For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another test, over and done with.

Today I got my bronchoscopy done. This started off with a fast beginning midnight. No food or water. By the time all was done, I expected the fast to last a total of 12 hours. It ended up being 16 hours. I didn't take into account how long the freezing of my throat would take to wear off. It wasn't too bad, though Dh starting to talk about food on the way home sure wasn't appreciated! LOL

Dh took the day off to take care of me and, since we had no real idea how long things would take, we brought the girls along, too. The first thing I discovered was that the hospital I had to go to is a total maze! It's actually a complex of several hospitals, including a Children's Hospital and a Women's Hospital. We ended up parking way off in the wrong area. Since Dh had already paid the meter - $10 for less than 2 1/2 hours! - we walked to the right area, after I snagged someone and asked directions. Then, once in the hospital, I had to get directions for the correct pre-registration counter. Talk about confusing!

Things were running behind (no surprise there), but only by about half an hour. Once I got called in, Dh and the girls headed out for a while, grabbed a quick lunch, then headed back. We made sure they had he cell phone number to let him know when I was done.

Prep-ing me for the bronchoscopy included a bunch of paperwork (which is when I found out the dr. doing the bronchoscopy is the same respiratory specialist that wrote me up for the test), getting my blood pressure and O2 levels checked, and getting in IV. The blood pressure cuff was left on me. Things have changed a bit since the last time I've been in the hospital. For starters, no one othered to check O2 levels a few years ago. O2 and blood pressure are now done with a single machine on a stand, instead of having a person pumping away, like in the dr's office. Even the IV was different - no more big white gauze on the back of my hand. Now it's this clear tape-like bandage, allowing full view of the needle. Some patients don't like that, I was told. *L*

Talking to the nurse who put in the IV, she asked how I was feeling about the proceedure, and I told her I was looking forward to seeing the equipement and the proceedure. The paperwork I'd been given told me I'd be partially awake, and that they'd be using fibre optics. She told me they haven't used fibre optics in years. It's a little camera now, and since the dr. would be standing behind my head, the monitors (one for the camera the other for my vital signs) would be right in front of me. As we chatted, she commented that some patients are like me - interesting in finding everything out, asking all sorts of questions, and so on. Others come in and they don't even know why they're there. They just say their dr. sent them. Not only that, but they don't want to know what's about to be done with them. I found myself wondering that it must be hard to give informed consent about something when you don't want to be informed!

After about an hour, I was wheeled out. I had a decent view of where I was going, since the bed I was on was inclined. The respiratory specialist caught up with me as I was being wheeled in, dressed in a sport coat and tie! - and introduced me to the other two doctors that came in. Those two were dressed in scrubs. With the three of them, plus the nurse that wheeled me in, things were pretty crowded in that tiny room. The specialist went over my file with the other two dr's, telling them about my cough, and how long I've had it. Practially on cue, I started coughing, and they were both going "ooh... yeah - that would get annoying!" My cough has a rather distinctive noise to it.

One of the doctors then had to spray my mouth to numb it. He warned me that the stuff tasted really bad - like Buckley's Mixture, only worse. LOL. Yeah, it was bad - but I've tasted worse. He had to do that twice, then a different one that he had to stick down my throat to numb things farther down. Talk about a gag reflex, even partially numbed! No wonder they insist on people fasting, first!!

Meanwhile, the monitors were being set up in front of me. With the one for the camera, I could see the floor. Wherever it was, it was obviously hanging downwards. The nurse added some valium to my IV.

Then I woke up in the recovery room.

Dang it. I wanted to watch the proceedure!

The preceedure itself doesn't take long at all. I'd been told that they'd take a sample of the fluids in my lungs and, if the dr. saw the need, possibly a biopsy. Since the dr. would be seeing everything as it was being done, I was told he'd be able to talk to me about what he saw.

I never saw him. I figure, with them being behind, he just never made it before I was ok to head out.

I fell asleep a couple of times in recovery, so that seemed to go by quickly. I didn't have my glasses, but there was a clock close enough that I could figure out what time it was. It felt like I slept for such a long time, but only a few minutes went by.

The awkward part was when I shifted my butt around to get comfy and felt something a touch odd. And damp. Now, one of the issues with my cough is that... well, I need to tense things up in the nether regions. If I was coughing while unconcious in recovery, I couldn't have done that. Problem was, I couldn't exactly check myself! So I waited for a nurse.

