Bronchitis and Bone Fusions on Veterans’ Day

July 4thIt’s Veterans’ Day.  I’ve been perusing Facebook all day and seeing all the Happy Veterans’ Day posts.  I seem to be having trouble with the happy part.  Why just on Veterans’ Day?  I couldn’t quite figure this one out.

Then I saw how veterans could be happy every day.  Our lovely friend and neighbor Amy (she who brings the milk and cookies when a feverish Bear wants them and a recuperating Gail can’t go to the store) Vlasity wished Bear a Happy Veterans’ Day.  This was his response:GmM8B2ylPUP0lIuKR9OqrzOqFEOtJtRaf2Rpt6ncsBk

“I always get a warm glow in my heart when family, friends, and total strangers acknowledge my 25+ years of combined reserve and active duty military service. Knowing that my service assured Olivia’s, Willie’s, Adam’s, and their generation’s opportunities for schooling, choice of worship, and pursuit of happiness gives me great satisfaction of my career’s journey from stateside, Panama, Vietnam, Korea, Europe, and elsewhere. The next generations carry on our American Traditions and I proudly salute these young people for their commitment, time, and hard work!”

Any questions about why I married the man?

The bone fusion part of the title is Bear’s.  The stitches from the three of those and the tendon repair come out tomorrow.  Meanwhile, he is still in a non-weight bearing cast from toes to knee that permits him very little mobility.  He has a wonderful little knee scooter, but is hampered using that due to the leg bone injuries he sustained in a fall we suspect was caused by the eroded joints in his foot about six weeks ago.  He even tried a wheelchair, but cannot elevate his leg high enough in one of those.Bear's foot

The result?  An already over-extended Gail with her Chronic Kidney Disease impaired immune system developed bronchitis… again.  I noticed I’ve not blogged about this.  It’s time.  By the way, I’ve also irrationally wondered if I keep getting sick so I’ll have something to blog about.  That’s ridiculous.  (Isn’t it?)

I went directly to the Mayo Clinic at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bronchitis/DS00031 for a definition of bronchitis.

“Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic.

Often developing from a cold or other respiratory infection, acute bronchitis is very common. Chronic bronchitis, a more serious condition, is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking.

Acute bronchitis usually improves within a few days without lasting effects, although you may continue to cough for weeks. However, if you have repeated bouts of bronchitis, you may have chronic bronchitis, which requires medical attention. Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions included in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Treatment for bronchitis focuses on relieving your symptoms and easing your breathing. “

That scared me.  I did have bronchitis about six months ago, too, and both this time and last it hit hard.  Yet I know that chronic is considered constant for at least three months and means “long lasting, the opposite of acute.”  Maybe this is just a case of two unrelated bouts of acute bronchitis.  I did have a head cold just before the bronchitis. In lieu of an image, I’m including a link to MedicineNet.com’s slide show on bronchitis: http://www.medicinenet.com/bronchitis_pictures_slideshow/article.htm. I found it more informative than a single picture could be.

Alright then, if this is acute, or “extremely painful, severe or serious, quick onset, of short duration; the opposite of chronic,” why am I still having trouble breathing after three days?  By the way, both of these definitions are from the glossary in What Is It and How Did I Get It? Chronic Kidney Disease. I’m glad I have a follow up appointment with my family doctor on Wednesday, although I would have preferred one today.

WebMD at http://www.webmd.com/lung/understanding-bronchitis-symptoms tells us:

The symptoms of acute bronchitis may include:

  • Hacking cough that persists for 5 days or more
  • Clear, yellow, white, or green phlegmflu
  • Absence of fever, although a low grade fever may occasionally be present
  • Soreness in the chest

Okay, the disgusting green phlegm thing was there and the sore chest, but basically, I was having so much trouble breathing that I couldn’t speak.  This was not the scary asthmatic kind of couldn’t catch my breath, but rather a having to work very hard to breathe.

So what brought me to the emergency room? My PCP (Primary Care Physician) is not in on the weekends and the Urgent Care Centers out here in Arizona made it clear they couldn’t treat me because, as a CKD patient, I would need blood tests before any work could be done one me.

Although, they ignored the blood tests at the emergency room long enough to give me a breathing treatment for which I am eternally grateful.  I was still feeling miserable after it, but I could breathe a bit more easily. Ms.-I-Don’t-Want-Medication did not even fight the need to use a nebulizer while I recovered.  Let’s just say I saw the value of breathing.

I’m also on an antibiotic since the cause (in my case) was deemed most likely bacterial and I do have CKD.  Although the attending doctor said something odd, “Your creatinine is 1.2.  We don’t even consider that CKD.”  Why not?  It’s stage three.

I’ve heard this before.  Apparently it goes back to that controversy about not diagnosing patients until they’re end stage so they aren’t living a label. Just in case you’re interested, I think that’s nonsense.  If I’d been diagnosed earlier, maybe I could have maintained at stage 1 or 2, as I am at stage 3.

Whoops!  Almost forgot.  I also had a lung x-ray to rule out pneumonia… which it did.

Book CoverMore news about this Kindle Match book deal: if you EVER bought a print copy of the book from Amazon.com, you are eligible to order the digital copy for $2.99.  Many, many thanks to Amazon for their zest in finding new ways to make sure the information about Chronic Kidney Disease you need or want to share with others is more and more available to  you.

While I’m thanking, I don’t know where to start with our children so I’ll just jump in.  Yesterday, Nima walked in The NYC Kidney Walk in my honor.  This weekend, Abby was in the emergency room with me and picked up both Bear and my medications, as well as did our marketing.  Lara and her love are very often here doing whatever needs to be done and lifting our spirits.  Sean runs, takes, does making sure there’s time for what we need between his jobs. Now I ask you, can any mother, step-mother, almost mother-in-law be luckier?

Until next week,

Keep living your life!

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