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Celebrating Another Year of Adventures With Sarcoidosis


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bad holidays | Sarcoidosis News | banner image for "No Tears for Sarcoidosis" by Charlton Harris

My birthday was three days ago, which was three days after the first day of summer.

Growing up, the last day of school often fell on my birthday. My final report card determined if my day would be happy or crappy.

As I got older, my birthday became a time for me to party. I would start the party the week before, on or around Father’s Day, and wouldn’t finish until Sunday after my birthday. Well, I don’t do much partying anymore. All celebrations take place within the safety of my house or yard, where I can celebrate without restrictions.

Little did I know years ago that those restrictions would involve pulmonary sarcoidosis.

These days, in the lead-up to my birthday, I often worry about how sarcoidosis might affect me physically or mentally. But it doesn’t affect how thankful I am to see another year. I have to keep in mind that sarcoidosis is an obstacle, and not my entire story.

A few days ago, I had to meet with one of my cardiologists for an echocardiogram and follow-up visit. One complication of pulmonary sarcoidosis can be pulmonary hypertension, so I was stressed and terrified about what the test might indicate. I decided to pull myself together and handle my business.

I arrived at the hospital and settled in for the test. So far, so good. After the test, I was talking with a nurse about how I was feeling when the doctor entered the room. The look of seriousness on his face nearly made my heart stop.

He admitted that he had already reviewed the results, and that they looked great compared with my results from six months ago. He went so far as to show me side-by-side videos of both tests. The improvement was crystal clear. Needless to say, my heart stopped racing.

That was my first birthday gift.

Once we finished, I was off to my next test, a CT scan of my lungs. This was just as scary as the echocardiogram. The test always concerns me because it indicates whether sarcoidosis has continued to compromise my lungs. Although I love my pulmonologist, I was not looking forward to this meeting. I kept thinking about what he told me years ago when I was considering a lung transplant: “You don’t want to get too sick.”

But the test went well — another birthday gift.

Last Friday, I turned 58. I’d be remiss not to acknowledge how blessed I felt to see this birthday. A few years ago, I spent my birthday in the hospital. This year, I’m following through on things I want to do, and not letting others talk me out of doing them. I can’t forget what makes me happy. Those things keep me going.

While reading about the significance of the number 58, I discovered the angel number 58 is a sign of immense wealth. I guess it’s a good year to play the lottery!

I don’t know how sarcoidosis will continue to affect me. Life is like a game of Chutes and Ladders, and every day is a new adventure. My family and friends don’t understand what that means to me, but that’s OK; each new adventure is mine. I may not be among the great adventurers, but I’m up to the challenge and I welcome each journey. Adventures make life enjoyable, so why not have a little fun?

Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

The post Celebrating Another Year of Adventures With Sarcoidosis appeared first on Sarcoidosis News.

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