DOCS GALLORE – The Passenger’s Log-Stardate 7 April 2022
The ‘Lander’ craft of the Starship Genesis two-seven is shown in the photo here to help relate the story of God’s goodness over these past weeks.
Ofev, the drug of choice to battle the onward push of the IPF disease in my lungs has been elusive. First, it was difficult to find and then, once it was found, it was getting the insurance company to approve paying for it. The cost of the medicine runs around $60,000 a year. A phone call from Dr. F’s office this past week informed us that the insurance company had agreed to pick up the tab with us having to pay the co-pay. The co-pay is just under $800 a month Then Dr. F’s staff enrolled us in a program that is designed to help cover co-pay costs. In this case, they are covering 100% of the co-pay. This has certainly been a concern for us and it is a blessing from God to see that it has been covered. Likely The Passenger will begin the new medicine around Easter. The side-effects of this medicine may outweigh its usefulness, particularly since we know it is not expected to cure the disease but simply try to hold it at bay. It will become an issue of quality of life. I remain, however, fully convinced that God will heal me from this disease and I will be present at all of my grandchildren’s weddings!
As this ‘VOYAGE ‘ is penned, the Passenger has been afflicted with a chest cold for the last few days. It may have developed into something worse. (By the time I publish this the real story is known and conveyed here.)
We are off to the hospital (it is the weekend) to get some bloodwork drawn and an x-ray. A follow-up now as, publishing this was delayed, I can tell you that thankfully, there is no pneumonia found. A second trip this time to see the folks at Primary Care are hitting me with a strong wide-coverage antibiotic trifecta including a great shot in the bum just for good measure! A panel of some sort is being run, that procedure required a swab from the back side of my naval and to access it, the nurse stuck the stick up my nose! Because I was reducing my steroid rate and was now quite low, that likely along with this infection is making my body’s ability to fight it that much more difficult. So, back up to the top of the steroid ladder to take a firepole back down within the next two weeks. I will not need to go to an amusement park this summer, the roller coaster ride I’ve been on now for awhile will suffice quite nicely, thanks!
The doctor’s office reported the results of the bellybutton swab. I cannot begin to spell the name of the virus that has attacked my lungs in addition to the disease already there but it is an aggressive one. The doctor said that with the combination of the two, this particular virus and my disease, it certainly could have killed me. Thank you Lord that it did not!
It’s been an interesting time with doctors, dentists, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers these past couple of weeks. Okay, nothing with the b, b, and c crew but besides the physical maladies, Dr. DW, my eye doctor found at least a partial explanation for my eyesight getting worse and it is an opportunity for him to keep his surgery fingers nimble, a cataract has reappeared on my one eye and that needs removed. And last week, I broke of a section of a molar so the dentist, Dr. F gets to take a ‘crack’ at it! One would think I was trying to get my supersonic-level insurance deductible met in three months!
But, I said this is a report on God’s graciousness.
The eye issue is a quick and easy repair. The broken tooth did not create a root sensitivity. I was able to see Dr G. for my regular pain management check-up and in that time we discussed the need for me to see Dr. C who did my first and second spinal fusions to address the left leg pain that is keeping me awake at nights, and if necessary, Dr. G will do injections into the trigger points to forestall the pain! However, each and every issue that has come up is treatable with little if any downtime. I can report that God’s goodness is plentiful and fully felt.
As to matters for prayer there are two specifically and a third for good measure.
1. For the family… it is tough on each of them, in their own walk in life whether a young elementary student or the wife of an aged goat, watching the Passenger have to make this Voyage is never easy.
2. For me, being surrounded daily by reminders of my disease, the pills, the oxygen, the worried looks on faces… is very difficult. I have a need to escape and go from time to time from this reality to another one. At times, it has been to God I must go. I turn off the world and just visit with Him and there are times that I need to just go somewhere, anywhere for some length of time. I’ve done one such trip with Aaron to Phoenix, or when its warmer, some fishing time on the lake or maybe take an Amtrak ride to somewhere no one but Amtrak goes is the ‘ticket’!
3. Pray for the family as they deal with a Dad who sometimes makes no sense (it’s been like that for decades!) There are times now when I think they look at me and wonder “What in the world is he thinking now?”
Thank you for your continued support. I have no idea what the future holds but I know who holds the future. I commit it to Him and the changes that are coming in my life and the lives of those closest to me and pray that everyone involved will be comforted and even blessed by what may transpire.
In His Precious Love,
The Passenger Ross