By the time she showed up, so did my family. I had my blood pressure checked one last time, the IV removed, and my glasses returned to me - yay, vision!!! I mentioned to her that I felt damp and thought I might've wet myself, but she told me that that was unlikely. Then she drew the curtain so I could get dressed.

Once I was off the bed, though, I discovered I was right. I'd leaked. Ugh. That meant going home commando, and I've never liked that. I find the seams in pants really uncomfortable. Well, it could've been worse, as far as things going wrong. I couldn't even bother being embaressed about it.

Thankfully, the exit wasn't far from the recovery room. I was pretty light headed, still, and hung onto Dh, just to be on the safe side. He brought the car around - with a whole 7 minutes to spare on the ticket. In fact, once he got outside to buy more time for parking, his phone beedled to let him know he had messages, and he found out they'd tried to call him three times. He and the girls were in the waiting room for a while by then, but this department is in the basement, so there was no signal. When they'd returned, he's suggested to the woman behind the desk that maybe he should somehow let them know he was back, but she said not to bother; they'd come to the waiting room to check. They never did! I guess since they had the phone number, they just tried calling, instead.

One of the things that was stressed as they were getting me ready to go was to NOT try to eat or drink for a couple more hours, because of the danger of choking. I was told that, if I felt like it was safe to try, just to take a sip of water to see, but no more. Once home for a while, I did give it a try, and I had no problem swallowing, but I just took a few more sips, then went for a nap, since I was still feeling a bit woozy.

Right now, the only effects I'm feeling is irritation in my bronchial tubes - which is really no different from times when my cough it a bit worse. If I take a deep breath, I can feel it more, but again, it's nothing I'm not used to because of the cough. I was warned that I might be coughing up blood or having problems with shortness of breath or pain, but I'm not having any of that.

Since the dr. never saw me in recovery, I have no idea how things went otherwise. I won't find out until I go for my follow up visit, near the end of November.

After this, I just have the barium X-rays to get done. I need to make that appointment myself, once I figure out which location is most convenient for me to get to.

Then, it's just a matter of getting together with the specialist and seeing what the results tell us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Testing, testing, 2 and 3. Four coming up tomorrow.

So I got a couple more elimination tests done, trying to track down the source of my chronic cough.

The first one was a methacholine challenge. It was actually a lot of fun and very interesting. I got a tech that clearly loved his job, and was fantastic about answering questions and explaining the different readings on the screen, which was in full view of where I was sitting.

In this one, I had to breath through a hose into a drum that measured the changed in volume. This involved taking a huge breath in, then punching it out as hard as fast as I could, then keep trying to exhale for as long as possible - or until he told me to stop.

The first few were to establish a base line. I ended up doing 6 of these - about twice what was needed. *L* The interesting thing was seeing the numbers increase slightly each time.

Once that was done, I had to inhale the methacholine in a saline solution through a mask, starting with a low dosage. I'd do a few more puffs into the drum - these ones for only 3 seconds, instead of until I was turning purple. After about 3 of those, I'd get another, stronger, dose of methacholine through the mask, and we'd do it again. I can't remember if it was 3 or 4 stints on the mask.

With people who have respiratory issues, such as asthma, there would be a substantial increase in restriction even with the low dosage. For people without these issues, lung volume does drop, but slowly and not by very much.

Finally, after the methacholine tests were done, I was given two shots on a puffer, the same as what asthmatics would use, given 9 minutes for it to do its work, then tested again.

Although the results were printed out to be sent to the respiratory specialist for analysis, the tech and I could see them and talk about them right then and there. My lung volume turns out to be well within the normal ranges. Even when, near the end, I was starting to cough a bit more (not much, though, thankfully. This wasn't anything at all like the booth tests, though these tests were part of it), my volume remained within normal ranges. There was even one test, after one of the stronger doses of methacholine, where I knew it was weak. It was the first of three puffs after that dose, and I didn't punch it out as hard as I could have. The next two puffs were back on track. Interestingly, the first "weak" puff had a higher volume than the two that followed! So even though I didn't hit is as hard as the others, the result was better.

When it was all done and we were talking about the results, I made a point of asking very specifically about what was being measured, and that yes, my results were within the normal range. Then I told him why. If you've read my post about my visit to the respiratory specialist, you know that we discussed the results from my booth tests, and that the last two had showed I had lower than normal lung volume - and that the specialist blamed it on me being fat, even though I told him that, by the time I was doing those tests, I was having major problems with my coughing.

