Thursday, June 18, 2009

National Jewish - #1 in Respiratory Care since 1998

So I am a work in progress. Good news is, my testing is complete for round 1 at National Jewish. The good news is, no one looked at me while I was there and said "I am so doesn't look good..." We don't have any official news at this point. Apparently the doctor has to look at my stuff and make the call. But, I am off the chart at blowing, and I suck pretty well too. Those were the type of words that the pulmonary (lung) technicians used when I had to do my testing. I am pretty normal, and that is a good thing. You haven't really lived until they lock you in a body booth and tell you to breathe through a mouthpiece and the shutter closes meaning you can't breathe for a couple seconds, then you push as much air out of your lungs as possible, take a huge breath, and then blow out as fast as you can and longer than it feels like you should. But that is what I did. Today, they wanted to give me the methacholine challenge. It isn't that exciting, but it tests whether or not your lungs react and start to constrict indicating asthma or something like it. You breath deep, you blow out, and then they give you more nasty stuff, and then you breath deep, you blow out, rinse, repeat, and whatever.
I am now wearing a Holter monitor for the next 40 hours or so. Keeping track of my heart and whether or not there is anything funny going on. From the looks of the echocardiogram, which was really cool, the structure and flow in my heart look normal. For those of you who don't know what an echo is, it is basically an ultrasound of your heart. They even did a 3D version. The coolest part was the agitated saline portion. I got an IV, and while they have your heart on the screen, they inject the saline with tiny bubbles in it and it almost instantly appear going through your heart. They are looking to see if anything is crossing from the left to the right side of my heart indicating holes. Nothing going on there, which is a good thing. I have no idea what the ECG indicated that shows the electrical impulses in my heart, and that is what sarcoidosis tends to affect. We will keep you posted when we find anything out, but you will have to wait with us at this point. We are so lucky to be less than 20 miles from the best respiratory care hospital in the country. I wouldn't like traveling states to do all this. A big thank you to my wonderful wife for sitting through all this with me. It would have been more nerve wracking without you.
There are a few funny things that go along with all this. Perhaps my finest moment came last week when I was in the men's restroom at work washing my hands. One of the older "higher ups" at the office was also washing his hands. Now Tom has gone through a number of health issues and is always interested in how I am doing. He then asked if they had given me any medication. When I responded "Prednisone", he had a very fatherly smile, reached up and squeezed my cheek, and replied "That will do that to you." "Yep." And we walked out. What else do you say at that point?! If there was ever any doubt about "moonface," it is gone. Dang.
Can I just take a moment to tell all of you how amazing my wife is? Very amazing. Unbelievably amazing. Ridiculously amazing. You get the idea. She has been a rock for me. Our house was always clean, but it is the next level now. She has supported me in everything. Been there for the doctor appointments. Is always telling me to take it easy and rest. She mows the lawn, takes care of the girls, and takes care of me. She doesn't ever stop. Brooke I love you. You don't have to do it all, but you do. Thank you isn't enough. You are the best...


elizabeth said...

Glad to hear about this update. I love hearing how you are so intrested in all the medical/scientific aspects.

You and Brooke have been on my mind a lot these past two days of testing.

My continued prayers.

Brooke said...

Such good news! We'll continue praying for you guys---OF COURSE!

Sparky said...

Mark - you have a great wife! Good to hear all the everything looks good so far. We keep praying!


Heidi Buck said...

Thanks for the update and for keeping us posted as to what is going on. You are an amazing family!!!! Continue to stay strong ~ you are in our thoughts and prayers. I love you both.

tim and kristi said...

i was praying for you - glad things went smoothly. and seriously mark - you do have an amazing wife! :)