Friday, October 10, 2008

Favorite and Not-so-Favorite Things

Have you all seen these? This is an electric tealight "candle." I know it looks sort of hokey and really fake in this photo, but I got some to try out the other day and I LOVE them! They have little button batteries inside of them, and they burn for 100 hours on one set of batteries. They are more expensive than tealights (I paid $10 for a pack of 6), but I think they will end up costing less than it would cost to burn 6 tealights for 100 hours. If you put them in a candle holder you CANNOT tell the difference! They flicker just like a real candle. I have also tried them in candle holders where you can see the "flame" more and haven't had a person yet who noticed. I love that I can leave them on and not worry about a kid burning themselves or the house catching on fire--and they give the same glow! Add them to your Christmas list! ;-)

In other news...I had my followup appointment with the pulmonologist today (after the scare with coughing up blood, and chest pain about a month ago). The good news is that because I've stopped coughing up blood and the chest pain hasn't come back to the same degree, I don't have to have a bronchiostomy (camera down the throat to check out lungs and such). Yea!

The bad news is that the preliminary test she did to see if my pain disorder, and the coughing blood/chest pain thing might be a collagen vascular disease, came back elevated. I thought she gave me an ANA test, but actually it was the ESR test. So today I had what she calls the "vasculitis panel" which includes another ESR, an ANA, anti-SCL70, rheumatoid factor, and ANCA (if I'm remembering all of the abbreviations correctly). They are just more tests to indicate whether I have one of these autoimmune diseases.

Of course, she's a pulmonologist and this is not her speciality! However, I can tell that she is just really frustrated that these tests haven't already been done by my regular doctor, so she said she is doing them. She said that I deserve to know WHY I am in pain all of the time, and why I am having these symptoms. She suggested some internal medicine doctors to try, rather than staying with my current doc. If this panel of tests come back indicating autoimmune disease, she will refer me to a rhumatologist (sp).

I just wish that this doctor could be "my gal!" I ADORE her! I've never felt so cared about by a doctor. I've seen her only once before but she asked about my kids, about Eric (and any progress on the transplant), and when I was going to Ghana next. It's just obvious that she really cares.

I will get to see her at least one more time, as she said she doesn't want me getting on a plane for Ghana in February until she checks me out one last time. If I cough up any more blood, get shortness of breath, or severe chest pain again, she wants me to call immediately and I have to do the bronchiostomy.

So that's the health update. I don't even know what to wish for. These autoimmune/vascular diseases I am being checked for are NOT good. At the same time, at least there are tests to figure out if it's one of those diseases. Fibromyalgia is just a trash diagnosis--it's what it is if there's no other diagnosis to explain things.

P.S. Can I just say that bloggers spell check stinks! I know I probably spelled most of these medical terms incorrectly, but they just suggested "brainstorm" for "bronchiostomy" and have no suggestions for "fibromyalgia!"


Michelle 1:40 PM is bronchoscopy (-scopy is looking; -ostomy is making a connection or hole to the outside world) I hope everything comes back ok.

Story of our Life 6:39 PM  

I don't remember the reason behind the tea-light candle - but Abi's girl scout leader gave each of the girls one last spring at their bridging ceremony from Brownies to JR Girl Scouts.

Good luck w/the bronchosopy. :) Hugs,