Saturday, February 4, 2023

 It's hard to believe that it has been over a week now. The big news is that we think we have a handle on the coughing. Tim commented that he felt as if when he was outdoors for any length of time, the cold air triggered his coughing. It tripped a trigger in my brain, and I went on an internet search. I discovered cold induced coughs are a variant of asthma. They suggested running a humidifier, which we have been doing, 24-7. 

After all this time: it helps. It does help. I've been bringing in the wood. I've been keeping Tim inside. (It is bitterly cold today). I marvel that the solution was so simple. We'll see if it is successful in the long term.

Tim has a follow-up appointment in Erie at the neurology clinic. After all the craziness to be seen, he got in pretty quickly, so that's a good thing. I'll be interested to hear what they say. As usual, I've got questions. Lots and lots of questions. It will feel good to have someone to pose them to. 

We've got a lead on a PCP, finally. The contact system is so outdated here. Her name was given to me, and I looked her up. The internet provided her number. When I called, the answer was curt. "We are not accepting new patients." Turns out she left the practice years back and struck out on her own. Unfortunately, I got this information a bit late in the game. I will have to call Monday. Say a little prayer that she is accepting new patients. 

Tim is different, and the changes are small. Sometimes there is a slight stammer. Today, he couldn't figure out how to open a text on his phone. He brought the phone to me saying, "I haven't used the phone for so long, I guess I've forgotten." His voice is a bit different. He is tired a lot. He still gets a hand tremor when he's tired. Sometimes he needs help with his computer. 

But...he remembers. He changed spigots out, just because he needed something to occupy him. He knows whose rent is due, what bills are due, when the garbage man comes, stuff like that. He picked up the phone and called his friend from memory. He remembers little details without being reminded. 

We are pretty lucky. 



36 comments:

  1. At least the cough is better. The thing about brains is that they have plasticity which is good. They can recover from damage but it often takes times. Take care Debby.

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    1. I have read about neuroplasticity, and the amazing things that can happen. I've never witnessed it close up before. I marvel at the human body.

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  2. Happy to hear about the progress with the cough and that he remembers so much. That's a great sign.

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  3. Sometimes time and good care goes a long way and he is getting that. I know at times patience can start to run a little short, but you still have a good man, and he will get back to his own self in time. The progress sounds good.

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    1. I think that he absolutely will get back to his own self. To be able to pick up a phone and dial the number to his friend is pretty amazing to me. He's still got to be busy, he still needs things to do. There are a lot of small jobs that have been on list for a while. He is tackling the jobs. He doesn't have a list, but he remembers that they needed doing. He remembers how to do them. He knows what he needs to do them and where to find the stuff. I am so excited to see him coming back to himself. In all the gladness about what I see there's these little jolts. We trundle right along and I feel like maybe I'm being just a little overzealous not letting him drive. (He has no restrictions on driving) Then he will bring his phone to me, or say, 'I know that it is something simple, but I can't figure out 'x' or 'y'.'

      In the big scheme of things, we are so lucky. We can deal with the small stuff.

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  4. Some real positives in your post. I am glad that the humidifier is helping the cough. I have chronic asthma and cold frosty air doesn't make it happy either.

    As different parts of the brain control different things, on a micro level there is bound to be things which are "out of the loop" for the moment until they are healed.

    Good news about the follow up appointment at Erie and hoping you will be accepted by the PCP you phoned.

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    1. Jennie, so how do they treat this? Do you have an inhaler?

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  5. It's so good to hear the bits of healing that are happening. All sounding very positive

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    1. Oh, it all does feel so very positive. I can't believe that 9 days ago, he did not know my name. Or the year. Or where he was.

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  6. When my youngest son was at school, he would sometimes have an asthma attack as soon as we left the house on a really cold morning. I hope that Tim will continue to improve.

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    1. I guess that explained why the symptoms would seem to clear up for a time and then return with a vengeance. The temperatures outside. But a question for you and Jennie...did the coughing subside once he was back in a warm place? Because Tim's doesn't. Once the coughing begins, it just seems to build on itself. But there is no doubt that running the vaporizer helps. If something triggers the cough, benzonatate quiets it. The other thing that confuses us is that he has never had this before. I am curious whether a bad cold can bring something like this on?

