Posted by Pistol Pete
Since the last time anybody heard from me my life has turned 180 degrees.
Sat.,3/9, I passed out in the shower for no apparent reason and didn’t remember a thing.
The next day after delivering the Sunday papers I was having a great deal of trouble breathing,as I had been for months.
DW took me to the ER where after some preliminary tests,I was admitted.For the next nine days I would go from one life-changing event to another.
On Tuesday it was announced I was officially classified as a type II diabetic under the new federal guidelines.I was told they have expanded the classification because of the epidemic of obesity in the country.They tested my blood sugar 4 times a day and for the most part it was pretty much under control.I have a new med that is like insulin in pill form,which I can get by with as long as I control my diet and my blood sugar levels.They started me out on a carb-counting menu then switched to a 2mg. low sodium diabetic diet,which was pretty frustrating because the menu consisted mostly of drywall chunks and lawn clippings.By the time I was released yesterday I had lost 13 pounds and can now appreciate seeing a herd of cattle grazing in a field and know what their world is like.
The dietitian gave us all the information on living on a starvation diet forever and a chart that showed the carb and caloric value of certain food groups.I’m hoping maybe somebody here has some recipes for heart-healthy foods that are at least edible.DW is taking this journey with me,since she has battled high blood pressure and is pretty heavy herself.The plan was to eat sensibly and start walking to exercise as I lost weight.Yesterday I was told if I ever left the house I would have to drag an oxygen tank on wheels,so the walking thing is a moot point.
There was a lady cardiologist whose last name has 29 letters,two of which are vowels.On Friday she came in and showed me part of the EKG monitor where my heart had paused for periods of up to six seconds while I was asleep,which apparently was the cause of my blackouts and why I was fatigued all the time.Monday I received a pacemaker to regulate my heartbeat.The hospital sent an oxygen unit to my home,which I will be attatched to for the rest of my days.I have a smaller tank,which I have to wheel around if I ever have cause to leave the house in the future.This probably upset me worse than anything.No more part time job,no few dolllars each week to get through when you have an unexpected bill come up,just our SS checks.There is usually a three week stretch with nothing coming in to get through.My priorities are changing on an almost hourly basis.
The office lady had us fill out papers and took our financials early on,since we have no medical coverage.There is an agent from the hospital trying to get me on federal aid(Medicaid) and backdate it to March 1. Normally coverage does not include pre-existing conditions.My total stay for 9 days will probably run close to a quarter million dollars.If I never needed medical attention again I could pay $25/month and have the bill paid off in approximately 978 years.
I’m supposed to have a sleep study done in two weeks to tell me I have apnea,which I already know.DW has a cPAP machine,which since her old unit quit working costs us $107/mo. to rent from the medical place since we self-pay.We cannot afford another,so if there is no federal funding it will be simply another exercise in futility.
The one positive thing that I have to say came from this whole ordeal was that I reconnected with my oldest daughter.Her mom and I divorced while she was still young,and after her mom remarried,we kind of went our own ways.She’s now 38 with two kids and two stepdaughters which keeps her pretty busy.She works in the office of one of the doctors there and stopped by a couple times so we had a chance to talk,just the two of us.She asked about great-granny,my mom and dad,and just a whole lot of things we never had time to say to each other as we went about living our own lives.I guess a crisis can bring people closer together than good times can in more significant ways.
In the more than a week I was hospitalized the thing I think I missed most was sharing with my friends here.I know there are a lot of people here with a much tougher lot in life than mine. If we can survive the Obama regime,COPD and diabetes should be a piece of (sugar-free) cake.