Sorry, we’ve been watching a lot of Futurama.

Tim had an appointment with his pulomonologist yesterday.

They did an extensive breathing test to determine all this, and the upshot is that his overall breathing capacity is much better now. It takes around 6-9 months after quitting smoking to really see results, the doctor said. (And yes, I never mentioned that Tim smoked. He really didn’t need more people judging him, so I omitted it.)

Last time, he got under 50%. This time it was closer to 80%. This means his COPD has been downgraded from moderate to mild.

They determined that the main issue is in his lower lungs. That is, he can take plenty of air in, but getting it out is more of a problem. Apparently, this is called asthmatic bronchitis. I think it’s also known as bronchial asthma.

He had heard that kind of diagnosis before. I guess doctors had called it “lower lung asthma” or something. I think this name sounds far more professional, and it only cost us $40.

But seriously, the doctor wants to take him off Flovent and switch to a new inhaled medication. This one is an anti-inflammatory, which is apparently much better in these scenarios. Here’s hoping it works.

I love this doctor — and not just because he gave us a month’s worth of samples. He’s very thorough in his explanations, and he answers any questions we have in clear, understandable language. And he’s just in a good mood. Most of the doctors we’ve seen down here aren’t exactly miserable, but they’re certainly not jolly.

He had briefly mentioned staying in an irritant-free environment. When I asked him to clarify, he said Tim should stay away from dust, dirt and chemicals. That should help during his Social Security review. We can point out that most of the jobs he’s qualified for would expose him to at least one of those components. Add to that the arthritis, ADD and eczema, and it’s pretty compelling to say he can’t work.

That said, I am thinking about making him an appointment at a vocational rehab center. We could at least see if they recommended anything that was actually feasible. I doubt it, but it’s worth a shot. Of course, most of those places have exceedingly long wait lists, so it’s not exactly an immediate issue.

My personal good news is that I’ve been Swagbucks-ing like a champ.

Some of you astound me with your ability to regularly get 200. I’m nowhere near that. But I’m making sure to hit daily goals. I missed one day, but Tim is on track to have a perfect month, which means another 300 SBs for him. If I can stay on track, I’ll still get 200 for hitting the 21-day goal. Meanwhile, we’ve already cashed in for five, $5 Amazon gift cards this month. Tim should have around 2,000 before the end of the month; I’ll probably hit around 1,700.

If we get a big backlog, maybe I’ll start cashing out for PayPal payments too. Then it’s immediate money saved, not just when I use our GCs. But I’ll wait and see how we fair in the next couple of months.

So in a rare turn of events, I actually do have all good news this time. I guess anything can happen, eh?




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