminder of how delicate my recovery can be. I had been feeling so good that I had become a little lax on my sanitation regimen. I need to take some extra precautions during the cold and flu season. I need to do a better job of washing my hands and not leaving the house without my hand sanitizer. Wash...Rinse...Repeat. That has to be the motto.

Finally, it is important to remember that quitting is easy. I have had several moments in my life that caused me to truly consider throwing in the towel. It is easy to feel sorry for ourselves. It is easy to blame others for our short comings. It is easy to not take responsibility for our actions. You know what, I probably got bronchitis because I was sitting out in the cool fall air week after week watching high school football. I am fine with owning up to that. What we need to remember is, "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:3-5).

Do you know how hard it is to rejoice in your sufferings? Yay, I am so happy to be sick, bedridden, and alone. Really? This is not an easy task. This is something that takes practice. With this month being November and a time for giving thanks, I challenge you to look at the positives in your life. To see them as true blessings and to rejoice in those blessings. This is a difficult task to do day in and day out. We must be mindful of it because negativity will sneak in if we do not keep our guard up.

A special gentleman that lives near me has been an inspiration for me this week. He suffers from MS and does in a way that I cannot help but admire. Although I am yet to meet him I am asking that you keep Ken in your prayers. Get well Ken.





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