I went for the lung function test at the hospital this morning. To my surprise, the pulmonologist called to discuss the results soon after I got back home. Lighting quick communication is one of the advantages of the digital age.
Her notes from the patient portal online state: “The lung study shows you have moderate COPD, Obstructive Lung disease.”
She asked if I had ever smoked, or been around people who smoked, because the obstruction is pretty significant for someone my age. (I’ve never smoked, but my parents smoked around me when I was young.) She said I was around 64% capacity at the beginning of the test which is comparable to someone in the second (moderate-severe) stage of COPD. After some inhalations of albuterol, the function climbed to 80%. She said the fact that my lungs opened up to the medication was a good sign, meaning whatever is clogging them can probably be reversed. Apparently someone with typical COPD won’t respond to the meds. I go to see her and discuss next steps on Friday.
I talked with HR at work and found out short-term-disability lasts up to 26 weeks, but they will post my job after I have been out of work for 12 weeks. I have missed work since 11/30/15, so I am in my sixth week. If I lose my sales route, I will have to apply for whatever is available if and when I return to work.
Sikki is hoping I don’t go back, that I wind up getting a job elsewhere. She doesn’t seem concerned about the finances, which isn’t her historical reaction to things like this. If it gets to the 11th week and I’m not better, I still might try to return to work just to keep my route.
But if I am to be out of work for an extended period of time, I need to get focused on something useful. Perhaps I’ll start writing something more substantial: I’ve got a book or two inside that I’ve never brought to light.