When I mentioned this to the tech that was doing the methacholine challenge, he was taken aback. Looking again at the results printed out and in his hands, he told me there was NO reason to come to that sort of conclusion. My lung volume - without having all those other tests that were done in the booth first, and without coughing my lungs out in the process - is fine.

I wonder what the respiratory specialist will make of that?

The next test I had done was the home sleep apnea test.

This one was interesting, since our only other experience with sleep apnea testing was with my husband, who'd spent the night in a research lab, hooked up to all sorts of gadgets. Mine wasn't quite that involved. *L*

Because of our above normal awareness of sleep apnea, the tech that gave me the machine didn't have to spend anywhere near as much time with me, explaining about apnea. She just had to tell me how to do the test.

I had three things to attach to my body. The first was an oxygen sensor, taped to one finger, to get my blood oxygen readings while I slept. That was kind of funny. The sensor has a red light and, when the lights were out, the tip of my finger glowed red. All I could think of was the movie, ET, with the phrase "ET phone home!" jumping into my mind whenever I saw it. *L* Also, just to make sure the sensor didn't accidentally get ripped off or something as I moved around, the wire was taped to my wrist.

The second thing to attach was a microphone. This was a thick, flat metal disc that had to be taped into the hollow of my throat, just above where my clavicle meet. This would record my snoring and the volume - as well as any bedtime conversation we had once the machine was turned on.

Finally, I had to attache a hose to my face. In shape, it was a lot like what my husband wears with his CPAP, but tiny. A device with a pair of nozzles went under my nose, with the nozzles inside. They tickled. From each side of the device, a hose ran up, around my ears, then back down under my chin. A slider was used to keep it snug in place. The pair of hoses then joined to a single hose, which then attached to the machine. This measured how much air was (or wasn't) coming out of my nose.

The wires and hose for this were all really long, to give plenty of roll-around room. It made getting into bed a challenge. Dh had to untangle one of them from my leg for me as I tried to get under the covers. I tend to toss and turn a fair amount, and every time I had to roll over, I needed to find the wires and hose and hold them out of my way as I moved. The most disruptive part was in the morning, when I had to go to the bathroom. Since all this stuff is taped to me, I had to unplug the machine from the back, take it to the bathroom with me (while making sure I didn't trip over the wires and hose hanging down), then plug it back in when I got back to bed. Well, it was pretty dark, so I had to turn on a light to plug it back in. I had been told that I wouldn't have to turn the machine back on again, but after a minute or so of watching the screen *not* switch from "not recording" to "recording," I turned it on manually.

Half an hour later, I have up trying to sleep again. All the fussing just woke me up too much. Which means they have, at most, only 4 1/2 hours of test results. According to my husband, I didn't even snore that night. Seeing the results should be interesting.

So those are the latest tests. Tomorrow is the big one. The bronchoscopy. This one will be done in hospital, and they're going to physically look into my bronchial tubes and, if necessary, my lungs.

This is the one I'm pinning my hopes on. If they can't find anything after physically looking into my lungs, I don't know what's left.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The sky is still falling! Seriously!

I haven't have much time to post lately, but I just couldn't resist throwing up a quick note about this story, from Times Online.

Arctic is melting even in winter.

Wow. Reading this article, you'd think it meant Arctic ice is actually going away right now, instead of increasing, as it does this time of year, every year.

Oh, hold on.

Sea ice area approaching the edge of normal standard deviation.

If you look at the graphs, you'll notice that this year, the sea ice had been increasing with amazing speed. Which is pretty much the opposite of what the Times article is claiming.

Now, how many people who read the Times article do you think will take the time to check if it's true?

Why would they even feel the need to do so?

Why should anyone have to?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The wonders of medical technology

I love technology. I really do! I still think we're overly dependent on it, but gosh, it's great stuff!

Thanks to my mystery cough, I'm getting to check out all sorts of neat stuff. Today's medical wonder was the CT scan.

This one was actually unexpected. I thought I already had a CT scan booked ... for tomorrow (meaning wednesday - I just noticed midnight has come and gone as I wrote this). Then I got a call yesterday to verify my appointment for today - not only in a different hospital, but in a different town! Not far to go, at least. Another day where I'm thankful we got a car. Getting there would've been a *lot* more difficult, expensive and time consuming.

