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How I Feel for the Week Ending 07.11.14…

13 Jul

It was nice to see that you’ll made it thru the 4th with little to no issues.  Some of your pets were stressed I am sure and I do hope they have recovered.  But now that should be the last of the significant fireworks until, until hopefully New Year’s.  Oh, by the way, it is Saturday July 12, 2014 and I am just starting my weekly report. So don’t be greatly surprised if you don’t see this until sometime early tomorrow afternoon.  Sidebar; we begin the day with Travis Tritt, “Anymore”.  The weather has been so so this week, the normal hot and humid weather we expect in Florida, but the sea breezes have been playing hell with us, and have screwed up the weather pattern, this week we have a lot of AM monster storms, with the evenings being clear and calm. Forecasters say things should normal out by this weekend. We will see!  The reason I mention the weather is because it has significant impact on how I feel during a given period. Heat and Humidity just eat my lunch and leave me quite weak.   But I am sure if I lived any of places I have lived in the pass the weather would have the same impact, so Florida isn’t the problem LOL.  

I saw Doc Head this past Monday, and as always I found that to be productive.  It doesn’t matter to me what we talk about, it helps and I like talking.  I only have one medical appointment this coming week and that is for my monthly IVIG treatment.

One of the many gauges I use to evaluate how I feel for a given week is the amount of specific drugs I use on an “as needed” basis.  Two of those drugs are Morphine Sulfate .25ML to be taken every 4 hours (as needed) and Alprazolam .5 MG table to be taken every 8 hours.  Both of these drugs are used to ease SOB and both of these drugs are quite effective and addictive.  It is my understanding (drilled into me by my Doctors) that at the dosage levels currently prescribed I have very very little to be concerned about.  Besides as explained (and these are my words) I don’t need to be concerned if I become addicted because end of retirement will arrive before any impact from a potential addiction becomes an issue. Having said all that, I have been extremely careful in my usage of these drugs, and there hasn’t been a day when I have used all the “as needed” dosages.  But for four days this week I have wanted to, and have reached for these medicines far more often than normal.  It is for this reason I am going to give myself a 2.5 for the week, it could’ve been lower.  As for an overall general health assessment, yes the SOB is wearing me out.  The harder it is to breathe the harder it is to do everything else.  I have all the aches and pains an out of shape 64-year-old would have,  so if I didn’t have COPD I really would have very little to complain about health wise.

On the bright side, if I were scoring the week of a combination of mental and physical health I would have given the week a 7 because of the emotional high I got this week, which by itself would have been a 10 on my 1 to 5 scale.  Were 1 equals “death sucking on a lifesaver”, and 5 being able to play golf without the assistance of supplemental oxygen. Sidebar; DL Hughley then Hendrix, followed by Garth Brooks, then CSN, Gretchen Wilson, AC/DC, then Nickelback, Ray Charles and now Aretha Franklin, followed by Marilyn Manson.  No wonder my head spins sometimes.  So as a wrap up we are ranking the week an overall 2.5, with a great mental attitude. So we can move on to the vital for the week ending 07.11.14

 

  • INR = 2.3 taken 06.30.14 – next test will be 07.28.14 – but no change in meds

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 93 taken 7.10.14

  • Peak Flow = 215 taken moments ago, 7.11.14

  • BP = 108/62 taken 7.10.14

  • Heart rate = 102 taken 7.10.14

  • Temp = 98.7 taken 07.10.14

  • Weight = 266 taken 07.10.14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 07.11.14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect. This week I have chosen “COMMITMENT” as the word of the week. As I normally do I will start with the dictionary definition for the word.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commitment

Commitment Definition com·mit·ment  — Noun – a) promise to do or give something b) a promise to be loyal to someone or something c) the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something 

Go to the link above if you want or need a more complete definition of commitment.

I struggled all week looking for a word that I wanted to address, it came to me the moment my preacher spoke of it during church today and as it as it relates to being a Christian that our commitment to being Christians is not a 9 to 5 job. It was great sermon, her sermons generally are great. 

