Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Longing For It

I've had migraine disease for over half of my life. Sometimes I can barely remember what it was like without it. It is only now in the past few years, that research has sought drugs that work on curing the disease. We still must settle for management no matter how much we long for the cure.

Just when I think I have it bad, I see others that I know with less hope in a cure for their ailment, than I have. There a many, many diseases in which there is no cure. Fibromyalgia, lung and heart disease are to name but a few.

My father-in-law is dealing with pulmonary fibrosis. Another disease without an outright cure. His options are to live approximately one to four years (yes, some do much better), steadily getting worse until he dies. Or getting a lung transplant. The lung transplant is a short term fix with approximately a 5 year survival average. What a difficult decision he has. The transplant number only counts if he is one of the 85% that make it through the procedure or he even passes the tests to be added to the recipient list. I thought I had it rough.

I went with him last week for the preliminary testing, which usually takes five days of ongoing evaluation. Unfortunately our visit wasn't typical. He had to go off his PPI (Protein Pump Inhibitor) for five days. His acid reflux was so bad by tuesday, that he was vomiting blood. He was too weak to attend the morning's first appointment and was sent to the emergency room.  The ER decided to admit him and have an endoscopy performed to look into the bleeding. He had to go without food for the second day in a row and was getting weaker by the minute. The endoscopy showed some erosion, but nothing actually bleeding. He ended up spending Tuesday and Wednesday in the hospital and missed all of the scheduled appointments for those two days. Thursday morning he was permitted to eat and was discharged. All but one appointment attended. But, Friday's heart catheter was cancelled because of his being still weak from the previous two days.

I tell you all this, so that I can keep some followers informed. But, I also tell this story to explain how much worse our problems can be. My father-in-law must now wait to find out if he will be placed on the recipient list at all. Hopefully he will be given the opportunity to have missed testing performed before the evaluation is made.

I know that no one is promised a single second of life. How much worse it must be, to have an expiration date placed on your life and to know approximately how you will expire. My heart and prayers go out to anyone in this same situation. Now, my disease, which plagues me almost daily, doesn't seem to be the worst possible situation. No matter how bad we have it, we should all count our blessings.