Saturday, August 22, 2009

Up and Down

Well, after we arrived home from Mt. Burnham last Saturday, we were each exhausted. DH took a 4-hr nap, which is unusual. My hiking buddy napped and slept straight through to Sunday. I lay on the sofa to perhaps nap, and guess what -- those muscles in my back started spasming again, only this time they were joined by the muscles cramping in the arches of my feet. OUCH!!!!

I felt stronger for having accomplished the hike. It was gonzo, but it was fun! I was stiff and sore when I woke up Sunday, so I was walking a little funny when I went to church. But it's all good!

By Sunday night, when I was talking on the phone, I was starting into a full-blown asthma attack again (and still in denial about it). I did my steroid and inhaler and went to sleep, choking.

Monday was even worse. Nothing was helping; not the inhaler, not the steroid, not even the nebulizer treatments. I had to stay indoors in the air conditioning. I tried to cook myself breakfast; I couldn't even deal with the slight smoke from that! I was right back to choking my head off continually and thinking I should have abs of steel to show for these sore muscles.

How the heck can someone go from climbing a 9000' mountain to being bedridden in the space of 24 hr? Yet that's the position I found myself in...bedridden. The only way I could get away from the awful relentless choking and hacking and gagging was to drift into sleep. I dozed off and on all Monday long and most of the night.

Tuesday was my infusion day; I was choking less than the day before but still obviously in some distress. I tried to limit my exposure to the outdoors, going from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned cancer center as quickly as possible. If I reclined and did not do any physical activity and stayed in the a/c, the choking was not so out-of-control.

So I limped through the week like that until Wednesday night when I decided I'd had enough of that! I told my lungs they were better and would be fully healed by Friday so I could go climb another 9000' mountain. And guess what; it worked!

Except the weather did not cooperate. Dry lightning strikes and the subsequent wildfires from them were occurring all around our "backyard" mountains; not the time to take my son up to sleep on top a mountain. Plus the muggy weather means I'm once again choking and restricted to staying indoors in the air conditioning.

So when the weather and my body are both cooperative at the same time, we already have our next trip planned out.

Meanwhile, I saw my oncologist again last Tuesday. I updated him on what the pulmonologist had said; he was in agreement that I should hold off for now on doing the bronchoscopy. I brought up that I had found out -- by sheer happenstance -- that some patients taking one of the drugs I'm on are experiencing bronchial restriction. Hmmm...could that be what has occurred with my lungs? We decided to hold off on that drug for awhile and assess again in another month.

So like I told my oncologist, it's still up and down for me. Up -- climbing mountains. Down -- bedridden and choking choking choking until I actually WANT to go to the hospital. Sigh. It gets discouraging sometimes. But I'm

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