Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm a bad patient

I have a bad cold. Well not so much a cold any more. It's now in my chest. I'm coughing up all sorts of lovely stuff.

As I said I am a bad patient. This is especially true when it comes to having colds. I hate to be stuffed up. I feel like I'm drowning. I also hate when I cough up stuff from my chest. I know this comes from all the fun I had just about 25 years ago. I would nearly double over from coughing and cough up some nice green stuff sometimes with blood.

I was treated several times for what was thought to be a standard chest cold/bronchitis. Then I got sent to a specialist. I then had a long series of test done on me. Four or five. It was one about every 10 days or so. At the end of the test someone would so "oh this is what's wrong with you." I would then go back to my doctor and he'd say yes "but that doesn't explain all of your symptoms."

One of my favorite tests was the gallium scan. This is where you are injected with a radioactive isotope (gallium). You then get to drink half a cup of milk of magnesia to clean you out. Oh my that was fun. I had to have the test a second time. I asked the guy if I could just not eat for a couple of days. He didn't really like that idea so much until I said have you every tired to drink half a cup of milk of magnesia. He said no. I got to not eat for 48 hours. It was well worth it.

Finally, it was decided that a lobe of lung had to be removed. I was actually relieved. I thought this will finally end all my problems and I would no longer be poked and prodded (I find out I have really great veins in my arm for taking blood). But I continued to have problems and had to be on all sorts of pills for months on end. My condition was written up in a medical journal. Believe me I would have gladly forgone the honor.

At the end of the everything, my doctor said to me since we don't know what caused this it is possible it may come back. Thankfully for 25 years it has not. But every time I get a could and it goes to my chest I start to think . . .

And that's why I'm a bad patient.

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