How I Feel for the Week Ending 08.15.14

16 Aug

For the week ending 08/15/14, it will quiet time, my jute box is broken, so I will be doing this report solo.  My desktop is on it last breath and the new one is sitting on my desk, I am just waiting for my new Office Professional Suite to arrive, and my IPod moved to the new computer and it will be full speed ahead.  But other than having computer and music woes I am doing I pretty good.

I have had a bad week for coughing, in retrospect I believe I had and got away with having very mild exacerbation of my COPD I will be talking to Doc Lungs Monday and get his read, hell he might say I just had a cold.  My energy level is low, and that damn SOB with be the death of me LOL. As many of you know I spend a considerable amount of time complaining about my not sleeping worth a damn.  My internist at Hospice changed the medication, had me stop taking the Ambien and start taking Trazodone.  The 1st night under this drug, I kinda laid there like a log. Not sleeping but not awake. The 2nd night I slept slightly better than day 1. The 3rd and 4th nights I had my Alpazolam about an hour before the Trazodone and that put me to sleep a bit better, but not as good as it should. The next night as I prepared for bed I ended taking the Alpazolam and Trazodone as well as my bedtime morphine and I slept real good.  But that was way to much medication before bed.  So I have stopped taking the Trazodone and gone back to the Ambien, I may not sleep great but I don’t run the risk of not waking up.

When I see Hospice again I this will be part of the main conversation.  Speaking of Hospice, the organization I am being treated thru is just like any other company or organization.  When change happens, it sinks to the lowest of levels.  There has been a reduction of staff, and clearly they have not worked all the kinks out of how to perform the necessary services with fewer people, I was called on Thursday afternoon about 30 prior to my appointment and the new nurse asked me how I was doing, to which I honestly replied I was doing okay.  To which she immediately responded then she guessed it wouldn’t be necessary for her to stop in this week, but if I needed anything to give the office a call and they would take care of it, then she promptly hung up.  It’s a good thing that I honestly felt okay because being blown off like that could be hazardous to ones’ health.  Then I thought of the more timid folks who say they feel okay or fine or good, when they in fact don’t.  This too will be addressed next week with the Sapphire Team Leader.

I think my most telling symptom of having COPD today is the higher than normal respiration per minute.  I believe that a normal healthy person breaths at the rate of 12 to 20 breaths per minute  I am consistently breathing at a rate that exceeds 20 breaths a minute, sometimes as much as 25 to 27 per minute.  The increased respirations per minute have an impact on other components of the body especially the heart.  I will be seeing my heart doctor in a couple of months and maybe we can work out a plan to slow me down.   I am also seeing Doc Head Monday and Doc Lungs Monday afternoon, I will be addressing the issue of rapid respirations Monday, so Monday is going to be CO-Pay day LOL.

All things considered I am going to rate this week a 2.50 physically, and an 8 on the mental meter.  Going back to talk about Trazodone for a minute, it’s prime purpose is to treat depression, aiding one’s’ ability to sleep is a “side-affect” of the drug. Personally I don’t feel depressed maybe I should but I don’t, and clearly the component of the side-affect didn’t work for me.

Let’s get the vitals out-of-the-way for the week ending 08/15/14

  • INR = 2.6 taken 07/28/14 – next INR reading scheduled for 05.12.14
  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 93 taken on 08/15/14
  • Peak Flow = 210 taken 08/15/14
  • BP = 142/73 taken 08/14/14
  • Heart rate = 102 taken 08/14/14
  • Temp = 98.7 taken 08/14/14
  • Weight = 260. taken 08/16/14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 08/15/14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  This week I want to spend a few of your minutes talking about “Medicine” as the word for the week.  As usual I have gone to the internet for an “official” definition.  This weeks’ definition comes to us via Yahoo.  I am not providing the link because I have copied the complete definition into the post.

Medicine – noun  — 1 — The science and art of diagnosing and treating disease or injury and maintaining health.  2 — The branch of this science encompassing treatment by drugs, diet, exercise, and other non-surgical means.   3 — The practice of medicine.  4 — A substance, especially a drug, used to treat the signs and symptoms of a disease, condition, or injury. 5 — Something that serves as a remedy or corrective. medicine for rebuilding the economy; measures that were harsh medicine. 6 — Shamanistic practices or beliefs, especially among Native Americans.  7 — Something, such as a ritual practice or sacred object, believed to control natural or supernatural powers or serve as a preventive or remedy.