Unfortunately, the girls weren't allowed to come in and see the stuff, nor was I allowed to take pictures. *sigh* ;-)

I gave myself plenty of time to get lost, so I got to the appointment nice and early. They even took me in right away, though in the end, that didn't matter much. I got to change into an oh-so-chic hospital gown and housecoat, then sit with the my girls in a waiting room. A few minutes there and I was taken in for a pair of Xrays - I wasn't expecting that part. Sadly, with it all done with computers these days, so there's no chance of getting a peek at the images anymore. The images get sent out immediately. Handy, but I sure did like getting a chance to see my own Xrays back when they had to check them physically.

When those were done, we got moved to another little waiting area down the hall, joining several other people in glamorous gowns and coats. A few minutes there and I got to sit at a desk and go over my history. Things like "have I ever worked around or been exposed to chemicals," and "have I ever had chest surgery." That one, my breast reduction counted. No chance of something going wrong there as being the cause, since I had that after I'd noticed the cough just wasn't going away.

After the paperwork part was done, I got to sit with the girls in the waiting area again, listing to some G0d-aweful soap opera on the tv. Thankfully, I was sitting directly under the tv, so I didn't have to be distracted by the images. Someone did pop on a short video explaining about the dye that's sometimes used during CT scans, explaining why it gets used, the potential risks, etc. Nice break from the tragedy of all these people trapped and dying or giving birth or bravely suffering horrendous injuries - all at the same time! - in the soap opera.

I truly don't understand how anyone can stand watching these. What's the appeal?

The wait was quite a bit longer this time. I got some good progress on the coat I'm now crocheting for Eldest. ;-)

I finally get called in, about a half hour later than I was booked for. Straight onto the table (with even a cushion under my knees, to make it more comfortable), hands over my head, and strapped in - just in case. A few minutes in the doughnut - breath in, hold your breath, breath normally, exhale, hold your breath, breath normally, all done.

Well, not quite that quickly, but pretty close. I did have a hard time with the breath holding part. With the inhale, I finally gave out just as I got the "breath normally" command, but with the exhale, I couldn't hold it that long. I thought I'd screwed it up for them, but I was told it was fine. The whole thing was over in less than 10 minutes.

Oh, I got a bit of a giggle after I was put in place on the slab and positioned in the scanner. As I look up, I can see a black ring or open area right in the middle. Above it is a tiny yellow sticker, upside down. Since I didn't have anything else to do at the moment, I worked out what it said.

It was a warning that lasers were being used, so don't look at them.


So I spent most of the time with either my eyes closed (I was all comfortable and relaxed, anyhow - could've gone for a nap! *L*), or looking at the panel readings at the front of the scanner.

I still have the appointment at another - local - hospital tomorrow. That one's for a pulmanory something-or-other, it turns out. I can't remember the exact name of it. The woman who answered when I called to verify said it so quickly, I just couldn't catch it right.

For this one, a car *isn't*of use. I'll be taking the train. Then thursday, I've got another appointment to pick up the machine to test me for sleep apnea - and spend about an hour going over some paperwookd I need to fill out, as well as being told how to use the machne - which I'll have to return before noon the next day.

Next week's not as busy, but I'd got the Big One in there. This is the one where I get things stuck down my trachea so they can look around. I'll be in twilight for this one, so I won't be in any shape to take myself home. My husband has already booked the day off so he can get me home safely.

There's still one more set of Xrays I need to book. I keep forgetting to call. :-P I'm just sooo looking forward to taking that barium again. It's not the worst thing in the world.

Hopefully, after all these tests are done, we'll have some sort of answer about this cough. Something. Anything! Even if there's nothing that can be done about it, just *knowing* what's causing it will be a help.

Meanwhile, I seem to have injured myself at work. I had only one shift last week. It wasn't a particularly difficult shift. I was with a new person tending a volunteers reception for the first couple of hours, which involved replacing the empty pizzas under the heat lamps as needed, then cleaning up plates and glasses when the volunteers stepped out to do the stuff they were there to do. After that, there was a bunch of us setting up for an event the next day. That was just making sure tables were in the right spots, with table clothes and skirts, then setting the tops up in preperation for buffets, coffee stations, etc. The heaviest things I lifted were stacks of side plates.

At the end of the shift, as I was leaving, I noticed my left elbow was sore. It didn't seem like a bit deal. I couldn't remember straining or twisting it in any way.

