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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Health Update

For those of you who are new to Liberty, a recap.
I've been off work for months with severe breathing problems. Hospitalized a few times, and more steroids than a major league baseball player. In effect, on long-term disability. I've had multiple diagnoses, none of which have solved the problem.

I've been giving health updates every once in awhile on Liberty, as this is the easiest way to communicate with family and friends around the country. There, now you're up to date. And it didn't even cause you to stop breathing. Can't beat that.

Had a camera put down my trachea last week, all the way to where it branches off to the right and left lung. Local anesthetic, very cool to watch, in a scary sort of way. Apparently my trachea is collapsing periodically, and sucking my esophagus in as it fails. This blocks my airway pretty efficiently, sort of like putting a plastic bag over your head. That's the bad news. The good news is that it appears to be fixable.

Worst case scenario is a surgically placed stint in my trachea, forcing it to stay open. Not the best, or most pain free option. We are trying some specific breathing techniques first. I'm seeing a wonderful speech pathologist named Cathy. Very bouncy, and incredibly optimistic and affirming, all of which I need after 8 months of this. We are identifying triggers that cause the collapse, and working to prevent the attacks.

So far, one trigger identified is microwave popcorn. I am, in effect, allergic to Orville Redenbacher. . And I do love the Orville movie popcorn. Sigh

As always, thanks for the prayers of all faiths, and the support. It's always a big help. Hopefully, we are on the right track, and will soon no longer be on the verge of collapse. Well, physically anyway...

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