The word medicine comes to play this week because of my bout with the drug Trazodone.  I complained that I wasn’t sleeping and was given an anti-depressant to solve the problem.  The problem still exists.  While I am a diehard do as the doctor says kinda guy, I hardly ever question the medicines I am given to help with my battle against COPD, this doesn’t mean I have given up my rights to know what I am taking, the impact (both good and bad) or the and potential side effects.  Each prescription I get comes with an information filled document, whether it’s the 1st time taking the drug or the 100th refill.  That document is always provided and extremely important to both you and me, especially if you have more than one pharmacy filling prescriptions.  You really need to read and familiarize yourself on what each of your medicines are for, potential side effects, restrictions, and when and how to take.  Things like; must we snack prior, is a sip of water enough or should we drink an entire glass. All of this information is in our hand, should we need more information regarding a drug we can follow it onto the internet and do more research. I will be the 1st to admit that in the past I most likely just dropped that info sheet into the circular file, and just started taking whatever med I was prescribed.  But you can teach an old dog new tricks, and my interest is more keen now than ever before.  So yes I do read the info sheets on my meds. We have to be our own advocates when it comes to the medicines we need to take.  If you have difficulty understanding the document I know my pharmacist will explain to me in terms I understand, and I am 99 pct sure yours will be more than happy to help you understand.

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

PS: My editor is working on a COPD video project. This will be a series of helpful how-to videos with tips for COPD patients such as how to quit smoking and how to get a good night’s sleep.  I was asked if I knew anyone in the DC or close by that would want to participate.  Someone with COPD close to D.C. who would be willing to speak on camera about these tips and their experiences? I told her I would ask my readers.  So if anyone who lives in the DC area that would be interested n taking part contact me, I will forward your name on.  Thanks Bill


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15 responses to “How I Feel for the Week Ending 08.15.14

  1. Chatter Master

    August 17, 2014 at 10:01 am

    More insight, thank you Bill. I imagine the medicines that are given to help also create their own problems. I notice the weight dropped again.

    I think it is fantastic that you aren’t depressed. I think that speaks clearly to your addressing your disease and end of retirement. I’ve met many a people at the end of their retirement who you remind me of. They were happy, well adjusted and understood the process of life. They accepted what was happening and spoke of it openly. They didn’t fear the inevitable because they knew it was part of the cycle. And interesting….I think I have only met one, but there may have been a second, who did not believe in God but who still had the same mental attitude and well being. Also interesting, they didn’t express they had had perfect lives, but they had FULL lives that included happy, sad, regrets…. but there was something else. Not sure what. But you seem to have it too.

    • FlaHam

      August 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Colleen, I really started paying more and more attention to the details of the medicines I am taking because of all the “drug” commercials that always end with the list of potential bad “side effects” and “don’ts” if your doing “this.” That opened my eyes and I felt the need to talk about it. The weight lost is something I will also be addressing with not only the Hospice folks, but with Doc Lungs. I know my heart doctor would be doing back flips over this lost. I am in fact eating less, and I am eating less often, those factors will contribute to weight lost, and some of the meds I take have weight lost as a potential “side effect.” So somewhere in there is the answer. I do believe that my faith has played a role in the acceptance and my attitude. I have always been a positive person, and once I accepted there isn’t a cure, I made the decision to be as positive as I could be. The I started my blog, and realized that maybe I could help someone, but I could only be helpful if I presented my positive attitude. I think they have fed off each other, keeping me in a good mood most the time. Anyway that’s my story and I am sticking to it. Take care, Bill

      • Chatter Master

        August 18, 2014 at 5:59 am

        It’s a very good story Bill. ❤

        • FlaHam

          August 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm

          Colleen, Thank you, I always appreciate your words. BTW when I saw Doc Head today she loved! the art work you have me. She truly loved how you captured my beard and hair. Thank you again for such a wonderful gift. Love Bill

          • Chatter Master

            August 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm

            🙂 I’m tickled you shared that with her! 🙂 ❤

  2. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    August 17, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Despite the hand you’ve been dealt, all of it, you continue to be positive. Most would fall prey to the sleep problems but you modify your meds and compromise to ensure another day of being alive. In reading this I’m gaining a deeper understanding of why I appreciate you and your posts so much, because you write about life and what it is to be alive despite so many things that many others keep hidden. You allow me to be more okay to be honest about my own stuff and in doing that I feel relief that bit by bit I can share my own chronic situation with others and gain a deeper more real relationship. I value you so much, Bill, your attitude, the sense of humor, your integrity and honesty, and for this my life is richer. This from my heart to yours. Happy day my friend. ❤