It's still sore now, and not doing well. This morning, while drinking from a glass I was holding in my left hand, I had to reach up and support it with my right because, once I lifted it past a certain point, I thought my elbow was going to give out on me! Not just because of pain - it's by no means the most painful thing I've ever felt - but because the elbow just didn't seem to be working right. I would've expected it to have improved by now, and it hasn't. I don't have another shift until friday night. If it's not better by then, it's going to cause problems at work.

What an irritation. :-/

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


To my fellow Canadians... have you voted yet?

Do you even know who you're going to vote for? Do you know what you're voting for?

After reading this article, I have sympathy for the folks at the polling stations.

I have been avoiding talking about the election. I've been disgusted by the antics displayed by most of the party leaders. Their various reps haven't been much better. I don't belong to any particular party, nor to I see myself ever agreeing with any one of them enough to do so.

I've never voted NDP. My disenchantment with them began before I was old enough to vote. Growing up in central Manitoba, the NDP were the party of choice where I lived. My family always voted NDP. Then one year, they won. Ed Brodbent was in. Everyone was so thrilled! Things were going to change for the better, we thought. Then the reality of an NDP government set in. They do enough damage provincially. I would never want them federally. Especially now, with "Taliban Jack" at the helm.

I'm pretty sure I've voted Liberal at some point. It would've been many years ago. Then we had the Chretien years, followed by Paul Martin. As if they weren't bad enough, now they've got Dion at the helm. Heaven help us if he ever gets into the PMO.

I used to vote Green, back when they were fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Now with May at the helm, they're just socialist. She's been a disaster for the party. Aside from her swollowing the AGW theme, hook line and sinker, at the expense of real environmental issues, her working relationship with Dion just muddies things even more. Vote strategically, even if it means voting Liberal! No, I didn't really mean that. Vote Green. Unless you vote Liberal. The Green Party itself has had to issue official statements to counter the crap she's been spewing.

So that leaves the Conservatives, but I don't like a lot of what they've been doing, either. I don't like how they've flipped on the AGW side of things after they got into office. They're plan to tackle "climate change" isn't any better than the Liberal Green Shift. There's a few other areas that I'm not happy with their performances.

Locally, I don't even had a fringe party I could vote for. It's just these four. So I look at the local individuals and wonder, which of these people would I want to represent me in Ottowa?

Unfortunately, that doesn't really make it any easier.

I voted anyways, and I hope it was a good choice. My husband still has no idea who he'll vote for. Last election, he finally just gave up and didn't vote at all.

Sometimes, I feel the same way.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to take a moment away from today's preparations to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. (For those of you visiting from the US, our Thanksgiving is on the second Monday of October.)

We have much to be thankful for, not the least of which is that tomorrow is election day - which means all the disgusting antics shown by our campaigning party leaders will finally be at an end! I can't imagine going through two years of this, like in the US!! I feel for you guys. Really, I do!

So today, I hope my fellow Canadians get to enjoy a lot of good food with family and friends, then go out and vote tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Testing, testing... more tests to come.

I had my appointment with a respiratory specialist yesterday. When I got the appointment, I was told it could take up to two hours. I found myself wondering what they heck was going to be done to me for two hours!

It turned out they meant I might have to *wait* up to two hours for my appointment. It's a very busy office, it turns out. My appointment was just a consultation.

One of the things the dr. did was go over past test results with me. I had some X-rays done and, as expected, everything came back normal. Whatever it is that's causing my cough, it doesn't show up on X-rays.

The X-rays had been quick and easy - I spent more time in the waiting room than getting the X-rays done, and I didn't have long to wait.

The breathing tests, on the other hand, were a lot less fun. I got to sit in this little glass booth and breath into a hose (while wearing a nose clip) in different ways. The hardest one was when the tech had to shut me in and had me do these short little puffs that made my cheeks go in and out. Part way through, she shut the air off, and I had to keep puffing, as if I were still breathing. Except I had no air. I was supposed to keep doing this until she told me to stop, and it was all I could do not to rip the mouthpiece off and gasp for air before she did.

Now, one of the things that triggers my cough is deep breathing, or anything that puts pressure on my breathing, like laughing and singing. Which means I normally tend to breath shallow now. It's something I don't even think about. During the test, I had to do a lot of deep breathing, holding the breath, exhaling as hard as I could for as long as I could - in other words, doing all sorts of things that trigger my cough. I even had to puff on an inhaler, just like the ones asthmatics use, which irritated things even more. By the end of the test, I would start coughing part way through the tests (right into the hose... ew). The tech started giving me longer and longer times between tests so I could recover.

