Not Much Sleep
Not much sleep, again. On September 20, I had two appointments in the hospital. The first appointment was for an X-ray of the lungs. After this, I would have, what they call, a pulmonary function test. With this test, they hope to see how the lungs are working. I had no idea what they would do or what it would be about.
For that test, they gave me a noose clip and a mouthpiece. The mouthpiece was placed on the machine. I had to place my lips over it and the part that was in the mouth, I could place my teeth on it. When you have to breathe out, through the mouthpiece, you also have to place the noose clip on. It is one way of preventing you from cheating, I think.
Several times I had to breathe in and breathe out. Slow in, and as fast as possible out. I had to do this several times, so they could have a good reading on the machine. On there they could see how fast you were breathing out and how much air was going in and out.
To see if you could have asthma, they first do a test to get a baseline. Then I was given a spray. After 15-20 minutes, they would repeat the test again and compare the one before and after the spray.
It was a bit strange or maybe a coincidence, but that evening I had trouble sleeping again. Every time I lay down on the bed, within 5 minutes I had trouble breathing. The only thing I could do was sit on the side of the bed.
After several minutes, I tried to lay down again and tried to sleep. But no luck. This went on for most of the night. I think that overall, I was able to sleep for maybe 3-4 hours. The next day I really felt bad. Not in the mood for anything, and no energy for anything.
The next night, the same problem again. No matter what I did or how I lay down, I had trouble breathing. I was told that maybe it would help if you would place a pillow under the mattress. So I tried that. No luck. No matter how many pillows I placed, the problem still was there. So, another night of very little sleep.
The Test Result
On Friday, September 22, I had an appointment in the hospital again to get the result of the X-ray and the pulmonary function test. The X-ray was clean. The lungs looked okay. But my coughing was still there. Also, one thing that made me slowly go crazy. That in combination with very little sleep, maybe you can imagine how I was feeling. To check further what could cause the coughing, the lung specialist suggested doing a CT scan. With this, they could have a closer look at the lungs. Maybe there could be scares in or on the lungs that could cause the coughing.
I am already sure that there are scares on the lung, because of the time that they tried to remove the liquid behind the lung and accidentally touched the lung.
The appointment for the CT scan will be next month, over two to three weeks. Until then, she gave me some Codeine tablets and hoped that that would suppress the coughing.
I also told her that I was not able to sleep because I could not breathe while I tried to go to sleep. She checked my ankles and said that it looked like my body was still retaining water. Her advice was to take my pee medication every day. Also, contact the heart failure group and inform them about this. And see how they would like to proceed from there.
The next day and throughout the weekend, I took my pee medication every day. It is not so nice, because every time you take it, you need to pee more than normal. On the other side, this is a good thing, because all the excess water will come out. The other thing is, you better make sure that the toilet is nearby.
Sleeping a Little Better
Throughout the weekend I had used the Codeine tablet. For now, I don’t notice much of that my coughing is getting less. I know that some medication will take some time before it starts working, but I have doubts if it will work for me. I know from the past that it was not always a success.
It is now Tuesday, September 26 and it looks like the pee medication is doing its thing. And that it has the effect I was hoping for. Before, near the evening, I was already out of breath. Then, in the evening I was not really able to sleep well. But this last night, I was not really out of breath, and I was able to sleep a bit more than before. So, my body was retaining water.
With the heart failure group, we agreed that I would contact them on Thursday and we do an evaluation of the use of the pee medication and see how we proceed from there. I am afraid that I will need to use this medication on a regular basis. Just to get the water out of my body.
The reason why my body is retaining more water is that I think my heart failure is the cause of it. As I mentioned in a previous post, it had got backward, and that could be the reason.
Today is also the day that I had to check my blood again. Every two to three weeks, I need to check my blood and see if it is thin/runny enough. They call this the INR. Normally for me, this value should be between 2.0 and 3.0. According to the value I get from checking it, they will make a schedule and tell me how many tablets I need to take per day.
Today the value was 3.9. This is too high. I know that sometimes with warm or cold weather, this can go up or down. It also depends on what you eat. But in the past few days, I have not eaten really anything strange. I think that it is that because I am using the Codeine tablets, it also had gone up. For the coming two days, I need to take fewer blood thinner tablets, and I need to check it again in 7 days. I hope by then that the value has gone down again. Every time there is a big change in the value, they always ask you to check it every week. Only when things are stable again, then they will extend it slowly from every week to every other week, and then to every three weeks. It’s like starting all over again.
The results from the X-ray and pulmonary function test were positive. That is good. But on the other hand, I was hoping that it would say something about the coughing and the out-of-breath part. But it did not. So now it is waiting for the CT scan and the result from that.
Not being able to sleep well, will break you. I had several times in the evening when I was not able to sleep, and I was on the edge of screaming. You get so desperate. You really want to sleep, but you can’t. I hope that now I am slowly going in the right direction again and will be able to sleep better. I also hope that the heart failure group can do something more, or have some idea on how to proceed from here.
In two weeks’ time, I also have a phone intake for cardiac rehabilitation. The first plan was, to do this at my own Fysio place. But because of the health insurance, this would cost me a lot of money. So now I need to do this at the hospital. It would be the fourth time that I will join there. The time when I was in the hospital, several times a week, someone from the Fysio would pass by and do some exercise with me. Every time they came, they already said “I know you“. They already saw me all the other times. Curious to see what they will say when I join the group again. I think that I will tell them that this is also not my idea of spending time, but YES I am back again, and hopefully for the last time. (But to be honest, I have my doubts if it really will be the last time.)
For now, I hope we can get things under control and they can figure out what is causing all of this. And hopefully, I can have some normal sleeping time again.
I also hope that I will get back in the mood to build my scale models again. There were so many things going on, that I lost the mood a little. I have some ideas on what I would like to do and share them with you. I am thinking of maybe filming the building process. I did a test a few months ago, and I want to pick that up again.
As always, please take care and be safe. God Bless.