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Sometimes your world gets turned upside down. And it's a good thing.

Many of you are aware of the struggles with poverty that Bear and I have dealt with. We don't have utilities on, and we only receive food stamps. I get online here off and on at various free wifi spots. We have applied for my husband to get disability.

and while that condition continues, a new issue looms over these.

Follow me below the swirl of Kos to learn more....

Bear has asthma and COPD. It's bad enough that often a walk from the door of a restaurant to the handicapped parking is enough to wind him, necessitating rest and sometimes a hit off the rescue inhaler. Sunday evening we were out to dinner with friends, and when Bear walked back to the car, he needed the inhaler. But the tightness across his chest wasn't decreasing. In fact, it seemed to be getting worse.

Lovely. Asthma attack. What a great way to wind up the weekend. Well, we had the nebulizer in the truck, because that was where we could plug it in. And we knew from past attacks that the first thing they would do would be to give him a breathing treatment. Let's save the trip, pull over somewhere, and do the breathing treatment.

It didn't seem to help. His breathing eased, but he was having really bad chest tightness and back tightness. Oh, a muscle spasm also? Well, the cure for that is sitting in a hot shower with hot water running on it. He sometimes gets these. So we went over to his mom's house and we did that.

It got better....until he got out, dried off, and got ready to leave, and then things started tightening up again. Well, we're out of home remedies now. Off to the ER.

We've been to the ER before with breathing issues, and we know how it goes. They always do an EKG, and this time was no exception. However, apparently it was exceptional enough for them to draw blood and run some tests. The test showed that, first, he had a blood sugar of 500, and secondly, that his cardiac enzymes weren't quite right. Not entirely wrong, but not quite right. So they kept him overnight for observation, with plans to run a stress test the next day.

Well, the next day, the puzzling cardiac enzyme readings were still there. So no stress test; he gets a cardiac catheterization. They did the cath on Tuesday afternoon, and the results were unambiguous.

Severe coronary artery disease. Multiple blockages in all arteries, none less than 70% blocked. Triple bypass required soon. Also, diabetic.


A transfer to the Heart Hospital in Indianapolis is indicated. Going Tuesday, wait, we'll do it Wednesday morning. So after I left him Tuesday night at the hospital I went home and gathered up laundry and did it at a friend's house, came home and packed, and napped about three hours.

I got to the hospital Wednesday at six am, but no transport til nine, and with an increasingly hungry Bear. (NPO since midnight) When we got down to the heart hospital, we discover that they are not in fact going to do the surgery today. They will stabilize his blood sugar and generally get him into a better shape and THEN do it...Oh, say, next Monday or Tuesday or so.

So that's where we are. He is dealing with all this about as well as can be expected, and I'm doing okay. I'll post diaries closer to time about how things are going. I am VERY grateful it worked out this way. Otherwise, we would have found out about the severe coronary artery disease on autopsy. And not too far in the future.

So...New life with diabetes. Got any tips or hints? He's not going to be able to exercise much right now, of course, and even post-bypass he will still have bad knees and asthma. So it's going to be all diet. He grew up eating Southern Fried Everything, and can't have broccoli, cucumbers, cashews, or any of the capsicums without his diverticulitis going haywire. There's a ton of stuff online, of course, but almost too much. My own inclination is to set us up to do low glycemic index and count calories as well and do rational portion sizes. I'd love to hear anything helpful in this.

He is committed to doing this right. He wants to see his youngest son graduate from high school, and be able to enjoy reenacting and kink and life in general. This is encouraging me.

Originally posted to Alexandra Lynch on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks helping each other, Street Prophets , KosAbility, and Community Fundraisers.

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