    • FlaHam

      August 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Paulette, Smiling we both know that being a PIA or pouting about my situation would do me and those around me no good at all. So I choose to be as positive as I can. If I had my way I would be alive 20 or 40 yrs from now. But I am not going to get my way. So I will live each day as best I can. I start each day with a smile because I am here to start it. Paulette sometimes I talk to much, but having said that, there is much I haven’t written about, in time I may, but some things will never be exposed. Your comment “You allow me to be more okay to be honest about my own stuff and in doing that I feel relief that bit by bit” is exactly why I started my blog to reach out and help someone, I am so so grateful that I have helped you even if it has been in a large or small way. Paulette I value our friendship as much as you do, I appreciate you even more. You have lent so much to me, and have given me so much. Thank you, Bill

  3. huntmode

    August 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Bill, Colleen and Paulette have said what was in my mind and heart. Re reading those Rx pamphlets… Back in the late ’70s, as part of my initial choice of “free” books to join a book club (remember those?), I ordered a physician’s desk reference re drugs just for the heck of it – seemed like a good reference book. One day, my boss, who was a quiet, stoic man, complained he didn’t feel well and wondered aloud if it was his new medication. Back then, you didn’t jump on the phone to call the doctor. I had the book at my desk. I checked his Rx and it stated the side effects. He said later it saved his life. (I had forgotten this story until now… and I always read those pamphlets!)

    • FlaHam

      August 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      Hunt, Months ago we talked about this very issue. I believe we were in chat, comparing medicines and such, and you recounted this story. I was amazed then that you did it, I was amazed that anyone would even consider buying a desk guide for drugs, and am still amazed that you took it upon yourself to have the conversation with your boss. But one of the truly amazing things about this is that your boss had the damn good sense to listen to you. You have been a problem solver since the day we met. And I know I have told you countless times I wish I had someone like you on my staff when I was working. Thank you for reminding me of that conversation. It’s just one of several we have had. Take care, Bill

      • huntmode

        August 17, 2014 at 5:44 pm

        Well, there you go, Bill. We’re such old friends, we’ve hit the “Yeah, you told me about that…” Laughter!

  4. benzeknees

    August 30, 2014 at 12:35 am

    I have always been a proponent of knowing exactly what is going into my body & when I changed pharmacists because we moved, I made an appointment to discuss all my different meds with my new pharmacist. We went over side effects, the best way to take all the medications, etc.
    Recently, I have been re-balancing my anxiety & depression meds, working with a psychiatrist so he can monitor how each change effects me. When I was having trouble sleeping even though I take a medication to quiet my mind at bed time, the psychiatrist suggested I try melatonin instead of adding another medication. I haven’t done it yet, but maybe it would help you Bill.
    My doctor learned early I am a person who wants to know the numbers because I understand them. I took a course in Anatomy & Physiology, have worked in a doctor’s office & always been interested in biology. So when he takes my blood pressure, it’s not enough to just tell me it’s fine – I want to know the numbers so I know for myself whether it’s fine.

    • FlaHam

      August 30, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Benze, I wish I could say the same, I really didn’t become interested in the going on in my body until I started to have health issues. Clearly my interest now is at a all time high. Yet had I paid attention 30 years ago who knows where I might be today. I applaud you and your efforts to know and understand what is going on, and I think it extremely important to have that conversation with your pharmacist, which will clearly make you better prepared. I do the exact same thing, and I have a great relationship with my pharmacist who watches out for me big time. Smiling, meditation, wow I do know it works for some, probably even a lot. But I really can’t see myself buying in and devoting the necessary time to become good at it. So for me to relax I write and play my games on the computer. It does work at least for me for now. Take care, Bill

      • benzeknees

        August 30, 2014 at 10:47 pm

        I also play computer games (Klondike specifically) to take me out of my own head & help me relax.

        • FlaHam

          August 31, 2014 at 4:39 pm

          Benze, Not a bad way to relax at all. A little mindless activity to kinda declutter ones’ head as we work thru our days. I don’t play Klondike and not really sure what it is, but I may go check. Take care, Bill


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