So picture me going over the test results with the respiratory specialist. He starts off saying how everything was normal, except for two tests. These measured lung capacity. According to the tests, my lungs can hold less air than they should. He then told me it was because...

wait for it... can you guess?

... of "the obesity."

That's right. My lungs hold less air because I'm fat.

When I saw the number, I asked him if these two tests were done at the end or at the beginning of the series. He told me they were at the end. So I told him about how, by the end of the testing, I was coughing badly *because* of the test themselves. We'd already discussed what my cough was like, what the triggers were, etc.

He pretty much ignored me. He said something about how this was normal for people with obesity. Then moved on because my lung capacity has nothing to do with my coughing. Meanwhile, he listened to my lungs (nothing unusual there, either) and went over a few more thing.

Towards the end, he started dictating a letter to my GP, stopping along the way to ask me more questions, the answers to which he'd include in the letter.

I did have an eyebrow raising moment over one of his questions. He asked me if I ever found myself out of breath if I take "3 or 4 flights of stairs." I don't know *anyone* that doesn't get out of breath after taking 3 or 4 flights of stairs! Just as an example, at work we have to take a lot of stairs. Going from the staff area on the lowest level to the hall at the upper level, while being only 3 floors, means taking 5 sets of stairs. Pretty much everyone is at least a little out of breath just with those. Throw in walking about half a mile of hallways and another ...

... oops. I just realized, I miscounted. It's 5 flights of stairs between the middle and top floors. So counting the stairs between the middle and lowest level, it's 7 flights total.

Then there's the hallways in between. This is NOT a small complex, and the elevators are to be used with freight only.

Yeah, after all that, we're all out of breath. I do have a harder time than others, I admit that. My cardio sucks. With my damaged knees and feet, I avoid stairs as much as possible. Up isn't too bad, but down is often precarious. Never mind painful, too!

So when he asked about being out of breath after taking "3 or 4 flights of stairs," I told him yes, because I have bad knees and I'm not in as good shape as I should be, and that being out of breath does sometimes trigger the coughing (if I breath really shallow, I can sometimes prevent the coughing from starting - which makes it harder for me to get my breath back).

Unfortunately, with his earlier comment about "the obesity," I am now suspicious that he's going to blame my "bad knees" on my being fat. I never got a chance to tell him *why* my knees are bad. If he's blaming my low lung capacity on being fat, even though I was having coughing fits *during* the tests, and ALL other tests came back showing my lungs are normal, it's a pretty easy assumption to think he's blaming other things on my size, too.

In fact, I partly suspect that my size is why sleep apnea is one of the things I'm going to be tested for. When he started asking me questions about snoring, being tired during the day (sometimes yes, sometimes no), I told him that my husband has severe sleep apnea, so we are very much aware of apnea. I do snore - loudly - but I don't stop breathing. He wants a reading of my oxygen levels as I sleep, though. He did do a quick check with the machine on his desk - my oxygen levels were at 97%, which is where it should be. My heart rate was good, too, which I was a bit surprised by. While my blood pressure is usually normal, my heart rate tends to be high.

I'm really hoping I'm wrong about my suspicions, though.

Now we're on to the next step. All the usual suspects are rules out. No asthma, acid reflux, allergies, etc. can be blamed for my cough. Along with the apnea test, I'm going to have another special X-ray done, this time with barium (oh, joy. I had several barium X-rays done back in Manitoba. The fizzy one down the throat was must unpleasant). I'm going to get a CAT scan done eventually - whoever's doing the scan will contact me directly about that. Oh, and yes, they'll be looking into my lungs directly. I've got a date at a local hospital to have things stuck down my tracea. I've already asked my husband to book that day off work, as I'm going to be drugged up for that one and will need help getting home.

There's another test I'm not remembering. The nurse said she'd call me with an appointment when she had one for me. There were so many different tests, I've lost track, and I don't have paperwork for all of them.

Well, at least two of them are this month, and I can make the appointment for the barium X-rays whenever I want.

I sometimes wonder if all this is worth it. It's just a cough, right? It's not that much of a problem, is it? *sigh* I have to keep reminding myself that a cough that last years really ought to be taken seriously. Easy enough to remember when I'm having one of my bad spells, but not when it's just that little tickle behind my sternum - an annoyance, but not much more.

That and I really hate having to wonder if a doctor is taking me seriously or not because I'm fat.