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." 



  1. You're certainly handling this with a positive attitude. I like the prescription of walking, too. You and Faith have got this.

  2. Hi Inger - well generally good news considering all things - 'Grace' it certainly is ... Carrie sounds a brilliant person to have on your side. Is Faith a good walker, and if you can let her off her leash - does she return? Do what you can, when you're able to ... 'on the fence' - is a good title for the post ... you're a glass half-full lady ... that's important. Take care, stay safe and with thoughts and a gentle hug - Hilary

  3. The broken bone in your spine doesn't seem to be too much of concern since you didn't even know you had a broken bone. I take a bone pill once a week for osteoporosis and it has strengthened my bones and I have a bone density test once a year just to stay on top of things.

    The walking exercise sounds spot on. I should start walking too but the fear of falling on icy roads keeps me indoors. Our winters are cold icy and long.

    Take care and do the best you can. I love your positive attitude.

  4. so happy with the good news at the end, no malignancy! and that walking will help. Carrie is my grandmothers name, I love the name and always wondered why no one in our family used it for one of us. finally my first cousins granddaughter is now Carrie. your photos are positively beautiful today. the second from bottom is stunning and looks almost like a space ship landing or taking off through the clouds. sorry about the on the line COPD but am praying the walking will ward it off for you..

  5. Inger, this is THE BEST news ever, my friend! Now I'll tell you for the Bone density, I know I've had osteo for years and just began taking medication 1 1/2 yrs ago. Hoping "they" have me on the right one...for now, anyway. As for your breathing, do what she up your sister did (bad COPD) and avoided the whole inhaler thing...for years now! Do it for you and

  6. Know how you feel. I do have COPD and my last cigarette was in 1976. As my pulmonologist said, "Doesn't seem fair."
    Still your doctor is right. Walking will greatly help your lungs but also your bone density and luckily you have a grand walking companion.

  7. You left the best news till last. That, in itself, is a reason to walk, and for you, no city streets with prowlers, no concrete curbs, one wonderful companion, and hopefully no wildfire smoke . XXXX

  8. I had a bone density scan last year and it revealed that I have the start of arthritis in my neck. I have been given a pill to take too. Enjoy your walks!

  9. It sounds like you have a great attitude, Inger....and that alone makes all the difference.

  10. You wrote Grace, that is beautiful. I can see you doing increased walking to improve your strength, and you live in a beautiful area for doing that. For future poor air conditions do you have a room air purifier? They filter out pollen and smoke, good for asthma too, and they are not expensive. Hugs to you.

  11. You did not feel pain from the broken bone? Oh, I agree so much with the 'walk' medicine. Currently we try to walk as often as possible for Gracie. It does her so much good and I'm sure is good for us as well. Give Faith a hug for us... and a (((HUG))) for you. I admire you so.

  12. Goodness, I am so sorry! A broken back! How does your back feel, it must hurt? Do you know how you did it, or if it was just spontaneous? But no cancer and a prescription to walk, so it could have bene worse. There are new meds for bone density now!!

  13. The sky pictures are gorgeous.
    Sorry about your medical problems but you ave a great attitude.
    I'm convinced about walking - I think it is the best thing to do for health. It sure has worked for me. Ive been taking my morning walk for over 30 years!!

  14. I am sorry to read about your medical problems, but Carrie sounds excellent, and "There's no malignancy." is excellent news.

    Enjoy your walks, and please take and share some more photographs, as the ones in this post are wonderful.

    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  15. No malignancy is a great thing to hear. I hope you can bring yourself to have the scan soon. Medications change all the time. Perhaps you'll feel you can tolerate what's available now.


  16. this wonderful post has been the inspiration I've needed.
    I have 53 years of breathing heavy second hand smoke.
    I never have smoked myself. but apparently it did its work.
    mainly in Offices. once with 3 chain smokers. the air was GREY.
    I have COPD and can't take the Trelegy. so I definitely need to WALK.
    these pictures are fabulous. they alone make me want to be healthy!
    sending you love and courage for our task of getting well! XOXO

  17. COPD is a scary diagnosis, at first. Please relax and Google pursed lip breathing exercises, do them while walking, I go at least a mile a day - truly truly helps.
    And helps to know you are actually DOING something! COPD - 10 years in and feeling great!

  18. Thank goodness for no malignancy. Isn't it amazing what just a little exercise can do for a body?

  19. I know you are glad to have this information and also have some things to work on. The older we get the harder it is to stay healthy. Take care of yourself sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

  20. Some really good news there at the end. I hope that you love the walking!! I bet that you will.

  21. Good news is always so welcomed. Praying you get all the care you need to get better.I would like to see warmer days so I can walk again. Take care.

  22. no malignancy, that's good.
    you can live with COPD, I do. and asthma too. I have a steroid inhaler, it works wonders. Yes, I can't go uphill without stopping to catch my breath but that surely doesn't matter? So, I wheeze a bit when walking as fast as I used to (or at least try to walk as fast, it's a habit hard to get out of), so what? Live your life and enjoy what you can do. If there's something you can't do, too bad.
    Good luck.

  23. Fascinating photos accompanied by your account of health challenges. I, too, have so far avoided the powerful meds for bone density loss. My one experience caused my right leg to buckle when I put weight on it. I decided that with the effect of that medication plus my disability from a hemorrhagic stroke, would try to be extra careful, keep walking as much as I can, and pray a lot! Now prayers for you, too.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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