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    2. I don't think that he coughed, just started wheezing badly. We would go back in the house and put him on the nebulizer to sort him out.

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  7. I have a song playing in my mind right now - some days are diamonds, some days are stone. So true on different levels in so many peoples lives right now. Glad little things are being ticked off, like the cold connection with asthma.

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    1. I still have a lot of questions about it, but we cannot deny that the things they suggest do work. We still need to bounce this off a good family doctor.

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  8. This is certainly some encouraging news--I keep a humidifier (hot mist, not cold) running in my home nearly everyday during the winter. Debby I hope you don't overwork yourself, carrying wood & stuff.

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  9. You seem to be making progress. Good news. My hubby had that cough for 4 months a couple of year ago. It was awful. I hear you. I often get viral-induced asthma when I get a bad cold. Take good care!

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  10. Hope he can get in to see the new PCP soon so you can find out more about the possible asthma. Glad he is making progress from the mini strokes - the brain is amazing when it comes to healing. Take time to rest yourself too!

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    1. I really caught up on my sleep this weekend. I have two alarms set on my phone, one for 4 am, and one for 6:15. The first is for Tim's medication, and the second to wake William up and get him off to school. Friday I was so tired that when the 4 am one went off, I was headed to get William up. Tim was on the couch. He said, "I already took my medicine." It was then I noticed what time it was.

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  11. Perhaps a visit to an allergist might help to discover if Tim's cough has an asthma connection. However, I'm guessing for you the thought of finding one more doctor at the moment is probably the mental equivalent of Monty Python's "one thin mint."
    Mary

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  12. If we can find one good doctor, that is the first step. We have decided that we'll probably wind up doing most of his care in Erie. It's a bit of a drive, but really, you have more choice there. We do need a local doctor/gp/pcp.

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  13. That all sounds very promising! I would still pursue a chest x-ray, just to be sure, but it sounds like you're on the right track.

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    1. He got one in Erie. He had two different types of scans, all negative. So...that was reassuring AND aggravating all at the same time.

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  14. I've heard of that cold-induced cough thing being a type of asthma. Now- wouldn't that be something if that's what it is? Perhaps an inhaler of some sort would help. Hopefully, the doctor will know.
    I would be quite surprised if Tim did not have some differences in his neurological behaviors after having the TIA's. Healing will definitely take some time.

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    1. I guess what is strange to me is that so much of the big stuff has come back like the blink of an eye. It's just small peculiar things which rather pop up. Once again, I am surprised to be reminded...'Oh. Yes. Right. My husband had a small stroke.'

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  15. We do need to humidify our homes in winter. I am told that otherwise, they get as dry as a desert.

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    1. We have never really had that problem. I wonder if having a cold and a prolonged cough just brought on some sort of sensitivity to things that have never affected him before? I don't know how these things work, exactly.

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  16. The signs of recovery are encouraging, the human brain is truly amazing. Best of luck on your search for a new PCP, good ones are so hard to find. Take care of yourself as well.

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    1. I am so very encouraged.I hope that tomorrow brings us good news about the PCP. Like looking for a needle in a haystack, seems like.

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  17. I moved heaven and earth to have an inhaler prescribed and then moved again to be told how to use it. Still not sure I'm right. I find how tight my bra is makes a difference. I hate that no one will tie it all together. What's right, what's wrong, what to try next.

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    1. I think finding the right pcp will be a big help

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  18. This is interesting; I betcha you’ve found it already: https://share.upmc.com/2020/03/understanding-adult-onset-asthma/

    Fingers still crossed for you both…

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    1. No. I had not found this, but thank you sooooooooo much. It all fits!

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  19. Interesting, I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma many years ago, especially in colder weather. Even to this day, it still gets triggered which is why I generally have a cough drop or two in my jacket pockets all winter long. They help coat the throat and allow me not to cough. But it has never translated into coughing inside. But we do run a whole house humidifier all winter long so perhaps that is why it never translated to indoors.

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  20. I am so glad you are going to the doctor with your husband so many wives don’t, and have no idea of their husbands health, my mother was one and was shocked when I said go with him. I wish you both all the best for the future.



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I'm glad you're here!

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