So I realized at about 4 o'clock this morning that I am not on a vacation . . . being off all my asthma meds has lead to quite a flare-up and then not being able to neb my way through them . . . let's just say I'm glad to have made it to the hospital on my own today in a shuttle - not an ambulance.
The shuttle driver is so friendly and the 20 min drive to the hospital quite pleasant. The air is cold and crisp but, as you can see in the photo, sunny . . . not what we expected. As we came around the corner and could actually see the building we'd be checking out online for months, I can't begin to describe what I felt - it's really happening . . .
We went into the facility and went through the check in process . . . we were then lead to a large waiting room and I was overwhelmed with just how many people are here! Lots of people with coughs and inhalers and oxygen - I found my support group!! I was called back to the second check in process - a few questions, height, weight, blood pressure, oxygen sat level and a spirometry test (blow in a plastic tube and see how long you can hold that - pretty fun and exciting).
I must have passed the first test as I was then escorted into a doctor waiting room. A doctor intern came in and for almost an hour asked me a huge series of questions to get a feel for my case - she had the tiniest handwriting - apparently important for writing an hour long of answers . . . then I got to meet my doctor for the whole time I'm here. Her name is Dr. Gogate and she was fabulous. She is old enough to have done this awhile but young enough to be relevant. She gave an overview of her plan for me while here in Denver and decided to add three more tests and procedures to my already full schedule. She said it is not going to be fun or easy but figured that I didn't come all this way for nothing - she couldn't have said it any better. Although I'm not completley looking forward to some of the tests to come, I am so ready to have some answers and solutions for better managment of this craziness called my life.
From the doctors check in, I was lead over to the lab where they took at least 6 vials of blood . . . good times . . . not painful but definitely left me a little light headed - a hamburger is in my future! I have a nurse for the time I spend here whose name is Sue . . . she is a little like everyone's favorite grandma . . . she is sweet and caring and very informative. She walked me through the schedule with details as to what medication to take when etc. . . then off to a Pulmonary Function Test. For this fun adventure, you sit in what's called a "Body Box" and go through a series of breathing exercises while your nose is plugged and you have your mouth on a snorkel piece. . . more good times. The best part was, however, after the test, they gave me a neb treatment!! I felt so much better!! We exited the hospital for the evening and waited for the shuttle outside in the crisp cold Denver air.
And yes - I successfully wrestled the camera away from my mom to take a picture of her . . . oh the tables have turned . . . for at least one picture.
We rode the shuttle to Burger King, ordered dinner (restoring the lost iron from the blood draw!) and headed back to our hotel . . . I've got another long night without meds and a crazy schedule for tomorrow . . . better think about bed soon . . . I so appreciate all of you - our friends and family back home supporting us through prayers, emails, texts, blog comments and happy thoughts . . . got to talk to the girls tonight and they said they are praying for mommy to have lots of fun at the asthma hospital . . . can you get any more optimistic than that? Love those little ladies - and I'm doing all this crazy stuff for them . . .