Search
  • Holly Winter Huppert

A Patient Patient?


I went to my doctor for pity and advice on how to be rid of the pleurisy that crept into my lungs seven weeks ago, and walked out with a list of diseases that would slow the healing.


No. Wait. I wasn't shopping for complications. More diseases?


It makes perfect sense that a doctor would follow this logical approach to my inability to heal the inflammation of the lining of my lungs, yet I felt like she just didn't care about me as she slimed me with the promise of uncertainty. I miss the days that most medicals were cured with bed rest and orange juice.


If I thought pleurisy was painful, the heaviness of the additional medicals that pushed health further away overwhelmed me. The doctor offered me a specialized medicine that would coat my stomach and protect it from the pain medications that are known to shred stomach linings.


Four new diseases and two new medications?


I went to this doctor for relief, or ideas on how to get better faster. She said that I must be patient.


Patient? I've had tremendous pain while breathing or talking or laughing for the past seven weeks. I can fall asleep but the pain wakes me. I sit with it for a while, talk to it and meditate myself back to sleep. Then the pain wakes me again.


This has been going on for 50 nights. In my book that's a lot of nights. According to her I'm not being patient enough because the literature says it can last up to 8 weeks and I've only been in pain for 7 and a half weeks, so my plea for help came too soon.


Really?


I've been able to put up with the weight of pleurisy because it came with an end date--eight weeks, tops.


I've had to cancel plans or go out while slumped in discomfort. I've thanked people who pointed out that I've turned blue and quickly taken a few deep, albeit painful breaths so my normal color could return.


Someone who goes to the doctor for help is referred to as a patient. Is this where that term comes from, as in one needs to relax and wait out healing? Must I be a patient patient?


To comfort me, the doctor suggested we look deeper into other diseases that might prolong pleurisy. She ordered blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Lyme. She also wants me to get a TB test.


No rush, right?


Call me small minded but I'm hating on the messenger who offers no gold star for all I'm doing to get healthy. I'm eating raw fruits and veggies for breakfast and only raw foods for lunch. I'm doing intermittent fasting for at least 12 hours, often closer to 14 hours a day.


I'm targeting foods that fight inflammation, like ginger, greens, garlic, raw cabbage and homemade bone broth. I drink as much water as I can. I don't eat gluten, dairy, sugar or simple carbohydrates or drink alcohol. I'm meditating, taking slow walks and journaling.


Hello? I think I've been both patient and proactive in dealing with this.


I've found research online that resonates with me. It states that pain medicine slows the healing process because inflammation is the body's way to bring help and repair to a damaged area. When we take pain medicine, it slows the body's ability to heal itself, which is the only true way we heal.


Sobering news, isn't it? The only way we can heal is if our body is in a healing mood.


It's not difficult for me to live without pain meds, that's not the issue. I want a timeline of when I get my life back. When I can get back to writing the upbeat, sappy, silly writes I'm known for. This pain-writing bores me. Is this the new me?


Really? Is dealing with constant discomfort the new me?


That article mentioned that the only time one should take pain medications is if you have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.


Sigh. Let the testing begin.


And so I wait, impatiently, as I take one shallow breath after another.


Shallow breaths hurt less.