Friday, November 18, 2016
I don't usually make a big deal about my firefighter disability on this blog. My lungs suffered some chemical damage that nearly killed me. Good thing I was never a smoker. Most of the time I live with it. Over the years I've developed strategies to stay well. They don't always work. Unfortunately my head cold settled into my lungs.
The big thing for me now is to try and limit the amount and severity of my coughing. If it goes on too long it starts a vicious cycle where my coughing irritates my lungs which causes me to cough. I don't think I'm going to fall into that cycle this time. Over the years my lungs have improved somewhat.
One fun thing I also have is a little something called cough syncope. When I cough hard my blood pressure drops and I pass out. It used to happen over twenty times a day and went on for months. I could be walking down a flight of stairs, cough, then wake up in a heap at the bottom. I've an old scar over one of my eyes where I fell out of a kitchen chair and face planted on the floor.
I saw a lot of doctors and none were able to do much for me. Treatments that were supposed to make me stop coughing would stimulate coughing instead. They overdosed me on drugs trying to find a level that would work. It was a bad time.
Yesterday I had a short episode. This time I stayed in my chair and didn't get hurt. I'm not going to drive again until the cough is under control.
Over time I've learned how to manage my condition, mostly though alternative treatments. A martial arts instructor friend of mine taught me a lot of breathing exercises that help. Certain herbal treatments are useful. Keeping the humidity high helps. Even cough drops work better than the heavy duty drugs the doctors had me on. My condition should improve soon, if I'm lucky and take care of myself.
While I was convalescing I decided to check out my health care insurance for next year. Once again, due to a technicality, I don't qualify for a subsidy. The price of insurance has gone up again. Right now I don't think I can afford even the cheapest plan available to me, so that ain't gonna happen. Let's see if Trump can do better or if he's just spouting off.
In the mean time I'm going to put some of the cash I was paying to the insurance company into savings.
Could I lose everything due to medical expenses? Yes, but the minimal insurances close to my price range won't prevent that.
Guess I'm going to have to take full responsibility for my own health.