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Chronology of Illness from 1983 - 1996

1983 - During a check-up, an x-ray was made of the lungs and my husband was informed that he had emphysema and that if he didn't quit smoking he would die.

Dennis had tried a number of times to quit smoking but had been unsuccessful, however, this time he simply threw all of his cigarettes away and never picked up one again.  He was already familiar with lung and respiratory illness as he had watched his Mother suffer for years. 

We didn't know it then but this was the beginning of a very long and emotionally draining illness.

His health held up fairly well over the next 10 years or so.  We found us some land in the country and built our dream home in 1987.

Both of us worked and on vacations each year we traveled as much as financially possible.   We even went on a wild west wagon train ride in August of 1989.  While camped out in the Bridger-Teton Mountains just below Yellowstone National Park, Dennis got so sick that the camp cook took him to Jackson Hole to a pharmacy.  The pharmacist got him a small bottle of oxygen and some medicine to hold him for the next few days until we could get back home.  We still enjoyed the adventure and were hoping to go again but other things got in the way.

Dennis got an infection once or twice a year and our internal medicine doctor always took care of them with antibiotics and steroids.  He was taking  nebulizer treatments (albuterol and atrovent) every morning before  work and again in the evenings.  1994 was a really bad year for our family and the emotional stress on Dennis took a huge toll on his condition.  His Mother died on March 18th and our daughter had a car wreck on the 21st, killing our 9 year old grandson.  Our daughter was in the Baylor trauma center and our 4 year old granddaughter was in Children's trauma center.  When my Mother was told on the 22nd, she suffered a heart attack and required immediate surgery.  The rest of the year was consumed with trying to take care of our daughter, granddaughter, and my Mother.  The accident left our daughter a quadriplegic and meant she and her 4 yr old daughter had to move into our house so we could take care of them.  1994 and 1995 were very stressful.  Dennis found that he could no longer take care of all the "manly" things he had in the past.  Lifting heavy items put too much pressure on his bladder causing embarrassing incidents.  He had to stop and catch his breath more often.  His male ego was taking a big hit.  He had always been so proud of his ability to take care of everything.

By 1996, Dennis was having so much difficulty with his breathing that Dr. Muncy told him that he needed to see a pulmonary specialist and that he was referring him to the best one in Texas.  That's when he started seeing Dr. Mark Millard at Baylor Medical Center. 1996-1999

Dennis and his brother in 1983

DennisnDoug83.jpg (234850 bytes)

Dennis in 1986 with Brandi and Montie

DenniswGrandkids.jpg (100398 bytes),Inc.


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