Sunday morning, I had plans to jog for about an hour on Sue’s treadmill. But by minute five, I was wheezing pretty hard, and by minute ten I just couldn’t move anymore. My breathing’s been extremely shallow ever since.
My mom called my ENT’s office yesterday morning to see if I could get an appointment to see him sometime soon (my next scheduled appointment is in January, but I’d like to be able to breathe during the holiday season.) Unfortunately, there’s nothing open through January, so my parents took me to Penn’s ER after dinner.
After four hours of waiting rooms, oxygen tanks and x-rays, we were finally able to meet with an attending from the Laryngology office. She gave me a quick endoscopy and said that I have a small post-nasal drip that may be agitating the stenosis. I’d need to get checked out by a laryngologist sometime very soon for treatment options. Turns out my ENT is in India this week (as Mom said, when it rains, it pours.) But there is another laryngologist at Penn who could probably see me; it was just a matter of finding an opening in her schedule. Not a problem – we got a call this morning, and I’ll be able to see her at two this afternoon. In the meantime, I was prescribed some steroids. They won’t cure the stenosis, but they can help prevent further inflammation. (I’m also hoping they’ll help me get some sweet bulk in my muscles.)
It’s really kind of depressing me. Okay, not “kind of.” It’s seriously depressing me. I’m pretty much out of commission, so I haven’t been able to do much but lounge around the house and eat like a fat kid at a food festival. I think I’ve consumed about as many calories in the past 2 days than I typically do in a week, and I can’t work it off or anything. And it’s not good stuff I’m eating, either – it’s pizza and ice cream and garlic bread and ginger snaps and cheese sandwiches, stuff like that. So now my stomach (which is used to fresh produce and lean proteins by now) hates me as much as my trachea does.
In addition to all the complications that accompany my breathing issue, I’m struggling with over-eating and trying to make good choices while not hating myself for the poor ones. But I’ve worked so hard in the past few months trying to lose weight, and just as I was beginning to feel happy with how I look and comfortable with my new, healthy habits, it’s like it’s all toppling down.
I know it’s not the end of the world; it’s just something I have to come to peace with. I’m trying to take inspiration from a man I met in the ER last night – he sat across from us in a waiting room with his hand all bandaged up. He made some polite small-talk with us, and Dad asked him what he was in for. He responded nonchalantly: “Oh, I was working with a circular saw and cut off my finger.”
He was so zen about it, like he just accepted that this was his life now, and he moved on. I know that that’s what I need to do. I just need to figure out how to do it.