Wanda's Story
23rd January; 2000
Recently my husband was
diagnosed with asbestosis.
He has some pleural plaques.
Only after he went to hospital for other
problems did ct's find scarring on his lungs.
The doctor described the scar tissue
as being a broken glass look.
I have searched many places trying
to get information that was understandable
and easy to explain to others in my family.
Thank you so much for supplying that knowledge.
(your page is better than many
law firms, hospital and even research areas.)
My husband worked for many years
in electric power plants.
First as a welder/pipe fitter;
and then as a technician
who did the maintenance and repair both
in nuclear and coal fired plants.
I have been the laundress and
chief cook for all these years.

When our children were small,
he would come home from work and
pick them up and rough house,
or sit and snuggle,or read,or whatever.
We never knew of the danger
of the dust that was ever
present on his clothing.
I fear now for my children,
who as young adults are beginning
to raise their own families.
One daughter is coughing and has
been told by her ob. that it
looks like after the baby,
she is going to have asthma.

If it was so dangerous,
why is it still used in plants?
(most of the plants my husband
worked in have been built since
the 60's and many in the 70's and 80's
and have asbestos in them as gaskets,
insulation, wraps for pipes etc !!!!!!)
Why is it not ILLEGAL to
even use it any more,
It should be told to workers
that it is there and the
medical implications for themselves
and their families.
Thanks again for all the info
and yes, for the poems as well.Wanda

13th February; 2000. Deidre,
I live in the US,
in a small town in the country
that we thought perfect
to raise our children.
A river with (relatively) clean water,
a few acres to add animals
to teach responsibility to the kids
and lots of space for garden
and all the foolishness that
kids have fun getting into.
You have my permission to use whatever you need to.
Thanks again and love to you and yours. Wanda

24th April, 2000. Wanda here,
I kept having problems with my server,
so I switched.
I have been trying to get
over my obsession with asbestos
only tried.I was and am still afraid;
not for myself but my grown children.
Going to a family gathering after church today.
Doctors are watching closely,
to make sure my breathing
is as good as can be.
Encouraging also.
They will look again in September
I do have a tingly feeling in my toes.
Could be my lungs or hormones.
(I am that age)
With chronic bronchitis
and interstitial scarring,
I can only assume the lil aches are
from the stuff in my lungs.
The doctor seems to think they
are two different issues.
I'm enjoying my grandchildren
and looking forward to hearing from you, Wanda

30th June; 2000.
Am doing okay, have been told by
lung doctor that because of the fact that
I never worked around asbestos,
whatever is wrong is not likely from
exposure to asbestos.
I do have scarring over lungs as ground glass.
Will see Dr in late summer for semi-annual check.
First cat scan that was done on me,
(looking for something else),
a nodule was discovered in the
right lung base anteriorly.
Most likely in the right middle
lobe measuring 5 X 9 mm
. A high resolution CT was performed
and since that test looks at bands,
it is possible that the spot was skipped.
Drs think it may still be there and will
do a focused scan of the area in
question in the fall,
but nothing shows on chest x-ray
that was taken at same time
as high resolution CT.
So far, we go for a rather detailed
check every 6 months, and I am
on a cortisone puffer to help with the
additional chronic bronchitis.
It does help.

I have over the years found I can
not be in heavy traffic or
around heavy perfumes,
sprays (chemical, like hair spray and
bug stuff, even air freshener)
Smokers have run me out of a lot of
stores because my throat burns
and starts to close up.
Drs are still unsure of what has
caused all the damage,
as a probe did not find anything conclusive,
and taking a slice of lung (to me)
seems a little drastic for diagnosis.
Now I try to eat well, enjoy my family and my life.
It is a precious gift not to be
squandered hunting for more troubles.
Will keep up with check ups and care,
Have understanding with ALL
my family If something happens
(accident, or sudden occurrence)
an autopsy is to be done to know for sure.

I went to Drs for many years telling
them of reactions and problems breathing,
funny chest pains, and wheezing,
heaviness in bottom of the lung
that supposedly has a what ever in it
and was told (pretty much)
go home you are just fine.
Trust me, finding out that they
are wrong is no great prize.
Look up the statistics of the
ground glass appearance on lungs.
Lots of things can cause it,
the eventuality is the same.
Live life to the fullest extent,
praise God for the chance to see each day
and each blessing and do what
you can in life to leave
it a bit better (if you can).
My mom used to sing "Count Your Blessings "
and "Heavenly Sunshine"
as she went about her day,
good days and bad
(more spirit on bad days)
She had the best idea,


Hope you are well and that your
education project is helping give others
the knowledge to heal their hearts.
God Bless you. Wanda

2nd July;2000
Lets see, as far as I know ASBESTOS
was not a bug a boo,
but just insulation in some
schools and homes,
never knew much about it.
Not being a builder and didn't live
in a house with that kind of insulation,
and even grew up with a private well
with no worries of concrete piping
that I have read of lately.
In 1977 and 78 and 79 ,every time Mike
(my husband or I seemed to get a little cold,
it turned to pneumonia or at least
bronchitis that just wouldn't go away.
This would be at least 2 or 3 times every winter.
had always thought of myself
as hale and hearty.
So much for thinking.

