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My pulmonologist from 2014 has retired, so I need a fourth pulmonologist.

I call the Bremerton clinic after I get the referral. I ask the front desk: which pulmonologist thinks the most "outside the box".

"Oh! You want Dr. Stonestreet. Definitely."

"Good."

So I go to see Dr. Stonestreet. Cong Ying Stonestreet, who is Chinese. She is small, younger than me and intense. Her first question is about my childhood.

"Neglect and a lot of trauma."

"I can tell by your face."

My eyebrows go up.

"Babies that are not cared for sleep differently. They do not sleep well. They do not learn to go into REM sleep. Their jaw forms differently and they have sleep apnea from very young."

It transpires that in China she was an otolaryngologist. "We have different ideas in China. We kept taking peoples tonsils out for a decade after you Westerners stopped. You have your tonsils?"

"Yes, but my sister had hers out in college. For sleep apnea."

She smiles. "You have it too."

I tell her about PANS/PANDAS.

"Oh, I will have to read about this." She says. That is a refreshing response. "You are to have sleep apnea testing and we will test for a patent foramen ovale with a cardiac bubble study. I will set both up."

There is more. I want to write it all up. I explain that I have a blog.

"That would be WONDERFUL. I wish to get my ideas out there."

Holy cats. I've met another doctor like me. Rogue, maverick, has ideas. I am so happy! She gives me breathing exercises and tells me to see her midlevel in two months and she will see me in October.

Hope I don't have sleep apena but I believe her. Because every morning I wake with my throat closed and tight. For as long as I can remember.


irony

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