A little over 7 years ago I was “officially” diagnosed with COPD. (But please be assured that I had been working up to this official diagnoses for 20 years) I was already in the moderate stage and pushing against the severe stage real hard.  Doc Lungs told Steph and me that it is terminal, and there was no cure, and at best I had 3 to 5 years.  I don’t remember what we spoke about for the next 10 minutes, we left his office in silence, I am sure we both had that super stunned look. I know I moped around a bit, and 2 weeks later I was back in Doc Lungs office.  He sat with me and said “Bill, I will commit to you that I will do everything in my power to help you manage this, we will change your medicines as new “better” ones become available, and I will work with you every step of the way.  But this will only work if I get your commitment to fight this as best you can, if you don’t fight I can’t help.”  It was at that moment I made the commitment to fight my COPD with every tool at my disposal, that I would not wallow in self-pity, I would not bemoan my illness, and that I would be my own advocate, that I would enjoy the remainder of my life to the best to my ability.  Sidebar; we have been listening to Trace Atkins, Lewis Black, Montgomery Gentry, Aerosmith, SRV, more Nickelback, AC/DC, Cream, 3 Doors Down, Mountain, Rob Zombie and the Eagles during this session. Folks I have honored that commitment for 7 years, and I will continue to honor it. 

This blog is a direct result to that commitment and the fact that my wife just nagged my ass, again and again and again, until I finally gave in and said “FU…. It!” And I started writing with the goal to help and educate as many people as I could. I am not a quitter, (hell I couldn’t quit smoking, BUT I DID STOP), and in a little over 2 years I have written a 286 posts of which 114 are “How I Feel’s”.   I have reaffirmed my life for Christ, but I also have made the commitment to live as healthy as possible.  I exercise everyday even if it’s just pushing a shopping cart up and down the aisles at my local Publix, or ensuring the laundry is done, folded and put away. I watch my weight and it watches me, when my wife is home I cook and eat better, healthier meals.  I try to rest but sleep does elude me sometimes. I maintain a positive attitude, and I really don’t fret about the end of retirement.

That said we all have choices.  When we get devastating news that we or someone we love and cherish has a terminal disease, or one that has no cure, or both, or even if you’re as heathy as a horse. With that news comes choices, and you can choose to make the necessary commitments to make the most you can before the end of retirement.  You can make commitments to eat better, to exercise more, or to stop smoking.  You can make commitments to get your personal life in order.  To not burn bridges, and to try and mend those bridges that have been burnt.  You can commit to your Doctor, to pay attention to what he or she has to say, and do your best to follow his instructions, you can also commit to keeping your doctor informed of the changes you feel within, because as you live thru this you will usually notice changes in your daily health pattern long before a hospitalization is needed, if you’re aware and in communications with your doctor.  You may be ill, but you still need involved in your health.  These are commitments you can make to yourself, your family, your friends, and your doctor which can all have a positive impact in a negative world. Hell you can write a blog, it sure has helped me.

As always if you have any questions, concerns, or comments please feel free to bring them to my attention, I will answer as completely and honestly as possible. Please take care, Bill

 

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33 responses to “How I Feel for the Week Ending 07.11.14…

  1. Brenda Davis Harsham

    July 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Yeah, I’m glad it wasn’t lower than 2.5!

     
    • FlaHam

      July 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Brenda, I am glad it wasn’t lower too. But even if it were I would deal with it. Please take care, and be safe. Bill

       
  2. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    July 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    So happy for the emotional high you add and how it impacted your whole week. Wish the weather were better for you. I know how energy sapping humidity and heat can be. Big hug! ❤

     
    • FlaHam

      July 13, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Paulette, If I wasn’t bitching about how hot and humid it is here, then I would be bitching about how cold and icy it was someplace else. I suspect that winter would be just as difficult as summer, but you get to add slipping and falling in snow and ice, which I don’t have to contend with here. So I will continue to whine about the weather, but I will also stay in Florida. Smiling, I willed myself not to be sick, just like I did the weeks leading up to the Disney Cruise last year. I wouldn’t have missed Friday for all the tea in China. LOL LOL (told Colleen that too). Take care, be safe, we will talk soon. Bill

       
  3. Barbara Farrelly

    July 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Bill, hello!

