It's been three months since my last visit to Vanderbilt. On Tuesday, I had appointments to see 4 different doctors and have a PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) done. Yes, that's a ton in one day. Yes, it was exhausting. And unfortunately, it turned out to be the most disappointing day since the whole Chicago/birthday fiasco in September.
See, I've been busy the last two months. I've been so blessed and reasonably happy. I've gotten to take a trip to California and one to Florida. I've spent lots of times at events and concerts with friends and family and to be honest, I've felt pretty good. Meaning, I've felt emotionally pretty good. I have some exciting family time and another beach trip planned. So, I've been looking forward to the next month. I walked into that day of meeting with doctors and truly expected to hear from them that I was relatively stable, maybe even a little bit better. What actually happened was so unexpected and made me feel so defeated.
My PFT results were more than 15% decreased since my last one in April. After a 6 minute walk test, we also found that my oxygen saturation is falling from the normal range when I'm at rest, down to the mid 70s with activity. If you're not a medically minded person, this is NOT good. As a matter of fact, it's "not good" enough that I'm now an oxygen tank totin' gal. I don't necessarily have to use the oxygen when I'm just sitting around but I have to use it when I'm out and about. I won't pretend that this is no big deal. To me, it is. It feels HUGE. It's incredibly emotional and uncomfortable for me. I feel sad and scared about it. I did know that this would happen eventually and yes, I realize it will make me feel physically better, but unfortunately that doesn't take away the less than desirable, accompanying emotions. So, this is an adjustment period. Adjusting to the stares and whispers, the sad looks and eyes full of pity, the running into people I know, the loss of parts of myself and my freedom.
In a choice to be positive, I say this adjustment period will be short. I have great support and just a flat out natural desire to be out in the world. I hardly expect an oxygen tank to be enough to stop me.