Thursday, January 26, 2012

Breathless in St. John

I'm overdue for an update here. Thanks to all of you who have been checking in to see how things are. In an effort to keep this from becoming a medical blog (zzzzzz....) I can summarize the past few weeks by saying that the cure for the original breathing problem (the cause of which is still unknown) seems to have been worse than the problem itself. I ended up in a vicious cycle of side effect induced asthma and asthma induced side effects.

After a few more frightening, frustrating and inconclusive trips to the emergency rooms both in St. John and St. Thomas I landed in the office of a fantastic asthma specialist in St Thomas who seems to have uncovered the problem and I'm optimistic that I'm on the road to recovery. I'm not ready to run a marathon, or even walk up too many steps, but I'm better than I have been.

This hasn't been an easy few weeks and I want to thank the kind and generous people who have helped us along the way. Thanks to Dan and Jackie who were there for the worst of it (and still want to be our friends!); to Greg and Barbara who shared their connections in the USVI and who continue to go above and beyond to help us; to the mysterious and wonderful Carol, a fellow asthmatic, who helped us at Maho Bay; to Nancy who offered us a ride if we needed it; to Paulette and Tom, sailing pharmacists who shared their knowledge of meds and side effects and who continue to check on me; to Dr. Tiffany (and by association, Josh and Jacques) who answered our questions about Epi pens; to my friend (the almost Dr.) Kimmie for calling on her long time friend Gershwain in St. Thomas, who called on his cousin who in turn called on the amazing Dr. Audria Thomas who scolded me for not calling her at home on the weekend so she could help me sooner. Along with her office phone number, Dr. Thomas has her home number and cell phone number on her business card. How about that.

Thanks to family and friends who have continued to call, skype and email.... especially to my sister Leslie who gave me this spectacularly useful advice: "Keep breathing." Now why didn't I think of that? Thanks Les!

So. Here we sit, still in St. John waiting for me to get better. There are worse places to be. I have no pretty photos from the past few weeks so I pulled a few at random from my archives.

Palm tree in St. Croix shot on b/w film with Diana camera 
My goldfish named Fish. I didn't expect him to live more than a month or two.... he lived for fourteen years.
Backyard furniture in the snow - a photo I took on January 28th 2009, almost three years ago today.
I did say I pulled them at random didn't I? Hopefully I'll have some new and relevant photos for the next blog!

10 comments:

Cindy Barnard said...

This new post is such a reminder. Everyone has a story. We see other people and immediately make assumptions about them without any real information.
EVERYONE has a story. There's my brother and his wife who are living on their sailboat in the Caribbean living the life of Riley.....other than the occasional trip to the ER and some difficulty taking a full breath. Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
I hope you are right, Maddie, and that the gods will begin to smile upon you. Be adorable. xoxo

Miles said...

Hey hey! It's so important to be reminded of the potential for human generosity when those of us who are always within earshot of a radio or tv tend to forget. It feels good to help out someone in need and Maddie it sounds like you have been a direct beneficiary, albeit an unfortunate circumstance. But good to hear from you, and Lex and I are thinking about you and hoping you are on the up and up. Skip we think about you sometimes also... Those of us from the Maryland area are still mourning over the devastating loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game (seriously, I'm still struggling to get over it) and it's 60 degrees here today! Keep us posted on the progress. Have a Bud and a hot dog from the Maho snack shack for me.

Sylvia said...

Good to hear you're still breathing! Asthma can be scary and unpredictable. Glad you've gotten care from friends and doctors and are starting to feel better. Thinking of you and Skip. YFSS

live, laugh, love, Linda said...

Hey Madeline, Haven't been on my blog since Sept. so consequently haven't been on yours! Look at all that happens while I'm not looking! Yay, for being back at sea, boo for the asthma. So glad you seem to be on the mend. I'll continue to be a stalker and so look forward to your posts! Think of you often, oh, and Skip sometimes! Love ya,

Leslie said...

Well, my pulmonologist always tells me to "keep breathing." So, I figure it must be good advice.
One of the older gentlemen in my PH group used to refer to us as the "breathless wonders." You can be an honorary member.
Keep feeling better.

yfs

Miles said...

By the way. You only have one "archive" photo card to play, and you just done played it...

Lisa Keller said...

Girlfriend - FEEL BETTER! So sorry for all of your medical chaos but also seems like your community of sailing friends rallied so "Yay YOU" and "YAY" THEM! And "Yay" to Skip of course! I love checking in on your blog and hearing about all of your adventures. Wishing you more healing and better breathing -and maybe a little sun and fun too xoxoLisa
Ps - Hi to all of the Polss family! :))

Kim said...

Maddie - thinking of you. Let us know how you're doing. Love you!

Miles said...

Who the hell is Biff Barnard anyway?

Madeline said...

Hi all - thanks for the good wishes. We're still hanging out in the BVI - and breathing easier. I'm planning on new photos for the next blog post (whenever that may be) but I reserve the right to dig into the archives at random : )

Miles - check with your mom and dad about your brother Biff....