Mr. Shoe and I were sitting in the waiting area in the lower level of the Dana Farber main campus, and I turned to him and said, “As long as it wasn’t caused because I thought too hard about breathing…”
He answered, “Having a baby and cutting caffeine out will fix it. Duh.”
And I said, “You know, you just stop wanting to go to doctors because you don’t want to know how deep the damn stupid actually runs.”
The good news is, of course, the stupid stops here. Well, no, I kind of don’t believe that entirely, because sometimes there has to be someone not… I don’t want to imply doctors who aren’t involved at the moment are all Droolie McDummies… But let’s just say in the course of a normal life you can meet some contenders to the title, and life here has officially rounded the bend to a different sort of normal. A reason for past issues (a reason for a great number of past issues) and testing and pathology to back up that history has finally coughed up a big hairball of an answer. This is good.
I had a single moment where I damn near lost it… Of course, it was while we were making a follow up appointment. It was just the realization of how friggin’ weird and completely not obvious that was. Along with it came the realization that I was the patient of the three Dr. J met with during that late afternoon that got the good news — and he’s on the ball more than enough to recognize on many levels that it was weird and life changing news, but it was good enough news, and that we were okay with that — and he was still so damned upbeat with the other less than good news folks. (I mean, HIPPA be damned, you can’t be in a hallway in a hospital and see family members and doctors and people coming from hospice and stuff and not be splattered with the other patients’ drama. I am always glad when the drama elsewhere makes mine seem much, much smaller.) It takes a special kind of nerd to work with any weird case. I imagine that place is crawling with extra special nerds. Because man, I would probably implode. I don’t want to be responsible or actively involved in caring for anyone’s drama but those in my little circle. Doctors have big circles.
Today I started the prednisone, and the generic prilosec stuff. I am also supposed to take some antibiotic to stop me from contracting lung angel dust. I guess there’s a pneumonia associated with long time use of immunosuppressing drugs or you know… suppressed immune systems in general that’s called PCP. PCP stands for… p-angel dust pneumonia. Anyway, the pharmacy was out of the antibiotic, but I’m willing to bet two days stuck in the house without it won’t result my developing this.
I will see him in a month, presumably to see how things are going, and talk about what might come thereafter. First six months might be done with just a prednisone taper. If it goes well (or reasonably so, give or take a few months) there might be a time we see how things are without it. There might be an added something or other. It is a play it by ear sort of thing, and while the idea is that maybe this could knock back for a while, I get the impression it usually returns sooner or later. There’s also the added fun of my pituitary buddy, who might cause the “treat it” trigger to be pulled a bit more quickly than it would. Because if chemicals can avoid brain surgery, that’s just fine with me. Some cases resolve in adults and that’s it… but it appears as though that might be more of a pulmonary LCH thing. While I have a lung nodule, there’s not a real indication to believe it started there. Lung nodules are pretty much like pituitary friends.
The ass cheek thing? Yeah, that’s friggin’ weird. Not unheard of. (Warning: PDF containing details about someone else’s ass)
Anyway, prednisone started. You can not even swallow one (like, a real one, not the little puny ones that turn to dust in those damn packs they give you for allergies) without realizing what a bunch of yuck it is. I swallowed three. They leave a chalky paste no matter how well they go down. And yeah, look, I know that probably is the beginning. If I’m lucky. Otherwise, I’m still sick. No worse feeling than losing weight while taking that stuff. It isn’t human.
But because cortisol kinda has an instant reaction, and the anti-inflammatory effects are not instant, I felt like my brain was much sharper today, even though I felt like crap. Actually, I think I hurt and felt ickier not because I really am any worse than I was yesterday, but I actually was not so plowed under my poor wored-out brain that I was aware of how I felt. I imagine that these things will even off in both directions soon enough. I feel like I will be able to fall asleep tonight, anyway.
I will wrap my head around this one for real soon. I hope. Meanwhile, a pre-prednisone image. Expect more zits and possibly chipmunk cheeks soon. Incidently, I only look normal when I do stupid things on camera. Why is that?