That rare word again…

Improved!! The word “improved” showed up once again in another test of mine…the pulmonary functioning tests!! The test that I usually get “good patient effort” for had better results this time around!!

I was fairly confident that the follow up for my lung appointment was going to go smooth so I had told Tim I would just go by myself. He was a little hesitant but I assured him that everything would be fine. 

Once to the hospital, I checked in and waited for my name to be called. The nurse that met with me first went over any symptoms I had been dealing with and did my vitals. Blood pressure, lungs, heart and oxygen all good so far!

Then the medical student came in introducing herself. She admitted that she had not heard of my disease so she went to prep the night before our appointment and that is when Dr. Hornick informed her I had written a book. She followed by saying she learned a few new things from me! I refrained from asking her to write a review on Amazon even though I knew if my husband had come with me he would have interrupted and told her to do so!

I reviewed my symptoms with her and I also shared with her that I was up to doing about 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, yet was continuing to gain weight and questioned if I should be concerned about that. She said she would talk with Dr. Hornick and then he would be back in.

Once the doctor came in we discussed my symptoms yet once again. I let him know of my exercise regimen and have to admit that I felt pretty proud to say that I am exercising on a regular routine…that I am ABLE to exercise! He seemed pleased and explained how the stronger my leg and back muscles become, the less my heart has to work which will also help with my hypertension. He encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing yet stressed the importance that my heartrate not get above 160. Oops…I might need to slow my pace a little then!😬

I also mentioned my continued weight gain and he informed me that by no means was I overweight or at a weight that we needed to worry about yet. He also stated that the fact I’m gaining weight could be a good thing if it’s what he was thinking.

He explained that my illness is all inflammatory and when my body is working extremely hard to fight my sickness, I will actually lose weight when I’m not trying to because of the way my body is fighting my disease. He said the fact that I am gaining weight could be a sign that my illness is stable. And the fact I can exercise as long as I am without getting extremely short of breath or without my oxygen dropping down to dangerously low levels…are also indicators that I am most likely stable for now! 

He then said he would like to have me do some pulmonary functioning tests to see how they compared to six months ago. He stressed the fact that while I have been exercising, he really did not expect to see much change in my breathing tests, let alone improvement. Because, while I was getting stronger physically, these tests were measuring something completely different…strictly my lung capacity. He told me not to get disappointed if the numbers were even lower than last time even though I am feeling physically stronger. I agreed saying that I was doing the most I have done in a long time and would not let any numbers discourage me! I mean, I could barely walk seven months ago!! So the plan was that I would go do my breathing tests and if there was a drastic decline I would come back and meet with him, otherwise if they were about the same I could go home.

I headed over to the next department and then got called back in to the telephone booth like box where I began the tests. Once I was done I waited for the tech to compare my last results and there it was…I could see the comparison on the screen…the abbreviations Imp%…meaning…IMPROVED!! I could barely contain myself as the tech read that word out loud and told me I was free to go! I was ecstatic as I walked out of the hospital!! In fact, so ecstatic that I took three flights of stairs instead of the elevator…just because I could!!! But my pounding chest and throbbing head reminded me how lousy I always feel after the effort I put in for those tests so maybe I should’ve taken the elevator!

Once to the car, emotions of joy consumed me and I couldn’t wait to call Tim and tell him about my good report because the word “improved” on any of my tests is as rare as my disease!!😜 

Again, I know I am not cured but like my doctor said, I am surprisingly stable at the moment. I know things can change fast and drastically so I don’t want to pass up on any opportunities available to me on my good days…even something as little as taking the stairs instead of the elevator! I understand what this disease is capable of because of what it has already done and that is why I am going to do as much as I can (without pushing too hard), for as long as I am able! 

For now I am making doctors shake their heads because I am improving! And I am going to fight to keep them guessing…not because of how mysteriously sick I am…but because of how miraculously well I continue to do!!

Faith, love, health and time are precious gifts that should never be taken for granted. It took me over a month to be able to walk 2 miles without my heart feeling like it was going to beat out of my chest…and for the ache in my back to subside! While I am defintely not where I was at 15 years ago physically, I am beyond where I ever thought I would be 15 years later spiritually and I am beyond grateful for that.

God is amazing through my encouraging fm results and He is still amazing through my discouraging eye surgeries…because I know He has me and will keep His promises! I know when I get to my final destination…He will give me ultimate healing! My pastor has often shared this verse with me…and what a great reminder it always is…

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