A Journey to Diagnosis – Part #1

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Currently, my thyroid, iron, and other related health issues have been put on hold while I figure out what is going on with my lungs. Last Thursday, I went in for my CT Scan. Fingers crossed, I hoped for some good news come Friday, but I didn’t hear from anyone. I planned on calling Dr. P to get an update, but the day got away from me between work, family, and three large, dead pine trees getting cut down in the front yard. When I finally did speak to Dr. P on Tuesday, I found that I needed to get some more CT Scans. 

There seemed to be some abnormalities in my trachea, but Dr. P needed to see higher up. The scans didn’t cover the area of the anomalies that he was seeing, and he wanted to be sure. So the following Friday, I went to get the follow-up scans… 

Waiting is torture. It’s Monday, but no word yet on what was on the scans or if I will need to get the bronchoscopy that was mentioned on our last phone call. 

How does one usually react when they find out something like this, but have no real answers? I’ve tried to refrain from slipping down the rabbit hole that is Google, but I haven’t managed to stay entirely away… 

Reading that abnormal results, from a bronchoscopy, can indicate bacterial infection, viral infection, inflammation of lung tissue, lung damage, cancer, narrowing of the trachea or bronchi, well it doesn’t inspire hope… only worry. 

Then there are the risks involved with a bronchoscopy. While they are usually safe, there are certain risks involved. One can develop an arrhythmia, breathing difficulties, fever, infection, pneumonia. One with a history of heart conditions has an increased risk of a heart attack. While rare, a collapsed lung is also a possibility. 

It’s hard to not know what is going on, or how bad it is. Of course, you hope that it all amounts to nothing, but there are those little voices that say to be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best. 

The hospital I am attending has an online chart for patients. I dislike reading my test results because I don’t know what everything means, that is what doctors are for. I couldn’t help but log on and see what was said… 

The following comment caught my eye… “segmental subglottic tracheal narrowing,” and even though I should not have, I turned to google where I found the following articles:

All of which were concerning and worrisome. I am not looking forward to anything other than this being nothing of concern, anything else will be a test of my nerves. I do not want to require surgery, but I also want to be able to breathe and freely. 

My lack of breath has really put a damper on many of the regular activities that I love. Riding bikes, hiking, even just a leisurely stroll, can be strenuous. 

For now, I am going to do my best to remain off of google. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough. I hope to get a phone call from Dr. P with only the best of news. 

Until I know more… 

I am a very private person by nature. I don’t openly share my feelings or what I am going through in my life. I’ve decided to share my story now, as I go through this, in hopes that it will help someone else out there and maybe become part of their survival guide. 

Photo of Lungs by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Candace Woodbury

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