I met with Dr. Gober at the student health center yesterday, and she said my lungs sound great now, all clear, no rales (noises in the lungs). It appears that the azithromycin did the trick. Everyone was so focused on the drug interactions, the fact that I smoked, and the severity of my shortness of breath, that no one except Dr. Gober stopped to consider that it may have been a simple case of pneumonia.

After a 5-day regimen of antibiotics, my lungs cleared right up, and I am breathing normally again. It wasn't asthma, COPD, or anything else, just a case of pneumonia, coupled with bad drug interactions from the lithium & carvedilol.

That issue settled, now it's on to two unresolved medical concerns:

The first is the anemia question. I am still anemic, and it is clearly affecting my energy levels... and no one can figure out *why*. This is frustrating. Dr. Gober ordered a whole battery of blood tests -- they took four vials of blood from me -- and are trying to pin down the cause. So far my iron levels are normal, the white blood cell and platelet counts are normal, and I don't appear to have a history of anemia, so we're all puzzled. The next step will probably be a visit to a gastroenterologist to see if I am bleeding in my intestines somewhere, perhaps from a polyp.

The second issue is the sleep apnea. That's going to affect all sorts of things: energy level, depression, heart function, weight, metabolism. I know I have severe sleep apnea -- most of my lovers have told me I stop breathing frequently in my sleep, and I know it wakes me up sometimes in the middle of the night, often dreaming about drowning and fighting my way to the surface -- and it looks like I need to do something about it. In other words, get a CPAP, something I have resisted doing for about 8 years, since I had my first sleep study. But things are so bad for me now, physically and emotionally, that it seems time to do something about it, especially given that I have insurance coverage from the state.

I just hate the idea of being encumbered by the damn thing.
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