    Another post jam packed with wisdom, honesty and songs. Thank you. First of all congratulations on being recognized for your wonderful blog. I am one of the many who have found much help here, and I thought I knew a thing or two! Well done.

    We do stand at a crossroads when we get this diagnosis. But even if we make some bad choices we can back up and get on the right track. (Otherwise we’re on a ‘highway to hell’, as AC/DC might say).

    There are times I’ve been vigilant and as fit as possible and an infection wipes out the gains. When this happens dozens of times, that’s when it’s hard to keeping going.

    My best strategies, looking back, were to do pulmonary rehab and keep up with my walking. But like you, I have found the silver linings and continue to make every day meaningful.

    There are things I can’t do because I have Copd. But there are things I never would have done if I hadn’t got Copd.

    Blessings Bill. x Barb

     
    • FlaHam

      July 13, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      Barbara, Thank you for your kind words, and I truly appreciate them, and I appreciate that I can provide you something you may not have had before, but I have read your blog, and you have a great one yourself. We really are at a crossroad, and we have so many choices, so many challenges, so many decisions, and how we handle them dictates how our time will be spend between when we get the news and the final conclusion. I believe I have taken the high road, and I believe that my blog helps others take a road other than the one that leads them deep into a hole that is difficult to climb from. Like you I am making the best of a very difficult situation, and enjoying life along the way. My dear you make me smile, I love how you enjoy my music, my sense of humor, and the serious side as well, thank you. Please take care, be safe, Bill

       
    • huntmode

      July 19, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      Barbara, what an excellent last two lines you wrote here. Just excellent! Thank you. Best ~ Hunt

       
      • FlaHam

        July 20, 2014 at 7:06 am

        Huntie, I don’t know if I pointed out those comments in my remarks back to Barb, and thanked her, but thank you for doing so. Take care, Bill

         
      • Barbara Farrelly

        July 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm

        Thanks Huntie.

         
  4. Chatter Master

    July 13, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I don’t like that the score went down. And I wouldn’t have known it on Friday! I hope we didn’t wear you out too much!! Seeing you in person I can now see the realities of what you report. Which makes me value what you do with this blog even more. I’m glad Stephanie talked you in to doing this.

     
    • FlaHam

      July 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      Colleen, I was tired at the end of the day, but so were you and David. Our visit didn’t make me more tired, heck it didn’t even make me cranky. It was wonderful, and I would do it again in a heartbeat and not change a thing. I truly hope seeing me as I am, didn’t cause either you or David distress. I will answer my own question, I know it didn’t. But the effort to get around, the effort to breath, the effort to be me is difficult sometimes. I truly wish I could say “don’t worry it will get better,” but I can’t so I won’t. This is the natural progression of the disease. Some folks it’s faster others it’s slower. The result is the same. The bottom line is you need to understand I wouldn’t give up Friday and our lunch for all the tea in China, or wherever the hell it comes from. I made it thru the day fine. It only took 45 mins to get home (usually 30-35). I kicked off my shoes probably before you even got on the plane. And 2 days later I am still glowing. Still bubbling. Thank you so very very much. Take care, Bill

       
      • Chatter Master

        July 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm

        You answered your own question correctly. It did not distress us. It was a super long day. When we left David said we had been together for 7 hours. I was stunned. I thought it was only a couple! 🙂 It was a long day that could have been longer.

