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Lung Health Recovery Battle

by Hawke published Dec 13, 2012 05:00 PM, last modified Jul 04, 2016 08:05 AM
last modified Dec 13, 2012 09:03 AM . A status update on the 2.5 years long (so far) battle to breathe...

Greetings,

After a 2.5 year struggle, and the set back of the past  5 months, the lung
function tests checkup had good news this time. The doctor was worried at the
last checkup that there might have been significant permanent scarring or
worse, but fortunately the most recent tests this time show that there doesn't
appear to be significant amounts of permanent damage thankfully. There may be
some, but not enough to keep me from some day getting back to a normal lung
capacity eventually, with a lot of work of course to build up aerobic
capacity again.

I'm still heavily dependent on medications to breathe for now, but fortunately
it is showing improvement in the fundamentals.

She also stated clearly, I can blame her, she says if I keep doing the
complete avoidance approach, it appears to be working, and we can keep
Charlie!

This means continuing the zero exposure, using the mask, etc. However, she
also specified absolutely no road trips with birds ever again. I'm looking
into options for transporting William and his bird. I will see about the bus
or other options.

She also specified a lot more sleep and rest over the next few weeks.

On the not so much up side, Dr. Draine is concerned I may have picked up some
separate lung infection(s), and so will be hitting me up with antibiotics and
Prednisone for a couple of weeks, in addition to the current heavy meds
(Dulera & Pulmacort), and a more potent combined Albuterol/Ipratropium
combination rather than straight Albuterol.  So, it's going to be a rough
10-14 days with so many meds, but hopefully it's the tail end.

All these meds have made me gindy, and the increase in meds will likely make
me exponentially even dingier. Thank goodness today was the last day of
school.

So, please just be patient with me if that becomes the case. This too will
pass.

Assuming I'm improving, she has authorized me to resume very light aerobic
exertion in 10-14 days. Will cross fingers and count the days.

She is hoping that I'll be a lot better in time for Christmas.

The doctor is hopeful that we're in the home stretch. She is hoping with this
next huge boost in meds, I will be mostly better by the end of the month.
I'm to check in by phone in 2 weeks.

Just some percentages to make it clearer.

The lungs are tested in 5 areas.
But looking at the most notable single set:

Without inhaler:
* September around 36% of lung capacity.
* October around 51%.
* Today at 62%.

The above numbers were before taking an inhaler.
The numbers after taking the inhaler twice (and waiting about 10 minutes)
were:
* September around 45%
* October around 59%
* and today at 81%.

The goal is to get everything before meds to a minimum of 80% (because of my
asthma being a life-long issue) and after meds a minimum of 90%.

Today they are all at:
Before Puff             After Puff
FVC(L)                  94%                     98%
FEV1(L)                 81%                     92%
FEV1/FVC                87%                     94%
FEF25-75 (L/s)  62%                     81%
PEFR(L/s)               72%                     78%

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