Eventually developed sinus problems
and a cough that would last weeks
and weeks after colds.
Since we lived just out side a large city,
and a lot of people had sinus problems
from pollen or pollution
no one looked for any thing else.
Decongestants and allergy meds
did little or no good except
make one sleepy
(not something to do with 4 kids)
so we upped vitimins
.400 mg of vit E 1/2 in am,
rest at night, added zinc 10mcg,
and a B-complex that was balanced
as well as a solid multi and then added
lots of fresh veggies.and walking for exercise
( for me and kids up to 2 1/2 miles a day)
Had strange symptoms that no one has
explained to me to my satisfaction.
When we walked, my hands would swell
(1982) (If I had walked on my knuckles
that would have made perfect sense,
but I wasn't and GP suggested poor circulation.
ok; still not convinced.
Still getting heavy colds and
bronchitus in bad weather etc.
(during all of this had other problems,
a house fire.


Dealing with that ended up with depression,
did manage to quit smoking though)
We moved to our lovely bit of country green,
and set out a big garden and planned
to live happily ever after (l985)
Have since about 1986 had problems with the
laundry detergent row in the grocery
(took my breath away).
Perfumes and exhaust fumes got worse and worse.
Can't be in the same room with smoker
without coughing up stuff for days after.
It may or may not get to me at the time,
for some reason, some brands
seem to bother me worse that others.

(Ever swallowed something too large,
well instead of going to the stomach,
send it thru the chest and youwill
know what it felt like)
Dr said if I had any more problems,
should always check it out.
Heart, blood gasses, white blood count,
even lipids were great, so not heart.
( When you get the bill, you
decide that unless you are really,
really, really hurting, not again.
so have not gone back, although
pain in lower right lung
(feels like early pneumonia )
It is an on and off again thing with me.

GP has always said, no lung noises,
no problem, must be in your
mind (didn't realize my imagination was that good,
and with 4 kids at home,
I really did not have time to wait around dr's office)
Went to check a problem with what
I thought was an ovarian cyst,
(doctor thought it was gall bladder)
he ran tests to prove it was gall bladder,
( no surgery for me unless you prove it)
and the thing in my lung was found
not very large, but there.

Lung Drs in a larger city now say
I have the ground glass appearance
over all lung and scarring thru the
bronchial tree every morning, the cough
(haven't smoked since '84)
and sputum thing and am taking an inhaled
cortizone to keep the irritation down.
Breathing is still ok,
get short of breath walking,
(no long walks for speed for me)
and humidity and heat sucks
the air right out of me.
need air conditioning.
Do I have asbestosis,?
The sample they got from the
bronchoscopy was inconclusive.
The drs said they could take a slice of lung.
Well that seems a bit drastic,
since at the moment I am using them.
The whatever little gass bubbles
in places I didn't know you could get
are still there some times.
And no I do not know what they are.
My legs swell and so do my hands (?)
Every lil bug that comes around seems to have
my name on it and it stays
longer with me that other folks.

I choose to live the life I have to the fullest,
(Damn the torpedoes)
enjoy my children, grandchildren,
and the beautiful earth that
we have around us.
Everybody in my family has assured me
if any thing happens to me
(accident or otherwise)an autopsy is assured
and they are to look to see is this is
asbestosis or whatever.
Can't waste energy and time not to mention money.
on unimportant things.
live life, love God, live fully every day that God gives.
Will keep up with the 6 month check ups,
and meds to keep going;
try to get kids to check themselves,
(I am gonna live for ever syndrome)
Every year get flu shot and
keep up with vitamins,
clean air and lots of joy not
to mention a hefty dose of bull to chase
the buggers away on gloomy days
(pranks and jokes as well as music
and hugs are great weapons)
Will talk later.
What do you think, asbestosis,
environmental, what?

2nd July; 2000
A Morning Glory
Fragile faces follow the sun.
Multicolor surprises anew with each day.
The beauty is not in their simple faces,
But the strength to come back tomorrow,
The tenacity to hold out thru storm and drought.
Any who say brawn conquers all,
Hasn't grown morning glories
And seen them return again and again.
My wish for you is the fragile graceful beauty
and strength and tenacity of
A Morning Glory
by Wanda

You have given strength to face life
what ever it deals us,
and information to see what we need to know.
wisdom to welcome joy and
share the light of love and give
and receive while we may.
May the God of Heaven give you peace
and joy and love. Wanda
3rd July; 2000

Yes the poetry is mine alone
Forgot to tell you that the only exposure
I am sure of was when my husband
went to work for the power company welding
The pipe welds were heated and
after welding the pieces together,
they were allowed to cool slowly.
Before the welding was started
the pipe was wrapped in asbestos
blankets to hold the heat.
Then they would work all over
and around the piping.
This went on from 1976 till some time in 1979 (? I think)
Removal from other sites and
chipping into the boilers to do boiler repair work
continued the asbestos exposure.
This went on for weeks on end and didn't
allow much time to travel home.

I'd go visit him, do laundry,
visit a few days, and sometimes,
(while in the laundrette any way)
do laundry for a couple of his friends
that were just as pooped as he was
after 12 hour shifts,
7 days a week till it was done.
(mostly worked near home.
Sometimes travelled to other
powerhouse sites to do repair,
and rebuild)
We lived in a couple of apartments
in 1969 and 1970 that I just can't
remember the address of.
They were all the way across the country in California.
(Marine town) One was an apartment
in an old building and the other
was a little bungalow left over
(looks like) WWII.
The last was really cute white stucco,
with the old (heavy garage doors)
and wrought iron.
If there was any other exposure
I can't imagine where.
I pray that you remain in good health,
thanks Wanda


Do You Know What Hope Is
Back to Sherry's Story
On To Dinah and Cliff's Story
Poems And Verses