         
        • FlaHam

          July 14, 2014 at 7:11 am

          Colleen, Smiling, I am like David, it wasn’t until the day was long over that I realized we had the opportunity to spend so much time with you and David. When we started making plans I figured 4 hours at the max. But weather and SWA worked in our favor and allowed us that extra time which I didn’t know we had. The conversation had not even hit the quiet part, the giggles were still abundant, and the story sharing was still continuous. What a wonderful day, that could have gone on and on in my mind. I can’t thank you enough. Love Bill

           
  5. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    July 13, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Bill – Congratulations on the award for your blog. Those of us out here who read and learn from you know that you have a terrific blog and we learn each time you write. The amazing thing is that we have a good time while we are learning. Like many others I follow, I save your blogs and read them at a time when I don’t think I’ll be disturbed. I’m able to pay closer attention and actually read the wisdom you pass along to us. Thank you.

     
    • FlaHam

      July 14, 2014 at 7:07 am

      Sheri, This is one of my most favorite comments. The award was really nice, but if someone one the Daily Strength Discussion Group hadn’t pointed it out I would have never known I received it. But what I most appreciate about your comment is that you save my blogs to read when you have quite time so you can better absorb what I am attempting to convey. That in itself is an extremely high award. Thank you. Please take care, Bill

       
      • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

        July 14, 2014 at 10:07 pm

        Bill, I make an honest effort to comment on 200 blogs a week. Out of the 200 you are in the top 25 I save and read when it’s just me and the writer. I don’t want distractions. I want to pay attention and think about what I’ve read. I never leave a like if I haven’t read a blog but I don’t remember seeing anything of yours I haven’t wanted to read. You are indeed a champ and I’m honored and a better person for having ‘met’ you.

         
        • FlaHam

          July 15, 2014 at 11:22 am

          Sheri, At best I read many 125 posts a week, and like you if I haven’t read it I don’t leave a like behind. I really really try to respond to each comment I get. No I don’t respond to smiley faces or simple salutations, but if there is any substance at all to the comment I will reply, and I have found that I learn so much thru the comments Not only do I learn about others, their fears, their joys, their passions, thru them I learn more about myself. Thank you for spending as much time as you do with my posts, I truly appreciate it, and I will steal your line “You are indeed a champ and I’m honored and a better person for having ‘met’ you.” Take care and thank you, Bill

           
          • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

            July 15, 2014 at 8:50 pm

            Obviously my reading time was interrupted last night as I didn’t get to finish reading your comments on blogs. I so agree about the learning process in the comments section.

             
            • FlaHam

              July 15, 2014 at 10:16 pm

              Sheri, for me the most interesting and fun thing is that my posts goes from being monologs to dialogs in the comment section. I do the best I can when I write to invite comments, good or bad, for or against, I just want to talk it thru. Thank you for being part of it. Take care, Bill

               
  6. Wanda

    July 15, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    The conclusions you draw in this post–that a commitment to what it takes for a good outcome, leads to a good outcome–are no surprise. The difference here is that you have the track record to prove it. You have not only exceeded Doc Lung’s predictions (admittedly with his and others’ help), you’ve done it with your own unique combination of style, grace, and humor, and, along the way, you’ve been a source of encouragement to many others, myself included. You do good work!

     
    • FlaHam

      July 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      Wanda, Thank you for your so sweet words. Yes in the weeks following getting the word, I did make a commitment to myself to live my life to the fullest. I decided that the disease would not define me, and that I wouldn’t hide from it. So far, I have done a pretty fair job of it. LMBO yes I am unique, of that there is little doubt, and yes I have what I think to be a pretty fair sense of humor, but style and especially grace could be argued LOL. I will admit that I am very happy that my words and actions have been a source of encouragement for others. I had dreamt that I would have an impact when this blog started, but dreaming and it becoming an actuality are significantly different, but sometimes dreams come true, I have been quite lucky to have so many folks, enjoy and get something from my efforts. Take care, Bill

