I took a little quiz on Facebook tonight 2/10/15. The Quiz was How Do You See The World? Much to my surprise the result that I got was Like A Fighter. I have copied the whole thing below.
Like A Fighter
To say that life hasn’t been easy on you is an understatement. While most people struggle with a few bumps along the way, you had to overcome dozens.
These struggles have forced you to look at life through the eyes of a fighter, a warrior. You are always ready for the next challenge, and when you feel that life is “too easy” you find yourself a new battle.
Although this has helped you along the years, it is not the best way to live your life. You should take off the fighter’s goggles and see the world through your own eyes. Sure, struggles are still going to be there, but at least you would be able to appreciate life’s beauty as well.
When I read that I had gotten “Like A Fighter”, I was quite shocked. I always saw myself as a gentle person, always willing to help others in any way that I could. As A matter of fact, that one trait of mine, helping others and looking out for others, has given me the nick name of Momma Hen. I had to spell it Mamma Hen, when I decided to make a website on that premise, because Momma Hen was already taken. All of my friends here where I live tell me all the time that I am like a Momma Hen always looking after her chicks. My friends like it when I refer to them as one of my chicks. I don’t call everybody one of my chicks, just special ones.
Once I got to thinking about it, I came to realize that I really have been “Like A Fighter” most of my life. I fought to live through all of the abuse growing up. And now that I am grown, I am still fighting to live. Only now I am fighting to live in spite of all of my numerous medical problems that have made me become disabled, not from abuse.
I became disabled at the age of 38 with asthma so bad that I was being rushed to the hospital every 7-10 days. I first became sick while visiting my family in Norfolk, Virginia. It was in March or 1990. The day that I was supposed to be catching a plane back to Lexington, Kentucky, I was being rushed to the hospital becoming numb all over, white as a ghost, having trouble breathing and coughing so bad that I couldn’t stop. At the hospital, I was hooked up to many different things. I had IV’s going, was hooked up to a heart monitor, had oxygen being administered, and had an ekg. I found out that I had asthma, bronchitis and mycoplasma pneumonia all at the same time. There is a chemical in the blood called Theophylline. The normal level is between 11 and 13. My level at the hospital was only 3. This chemical is what helps to maintain the oxygen level in the blood. I was told that the pneumonia that I had was the worst kind for scarring the lungs. As a result of being so sick, I had to remain in Norfolk for an additional two weeks. That meant that I was there over Easter. My sister and my brother-in-law took care of me during that time. My nephew had to share a room with one of his sisters and I was put in his room. My brother-in-law filled the vaporizer every 12 hours and my sister made sure that she woke me up to take my medications. After the two weeks was up, the doctors cleared me to return home to Lexington, and told me to get an appointment as soon as I could with a pulmonologist to take care of my lungs.
I got the appointment in the middle of April. Unfortunately, I was only able to work until June 9, 1990. On that day, I lost both my full time job that I had had for almost 16 years, and my part-time job that I had had for over 5 years. I was working anywhere from 60 to 80 hours a week between the two jobs. Up until I got sick, having both of the jobs hadn’t slowed me down at all. But with having to be rushed to the hospital so often, I was going down hill fast. After a year of all kinds of oral medications, I had to start doing breathing treatments with a nebulizer 4 times a day with – out fail, and also had to continue on the oral medications. Even adding the nebulizer treatments, I was getting worse. Within six months of starting the nebulizer treatments, I had to start on oxygen all of the time.
Back then, the only way to leave the house for any reason was with an oxygen tank in a little rolling cart. They didn’t have the small tanks that you carried over your shoulder like they do today. I had to start using medical transportation that was provided by The Red Cross for $1.60 each ride to and from doctors or grocery shopping. The busses ended up taking so long to pick me up, take me where I needed to go, pick me back up, and then take me back home, that I would run out of oxygen in the one tank that I carried with me.
After doing some research, I found out that there was a carrier that could hold two tanks of oxygen at a time. It cost a little over $60. Before I could buy the double tank holder I submitted the request to my insurance company for payment of it. I was denied. Whenever I ran out of oxygen on the bus, the bus driver had to stop the bus and call 911 to take me to the ER because there was no way that they could get me back home to my oxygen concentrator machine before I would lose consciousness. Needless to say, when I was denied, I appealed their decision. I pointed out to them that a trip to the ER was necessary every time that I ran out of oxygen when I was out on the bus, and that the amount that the insurance company had to pay each time was way more that the cost of the double tank holder. Finally, after six months of fighting them, and them having to pay for the ER visits, they agreed to purchase the double tank holder.
In the meantime being on antibiotics so much caused me to have a constant yeast infection that had become systemic yeast. Systemic yeast meant that the yeast infection was throughout my whole body. This caused my resistance to be low. I had to wear a filter face mask all the time when I left my house. This was to keep me from catching anything. If another person had a cold and I caught it, it would end up going into pneumonia on me.
By now, two years had passed since I first got sick. After remaining on the oxygen, doing the nebulizer treatments, continuing the current oral medications and adding new ones, the “MAGIC” combination of medication was discovered and the constant trips to the ER stopped. My medication count was over 30 prescriptions with a total of close to 100 pills per day to keep me alive. Instead of every 7-10 days having to be taken to the ER, I was now only having to go every few months or whenever I was subjected to any strong odors. I was ecstatic.
I felt so good, I signed up to start going to the Community College for the summer semester. Believe it or not, just one week before I started classes, I found out that I was diabetic. However, I didn’t let that daunt my spirits. I started school, but was very cautious to always have a little can of orange juice, and some peppermint candy with me in case I needed it. So every day that I went to school, I had a filter face mask on, was pulling oxygen tanks behind me, and carried a little bag with the juice and candy with me. This was May of 1993.
I started out taking the basic courses that all students have to take period, no questions asked. Once I finished those, I started in on my medical classes. I was going to major in Respiratory Therapy. After finishing the prerequisites, I applied to the Respiratory Care Program to see if I would be admitted. There were 300 people that applied, but only 30 could be admitted to the class. I was number 3 to be admitted. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. My elation didn’t last too long though.
In January I had to have arthroscopic surgery on my knees. I ended up in a wheelchair. It is almost impossible to do respiratory care from a wheelchair. There was nothing that I could do except to change my major. I switched to computers. It is possible to do computers from a wheelchair.
After I got home from having to change my major, I cried for several hours. I was so disappointed at having to do it. I had wanted to help others, just like I was being helped every time I had an asthma attack. But it just wasn’t to be.
With all my medical problems and surgeries, it took me 6 and 1/2 years to do a two year program, but never the less I did it. I persevered and graduated with honors. I got a job working at a local bank after I graduated. Unfortunately, I lost that job almost five years after I started working there. They let me go because I was too disabled and had to miss too much time due to illness and/or surgeries. I worked there from early 2000 until late 2004.
Now, I currently have several websites that I am trying to keep up with, and this is the main one. This is my first post in a long time. I have been trying to work on two or three different posts, but I am finding it hard to do so. The subjects that I need to write about are very hard for me to do and are bringing back a lot of memories. But I will make myself do them soon.