Good day folks, my home has been invaded by three of the dearest friends my wife has in the world. They are the loveliest, sweetest, wonderfulist, grandest folks you would ever want to meet and they all read this, so I am not saying anything harsh, they know where I live. But for the next 5 days (starting late last night) my role around the house will be that of H.R. Step and Fetch, and duty chauffeur for the lot. That’s not to say I won’t have my fun, just that I am sure I will be busy. Weather here in Tampa is working its’ way back to normal, with afternoon thunderstorms, and a ton of rain in selected spots. The humidity is normal for the conditions, which just means if you’re outside you will have issues breathing.
I had 2 medical appointments this week, one with Doc Head, and the other my normally scheduled visit with Hospice.
The appointment with Doc Head was helpful as always. I did speak to her about a concern/fear I was having regarding someone who starts reading my blog, as I begin my journey towards the end of retirement. The symptoms I display and the information I provide may be a tad bid disconcerting to someone who themselves are just being diagnosed with COPD. My concern lies in the potential impact my blog may have on mindset of someone in the mild or moderate range of the disease, and reading about what the end stage is like. Being honest my recollection of the conversation is a bit muddy, but I believe (or want to believe) that I need to remind folks that I had all the symptoms of COPD for almost 20 years before I was officially diagnosed with the disease (at the moderate stage) and it’s been well over 10 years since that formal diagnoses.
Doc Head also suggested that I do in fact report weekly on my mental state, to clearly show that while the body may be headed in one direction, the mind and attitude does not have to follow. So effective this week I will in fact be giving a score on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 equals less than piss poor, and 10 is friggin great, and there will be no half or quarter points. So for the week ending July 25, 2014, my mental health score is 8. Remember this number has no bearing on my how I feel physically number, and there is no unified number that combines them. For references purposes the week I had lunch with Colleen and her husband was a 12.
This week during my normal Hospice visit, my nurse and I discussed a multitude of different things. Of course we had the weekly “what is important to me question” to which I answered having a great weekend because Steph’s friends were visiting was important to me. We also talked about pain (beyond plain old getting old pain) and my pain level. My current nurse is leaving Hospice to pursue other job opportunities and will only be with me a couple more weeks. I should expect to meet my new nurse soon. A common complaint I have had for weeks and weeks is that I just don’t sleep as well as I should or need to. More than once I have asked the prescribing doctor if he would increase the dosage, to which he has said “No.” I do understand no, and have left that alone. I did suggest to Hospice that maybe because I have used this drug (Zolpidem Tartrate 10mg) for such an extended timeframe that maybe my body has become accustomed to it, much like it has to some antibiotics, and is no longer effective. The nurse said she would address this with the Team Doctor and advise me. We also talked about my SOB and the impact it has on my day to day existence. I can barely walk across the width of my home without stopping to gather myself. More and more it takes less and less to cause me to stop and gather myself. I would be lying if I said that the drugs don’t help they do especially the morphine sulfate. I am allowed a dosage every 4 hours (as needed) which equals 6 doses a day. I have never done 6 doses in a day, I have always found enough quiet time to prevent me going there. But there are times when I could do 2 or 3 doses in a 4 hour period, but haven’t.
Considering all the information I am going to rank myself as 2.5 for the week. Of course this rating doesn’t include the normal aches and pains of everyday life.
So to wrap up week ending 07.25.14, we are ranking the week an overall 2.5, but the attitude is an 8. So we can move on to the vitals for the week ending 07.25.14
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 7.24.14
Peak Flow = 205 taken 7.25.14
BP = 118/68 taken 7.24.14
Heart rate = 92 taken 7.24.14
Temp = 98.7 taken 07.24.14
Weight = 266 taken 07.24.14