Friday, May 21, 2010

Check that Cough. Shortness of breath? Medical Day.

"Stephen Schueler, MD, is an emergency physician, teacher, and author. Although he designed the Symptom Checker to feel like a real emergency room intake interview, it is a computer program and not a live doctor."
If you have a cough, the free system checker will give you an idea what is going on.

If you have shortness of breath two specific breathing techniques can ease it..  These instructions are for people with COPD, but they apply to everyone who gets shortness of breath.  I know I get it once in a while.

1. Pursed-lip breathing:
"Pursed-lip breathing is basically breathing in through the nose and out through pursed lips. This technique is particularly useful when your shortness of breath flares up, and when you exercise.
Practice this technique by inhaling through your nose, making sure to keep your mouth closed. Then purse your lips and exhale softly for at least twice the amount of time as your inhale. Doing this forces you to use the correct breathing muscles and ensures you exhale as much air as possible so that it does not get trapped in your lungs. With less air trapped in your lungs, more oxygen will be able to get into your bloodstream.
2. Diaphragmatic Breathing.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a breathing exercise that helps to strengthen your diaphragm, which is the most important muscle used in breathing. Your diaphragm is located under your lungs and helps you expel air from your lungs when you exhale. When air gets trapped in the airways in COPD patients, the diaphragm has difficulty functioning properly and eventually becomes less useful.….."
Full Instructions at:

Jay and I both had medical appointments today.  He had arranged his to be on the same day, so that I could take him, as his mother still isn't up to par since her liver transplant.

First stop was Jay's doctor's appointment, he has some congestion in his chest.  I dropped him off, and went a couple of miles to the Conroe Hospital to get my old mammogram.  I had been phoning, emailing and faxing back and forth all week trying to have it ready for today.  They didn't know anything about it, didn't even know the person I had been told to contact.  So their left hand doesn't know what their right hand is doing. The lady I spoke to, is going to take care of it, though, and send my old mammogram to the new place for them to compare.  When I had to change health care plans, I had to change doctors and other service providers.

I went back to get Jay, and they were running late, but we finally got out of there. I drove down to The Woodlands, and we were early for my mammogram appointment.  I had packed us a lunch in the little 12v. fridge, so we had a picnic in the van under the shade of a tree, but it was still hot.  What happened to Spring? 

Even though I was early, I signed in with the receptionist, and then filled out all the paperwork with another  lady.  She escorted me to a dressing room, to don their lovely gown, and a robe.  After putting my belongings in a locker, I was ushered to another lobby, with 10 other ladies all sitting around in robes, waiting their turn.  After quite a long time one of the techs came in and apologized as they were running 45 minutes behind. 

Eventually I was seen, and we got out of The Woodlands as fast as we could, to try to beat the Friday night traffic.  Jay had to pick up his prescriptions at Walmart in Conroe, so I went through my shopping list there.  Of course the prescriptions were not ready, so we had to hang around there, too.

We had left at 9.30 AM, and didn't get back until after 6.00 PM, so it was a tiring day.

1 comment:

Gypsy said...

I will miss Asheville Imaging when it comes time for a mammogram. I never had to wait more than 5 minutes, and if I got there a little early I was sometimes out before the time of my appointment. That is good scheduling.