By all means necessary I try to pull it together daily for the most part! I’m pretty good at ignoring the pain. Lately though I’ve not been able to breathe, which is something I can’t ignore. For the last three winters it has been torture, and it is gradually getting worse. We thought it was my asthma but my general doctor almost had me convinced it was in my head and then she decided to send me to an asthma specialist. Guess what? The specialist was amazing! I don’t have enough room here but a blog post will be going up with the full details. For now, I want to tell you a little bit about advocating.
The girl/ woman in this photo above advocated for herself even though it was semi demoralizing. Here is how:
Jer drops me at the door. I get out of the car, go through the entryway, and up to the Covid check in. A young girl was working the area and I saw a chair I needed to use. I said “Excuse me, can I please see that chair”. There were two chairs in her area, both with no arms, yet every other chair near me had arms. She said, “Those are for the Covid area workers. Do you have Covid symptoms?” I said no and she gave me a sticker and walked away. I asked again and she came over to me, walking like two steps over to the arm chairs and said, “You can sit here”. I was gasping for oxygen at this point. I said to her, “No, I can’t sit here!” She walks away because she had people come in. I’m still standing, praying. I knew if I did not sit I was going to faint. So after the five people went through I motioned her over again and as she came near I said I really need to sit (my voice was a little louder this time). Whatever I had to do to make her get the chair for me, that’s all I cared about at that point. She said “Oh you ‘need’ the chair”?? 🙄😬😑 She then semi flings it at me and I collapse in the chair.
I get my coat off and pull out my phone to call the number for the facility I am currently at to tell them I need wheelchair transport. They tell me go to the desk and get them to call transport on my behalf – . So again, with the only person near, I ask the Covid girl to go to the receiving desk and ask them to call for transport on my behalf. She acted as if I had asked her to walk a mile, carrying me on her back! She went over and after a lot of pointing the desk lady yelled at me, “You need transport?” Yes yes I do, and now everyone in the hospital knows to!
Folks, thankfully a man came down with a chair that worked well for me and was so polite to me. He took his time getting me set up in the chair, then was so nice and chatted on the way up. We got up to the floor and he pushed me up to talk to those at the front desk and then pushed me off to the side to wait. He was so polite and said he would see me afterwards for transport. I sat there for about four to five minutes and the nurse came out. She was cheerful and polite. She did not make me get weighed and she just asked later if I knew my weight. I did, so i told her. She took all my information and then went for the doctor. Two minutes later I heard him at the door commenting on my name. When he came in I said, “I bet you weren’t expecting a big white girl with that name”. He smiled and said it is more of an Egyptian name, and of course I explained it was my married name.
He was a Asian man probably a little older than me – 50’s probably. I have had a lot of doctors but he was not what I expected at all. He was kind yet asked pointed questions, he listened and never interrupted me. He explained everything to me. I told him about how my breathing issues basically kept me in a very sedentary state the last two years and how I had gained almost 200lbs as a result. He did not act like he was judging me or making it JUST about weight. When he was explaining everything, he said that there are asthma issues and there are breathing issues that are environmental – some due to lack of conditioning, and some associated with weight. He had examined me then and after that told me what our plan was and then sent in the nurse to give me a FeNO test, which looks at your airways. If I understand correctly, if you’re inflamed it’s asthma and if not it’s other issues. Then after the test this is the only point where I had the idea he thought it was going to be other issues and not asthma because when the nurse told him my high reading he seemed surprised saying “50, really? Wow, ok.” Which is fine, because if I’m perfectly honest I thought it was getting worse from my weight gain as well. After a bit he came back in and told me he would like to have me back after the holidays and explained the meds one more time. As he was leaving the room the first time he patted me on the shoulder and said, “You have had a hard life, let’s get you better!” I almost cried!
Then the nurse that brought me in walked by and asked if we were done and I said yes. She asked where my ride would pick me up and when I told her she said she was going to take me down so I don’t have to sit out there and wait. This small offer of kindness touched my heart so much. She pushed me right out to where Jeremy would pick me up and told me to just leave the wheel chair where she parked me and someone would get it.
Jeremy pulled right up and I got in the car and we drove off! What started off as a bit of a nightmare turned wonderful!
Just let me say this before I close: Thankfully I had a nurse and a doctor that was sent directly from God. I think if one more person had been rude or seemed to be put off by me I’d burst into tears. After years of not sticking up for myself and pushing my body way too far, I listened to my needs, and you can do that too! Call to make those much needed appointments! Advocate for you! I survived this, and looking back it’s almost funny to some degree! I do hope next time I go, Miss Priss is at the door again! Ha!
– Oh and if you’re wondering – My diagnosis is most definitely asthma related due to badly inflamed airways. So I’m now on steroids and two inhalers in addition to a pill that I was already taking.
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