Sunday, August 16, 2009

Still with the Fevers, Second Opinion

The daily fevers continue. Yesterday was particularly bad. I was sick from late afternoon until 3 a.m. I laid on the couch and watched "Shark Tail", a 1994 animated movie, on T.V. (Not my favorite way to spend Saturday night.) Shelley was a constant support, tucking me under a blanket, making me a bowl of melon chunks with a toothpick to eat them, and giving me lots of hugs. She's been my reality check, my arm to lean on, my provider of good food, and the voice in my ear telling me to take time to rest.

I've been frustrated by the lack of a clear diagnosis. Dr. Dilisio referred me to UCSF Pulmonary Department but his assistant told me it would take a month before they even call to set up an appointment. I bashed my head against their voice mail systems without any success.

But then Jan Santos suggested I find a pulmonologist in the greater bay area. Her kind voice in my ear cleared the fog of the magical teaching institution. Of course, there are many specialists in this area. How can I find one that can help me? Again, Jan had an easy and practical idea, post a request to "Berkeley Disabled." That's a large and varied long-time e-group of people with disabilities and, of course, many of them have years of lung involvement. Someone who lives with a ventilator would surely have searched and auditioned pulmonologists to find a good one.

And, sure enough, within 2 days of the request, I have 5-6 recommendations.

I need to remember that the times I feel stuck and my head is sore from bashing against some institutional or other kind of wall, that this is a temporary state. If I keep working on it, keep talking to people, keep trying, these walls will dissolve and I'll find what I need. Eventually, I'll find out what is going on with these lungs, the true nature of Fred, and then I'll deal with the truth of what is.

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