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Spiriva Over Atrovent for Fatboy

Spiriva HandiHalerI mentioned after clinic that I had a few days’ supply of a duo-neb of Atrovent/Albuterol and then a full month of Spiriva to see which works better for me. The results are in as far as I’m concerned – after only 2 doses of Spiriva. Friday will be an entire post on it, including (drumroll) a video!

The bottom line is: I feel as “normal” as I can remember feeling in well over a decade now. No exaggeration whatsoever. Sure, I had 2 days of duo-neb first, but the effect of Spiriva were both immediate within the hour and long-lasting clear through to bedtime.

We have changed one other thing this week, which included a duo-neb day: walking 1/2 mile to the mailbox and back after treatments and before I get bogged down at my desk getting pulled 56 ways to Sunday. Monday was so-so, and I recorded the walk with my Nike + as such. I had labored breathing when we got back and I had a really hard cough once we were inside and I sat down to take off my shoes.

Tuesday, immediately after Spiriva, I rated it about the same, but I didn’t cough afterwards. Today, I got up earlier and finished my treatments earlier, so I was ready to go before Beautiful was. That gave my dose a good 30 minutes to reach almost its maximum benefit according to the drug sheet in the box. It continues to rise to the max at 2-4 hours after, but 30 minutes is about 75% up there. I tried to pick up the pace, felt a little winded when I came inside, but again, no cough. Within a minute, I felt great again.

That’s enough for me. I don’t need to know anything more or fiddle-fart around asking to try other options.  I repeat: I have not felt this good in forever – since high school! Look for more info and goodies about Spriva Friday.

Preliminary Update on Post-Clinic Changes

ChangeIt may be a bit early to tell how things are or are not better after some med changes after clinic, but we couldn’t be more optimistic thus far. To recap the clinic visit, we have changed (for 6 doses) Albuterol to a Duo-Neb Atrovent/Albuterol mixture, added a liver med (Urso), and an appetite stimulant (Remeron).

I started the Urso (ursodiol) on Friday night, taking it twice a day with meals. Not surprisingly, I have absolutely nothing to report about it, as it was intended to straighten out my liver enzymes. I should remember to mention to Sue, since I only think it odd at the moment and quickly forget to ask about it, my standing output (I’m a guy, think about it) has been what I’d call cloudy. I just figured it was all of the raw veggies that come across my placemat at different meals, but I really should ask. Hold on a sec, lemme write an e-mail.

Still with me? Good. E-mail sent. I’ll let you know what she says.

The Remeron (mertazapine) appears to have positive results in the side-effects department. Unfortunately I don’t seem to have a sunny disposition yet, but my appetite sure was up today AND I gained a whopping 1.5 pounds. Well, make that 2.5 pounds when you factor in that a donated a pint of blood this morning. After I donated, I ate a Rice Crispy Treat, munched on Combos, drank a Capri Sun and a Boost Plus, and then dove into a Double-Stuf Oreo Cakester after all of that. I was hungry for lunch and dinner and could still wander over to the pantry when I’m done with my treatments. We’ll see if it keeps up, but it does look might promising, especially given the state of my appetite for the last couple of months.

Now for the cool breathing news! The Atrovent/Albuterol mixture seems to be working out might fine. My baseline measure for how good a treatment is remains a solid test for our daily routine. After dinner, Beautiful really likes to sit and talk for what I consider “quite a while.” I may not think it is such a long time if I could breathe worth a dime after dinner. Most days our conversation ends with me literally gasping, taking my plate to the kitchen, and gathering up my meds to head to the couch. It hurts me to leave her hanging like that, but we both agree that air is more important than dialogue.

Last night, she noticed it immediately after dinner, but I was still skeptical because we ate a bit earlier than normal. I woke up to the typical “caked on” feeling in the front of my lungs [Read more…]

Atrovent Made My Best ENT Visit Ever

Atrovent - ipratropium bromideMy now bi-monthly ENT visit Friday was a pretty cool one due to Atrovent nasal spray. I just didn’t know it until now. Just a tiny back story for the new readers: I had my 9th sinus surgery in October 2010 and didn’t feel any relief, CT scan showed my sinuses worse off than September by mid-December, so I switched ENTs and had surgery #10 in January 2011. I’ve continually gotten better all year, most especially after May because I was still having massive sinus headaches up until then but have since decided it’s “just” migraines.

For about 3 months now, I’ve had a severe runny nose. But wait, it’s not just any runny nose. It’s just on my left side. It’s always clear as water and the consistency of hand sanitizer. That’s it! It’s like a hand sanitizer factory. Want some? I’m far from exaggerating to say that I went through more than a box of Kleenex per week – every week. I’d blow my nose in the bathroom in the morning, come downstairs to get my neb stuff, and immediately blow again when I sat down on the couch to start. Then I’d head upstairs and blow again. Every time I moved my head or coughed, I had a mess to consider stopping.

I mentioned it (obviously too passingly) in November because he wasn’t concerned because everything looked good. This time I marked on my sheet that it had to be resolved in a “we need to talk’ manner. [Read more…]