This was edited April 2014 from its original first published as part of my March 2010 letter.
Yes, my body remains decrepit. The back and neck issues remain, annoying and painful as ever. If I didn’t know better I’d swear a dyslexic mistakenly input my birth year as 1972 in the government record rather than the correct 1927. But while my body may be decrepit, it is a Sarcoidosis free decrepit body! Woo hoo! Now, I won’t kid myself or you that I’m cured, but my update trip to the respirologist in January showed that the Sarcoidosis in my lungs has disappeared on the x-ray. This is great news, of course, and I am currently in the process of weaning myself off the Sarcoidosis medications. So long as symptoms do not return once I am fully off the meds, I no longer need to see the lung specialist. At least until the next mystery symptom shows up. Now if only the rest of my decrepit, non-Sarcoidal body could be fixed, I’d be a slightly happy guy.
I’ve learned a fair bit during this experience both when it all started eight years ago and this recent flare-up. Each significant decline in my health was preceded by a sincere attempt on my part to get healthier. More specifically, I had started a serious exercise program the purpose of which was to improve my physical fitness and lose some weight. Do you understand what I’m trying to say? Trying to be healthy almost killed me! I absolutely, positively, have to be lazy. My life depends on it. If my eyes didn’t hurt when watching TV or viewing a computer monitor and my back didn’t hurt so much when sitting upright, why I’d claim I’m probably the luckiest man alive!
[Editing these letters has exposed some repetition in my writing notably here where I once again proclaim to the world the wonder of my exceptional lung capacity. T’is such fun to witness senility slowly taking hold.]
Something else I learned? I have massive lungs. Part of my Sarcoidosis monitoring is a lung function test. Basically I have to breathe into a machine like a moron. Deep breath in, hold it, blow it out as fast as I can and keep blowing until I’m just about to pass out, blow out a little more (eyes bugging out now), a little more (clutching at chair seat now), a little more (face red as a horny baboon’s rump) and then a deep breath in again. It’s an annoying test and I can’t imagine how people with serious lung issues can do it.
These tests have shown that I do still have some minor lung function reduction. It is better than when the Sarcoidosis flare-up first occurred, but it remains nonetheless. But, and it’s a pretty cool but, I have an abnormally large lung capacity. The average man about my height is expected to have about five litres of lung capacity. I, being the breathing over-achiever that I am, have 7 litres of lung capacity. So even though my lung function is slightly diminished it is slightly diminished from a super-human level.
This all begs the question why has my aerobic capability my entire life been equivalent to that of an over-fed ground sloth with a sinus infection? I mean, from what my doctor tells me I should have been a superhero. I am Lung Man; capable of running great distances with nary a gasp for breath. Sucking evil from the world and blowing justice to all mankind. Instead, I am Decrepitor; lazy by design, lazy by necessity.