Friday, January 21, 2022

On The Fence

In the pulmonary doctors' office in Bakersfield, I met with nurse practitioner Carrie to learn the results of the CT scan of my lungs. 

She confirmed what I already knew: asthma, emphysema, then added: a broken bone in your back, your spine.

For the latter, she said I need to have a bone density test. I knew this too, but have tried to avoid it. I've had them before, years ago and they were on the fence of being bad and requiring medicine that I felt I couldn't tolerate. There may be more choices now, so I will have the test soon.

About my breathing, I asked if I have COPD. Carrie said, you are on the fence.

Like this critter, who's hanging on, but also could just fly away. Fly away would be good, but reality for me is better. 

I told Carrie I haven't smoked for almost 30 years. That's good, she said, but you've been exposed to a lot of wild fire smoke. 

So true, I wasn't careful when the fires were close several years ago. So much excitement. 

Firetrucks, sheriffs, helicopters and, of course, firemen too. Here I am at a safe event with no smoke and a lot of fire trucks.

And firemen too. 

But I digress. 

Back to nurse Carrie. I asked her what I can do the help myself right now?

She said use the inhaler as directed, then she prescribed walks. She said walk as much as you can, build up your strength and walk. 

What a positive recommendation, I thought. It made me feel really optimistic. I walk most days because I enjoy it, but I'm far from a strong distance walker these days. So I will work on it.

But this is the first thing nurse Carrie said: 

"There's no malignancy." 



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