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The longer my mystery disease remains a mystery, the more annoying and intrusive the tests become as we keep trying to figure out what’s wrong. I’ll be out all day today for yet another one. I should be back Tuesday, but if not, I’ll be back on Wednesday for sure.

LATE AFTERNOON UPDATE: Well, everything went fine. Today’s festivities involved running a catheter up one of my veins into my heart to check out the pressure in various chambers. It turns out that my pressure is A-OK.

So we’re back where we started. After an astonishing battery of tests, we’ve concluded that my lung volume is excellent; I don’t suffer from asthma; I’m inhaling plenty of oxygen; exhaling plenty of CO2; my blood is fully oxygenated; I have no blood clots; no interstitial damage; and no apparent inflammation; there are no holes in my heart; nor any shunts; my ejection volume is terrific; and my arteries—much to my surprise—appear to be as wide open as the Amazon river.

In other words, I’m getting loads of oxygen, and my heart is distributing it properly to the rest of my body. I am the picture of cardiopulmonary health.

Except that I have a hard time breathing.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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