       
  7. benzeknees

    July 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Bill – I’m having trouble figuring out what stage I am at right now. I am not in denial because I freely acknowledge I have a deadly disease. I don’t talk about it much with my loved ones though because it seems to upset them more than it upsets me. I made it a point to download the pages where I can plan “my end of retirement” & have advised hubby & my daughter of this plan. I have asked my daughter not to fight with my hubby over my healthcare (my current hubby is not her father) & I have made it clear to both of them I do not want to be kept alive on machines if there is no hope for recovery.
    I am following all my doctor’s orders & where there seems to be a conflict between treatments, I work out which is best for my overall health. I have so many docs involved in my healthcare right now (hence why I call myself a Professional Patient sometimes) – I have a psychiatrist who is working with me to get my anxiety & depression meds balanced & who is also helping me try to obtain a bit more sleep; I have a Pain Management specialist who is working with me on the pain in my thoracic region & has referred me for physiotherapy & a shot in my knee to try to improve my walking skills; I have a Neurologist who is trying to find the right dose of medication to help me with my essential tremors; I have a Pulmonary Specialist who is sending me here, there & everywhere (cardiac ultrasound, blood gases, x-rays, cardiac CT scan to name a few) to get as much info. about my situation as possible; I was seeing a Cardiologist who ruled out heart problems as being the source of my pain; I see my primary physician who monitors my chest & all other functions; I see an Endocrinologist to keep my thyroid balanced & work on some weight loss. Juggling all these appointments has become almost a full time job.
    I think I might be in the acceptance stage or at least working on acceptance. I still don’t like to think about my “end of retirement” too much, but I have accepted I will have some limitations on my life & do my best with the cards I have been dealt.

     
    • FlaHam

      July 16, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Benze, I think your doing everything thing you can to transition that is possible. I don’t talk of end of retirement as a normal course of conversation. But if brought up I am not afraid of it as a talking point. Just like you I have my team of doctors, each as a role, and I work with each as I need. I manage all my appointments and have all required treatments. I am continually open to suggestions and whatever. You and I are on similar tracks, and we travel them in similar manners. You stay the course on the things you are comfortable with, and you should be fine. Take care, Bill

       
  8. Emily Grace

    July 17, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Bill, your playlist makes me smile. I just had to have some Aretha Franklin playing after I saw she was on your list. 🙂

    Your points on commitment are so very important. We always have choices and opportunities – committing to show up and participate in difficult times is simple, yet profound. Thanks for sharing.

    Best,
    Emily Grace

     
    • FlaHam

      July 17, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Emily, My playlist is quite eclectic, and for the most part there is something in there for just about anyone. I am glad you have found it to be enjoyable and that we found common ground in Aretha . I 1st encountered Aretha as a kid working in the carwash, and fell in love with her voice. Respect is far and away my favorite, but she sings the blues from so deep in her soul I could listen to her for hours. I am also glad you found my piece on “commitment” important. Being honest it sometimes hard to pick a word or statement to write about. But once I have found the word I make a inner commitment to be as honest as possible on how I feel about the word and the impact it has on me. It has been a pleasure getting your feedback and comments, please take care. Bill

       
  9. huntmode

    July 19, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I loved this one, Bill. I need to recommit to myself. Thanks for the reminder, as always. ❤ Huntie

     
    • FlaHam

      July 20, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Huntie, Don’t fret Huntie, I recommit each morning, each day, each week. It is a struggle, and you have to fight thru some of the bad times. But if it weren’t for the words of encouragement I get from so many different sources that action would be so much harder. Each word from you helps, just as my words to you help. Soft smile, that makes my commitment easier to make each day. Please take care and never give up the fight. Bill xoxo

       
      • huntmode

        July 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm

        Smile. You reminded me of that award they gave me in my senior year of high school, “The Try Hard, Die Hard Award.” Forty or so years later, it still hold true, Bill. Huntie

         
  10. Laurel

    July 27, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Love reading your updates Bill! Lucky for you I already liked you before I realized how much you love Nickelback—-:)))) Hugs

     
    • FlaHam

      July 27, 2014 at 7:38 am

      Laurel, Thank you, I am truly glad we had started the development of our friendship before you realized how much I enjoyed nickelback. Thank you for continuing to follow along. I get notices from linkdin that you have posted but for whatever reason I have some difficulty getting to your posts. If there is a secret handshake I need please share that with me. Take care, Bill

       

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