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Year Three, Day 207: The Nurse Practitioner

Results at last! I saw the nurse practitioner at my clinic this morning. My usual doctor was not available. Thank goodness!

She walked in and asked what the problem was.  I had an itemized list. I took my mother's advice seriously. (To "exaggerate" my symptoms).

I pretty much told the truth. The difference between the nurse practitioner and the doctor was like night and day. She listened. She consulted my chart. She asked many questions. She actually listened to me breathe with a stethoscope.

I told her I have been coughing.  I am tired. My cough keeps me up at night. Sometimes I have moments where I cannot stop and I can hardly catch my breath. It is worse at night when I lay down. And in the morning after I exercise.  But it comes and goes throughout the day. Every day.  Sometimes it is a dry, itchy cough. Sometimes it is a productive cough. (At this point she asked me for an in depth description of the mucous. I will spare you that. You're welcome!)

She took my temperature, which was normal. My blood pressure, which was slightly elevated. She asked if I have had a fever.  I told her I didn't think so, but sometimes I woke up with night sweats. This was a bit of an exaggeration. I went through early menopause. I often wake up with night sweats.

I kind of regret the night sweat comment. Because she immediately got a very strange look on her face. She grabbed a face mask and put it on.  She told me that night sweats and one of the descriptions of my mucous could be TB.

"What?!" I exclaimed.

"Have you been out of the country recently?" she asked.

"No, not even out of state, except for Vancouver, WA." I said.

"Have you lost weight?" She asked.

"No. I wish! I am trying hard, but I've actually gained weight", I admitted.

"O.K.", she said, looking relieved. But she kept the mask on.

She told me that I have had this cough for "much too long".  She was also surprised I had taken so many course of Prednisone. 

She ordered antibiotics, an inhaler and she wants me to go in for a chest x-ray asap.

Again, she asked about the night sweats. I told her that it had not been recently and they were not very severe. She noted that in my chart and sent me up to the front desk to schedule my chest x-ray.

I almost skipped down the hall. But stopped short. There was my usual doctor. I felt a bit awkward.  I wonder if she will consult with him about my case. And ask him why all the Prednisone with no inhaler, antibiotics or chest x-ray?

I took a deep breath and walked up to the front desk. I'm sure he had his reasons. And perhaps I had not been assertive enough with him, making sure he heard my list of symptoms?

Whatever. I am finally getting somewhere!

I've already used my inhaler once today.  I am breathing easier.  Tomorrow is my x-ray appointment. I am a little bit worried.  But I think it is important to have an answer.  I will give you an update tomorrow.

I am so glad I listened to my mom and my daughter and was more assertive!

I think I am going to celebrate with a London Fog from Starbucks.

It's a glorious day outside. I sure hope I live to see many more!

Talk to you tomorrow.



P.S. Here is today's hooping video. Day 170!


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