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Clinic – Fall 2012

I just got back from clinic and had another great visit. Basically, my numbers are up, so if you’re a busy person and that is all you need to know, move along with your day. I wish I could, but the rest of you want details, right? Right?!

The big number: FEV1: 42% – yes, my favorite number. Those of you with better memories than me will know that’s also what I blew in March before we started doing foster care and after I’d started doing daily walks and runs. Then I blew a 38% in June after a full 7 weeks of fostering. I was wiped and had come off a cold. I’m still recovering from the life change of Grandpa’s funeral, the 2,000-mile drive, and lots of hours worked to afford to take that time off… and the cold Boy gave us again.


Other stats of note: my weight was a whopping 126.4lbs – up from 123 in June and several dips into the teens since then – and my gut was proudly rounding over my pants. My O2 was 96%, which is the minimum I’m satisfied with.

Three neat stats from my PFTs are:

  • My FEV1 volume is higher than in recorded history at 1.53L
  • My small airways (25%-75%) are higher than ever in percentage and volume: 0.69L, 17% (13% is my norm).
  • My PEFR (peak expiratory flow rate – or “how fast can you blow, like peak acceleration in a car”) is also higher than ever in both percentage and volume: 5.98L/s, 70%.

Before I got out of there, I got my requested flu shot, tetanus vaccine, and pneumonia vaccine. I expect to feel like crap any hour now, so I’m going to finish up a small project, get my pay “for the day,” and rest while Boy takes a nap.

Turning Back the Clock

Turning back the clockYesterday was my hospitalization follow-up from my blockage at the beginning of March. We’ve been really looking forward to it to see how much impact Spiriva and my exercising has made on my PFTs.

If you’ve been following some of my posts on Facebook, I’ve walked and ran 60.9 miles in 60 days. I started by just walking 1/2 mile. Then I upped it to 1 mile and soon added running 100′ or so for a week. Then I upped to 200′ for a week. I’m now able to run (a good 8-minute mile pace) for 1/4 mile and several shorter jogs on my 1.5 mile route. Some days are just for walking and taking photos at an easy pace, just to get out and clear my mind.

I love my new routine, but how much does it like me?

I was really pumped to get my PFT results, so we made our guesses ahead of time. I said I felt like a 46% and Beautiful said 40%. She was saving 42% for me because those who know me know I’m a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan, so 42 is my favorite number, so she changed her guess to 42% when I didn’t claim it.

I took my first blow somewhat relaxed so I didn’t tighten up and constrict my flow.

39% – my number twice in 2011 and my second to last result. Not bad, up from 35%.

Then I decided to give it a huge effort and blow as hard as I could.


For my last blow, I concentrated on keeping everything wide and open [Read more…]

Annual Clinic Visit – 2011

Assorted pillsMy annual clinic appointment was today, a month late for my 2011 annual, but that’s where it belongs in the timeline. Overall it was good news, but we had some very good dialogue with the doctor about quality of life vs the PFT numbers and what the picture is now and what it looks like for the future. Prepare yourself for a long post because I really don’t want to break this one up over the week.

Good news first: I’m not dying. I’m also not expected to be on the transplant list any time soon. The rest is a big bag of mixed nuts that will take us a while to sort through. I really hope that you find this informative as an “aging CFer” to know what is ahead for those younger than me and also encouraging and transparent for those in the same inning as I am – that’s 33 for those new to the site.

For one, my PFTs are down 3% from 39% to 36%. They put me in the box for PFTs this year for the annual check-up, which measures 2 additional things: [Read more…]

Quick Update Before Clinic Tomorrow

Outrunning AgainTomorrow morning is clinic day. It’s also the first time I get to meet the newest and third doctor on their staff at New Lung Associates out of Tampa General Hospital. I remember the first time I met the second doctor. Allow me a moment of fond memories of a time long ago.

It’s been about 6 or 7 years now, I suppose, when I first met Dr. Tarik Haddad. I was feeling like crap: wheezing, run-down, and lots of gunk when I coughed. Since I was labeled as “sick” coming in, he came in with full paper apron, mask, and gloves. After checking me out, he asked me, “so what do you want to do?”

Excuse me, you’re the doctor! You’re supposed to tell me what to do and then I tell you how I feel about that plan. I sort of said just as much. I’ve been trying to remember all day whether I went home to await home health for my IVs or if we tried some failed antibiotics first, but that was about the time I was on IVs every 3-6 months for a few years. He’s much, much better now and has grown into the job at the busiest lung transplant center in Florida quite nicely. I like both of my doctors, and word on the street is that the new guy is so nice he almost doesn’t fit in.

I have my moments of feeling like crap (like this exact moment before doing my treatments), but most of the day has been terrific. I even took some extra-deep breaths today while I was coding my heart out to get a lot of work done before taking most of the day off tomorrow. Speaking of coding, check out what I did to Beautiful’s site. We love it, but what do you think? She’s got great ads and has free products arriving to have a give-away. Exciting!

Beautiful said she won’t fight it if they want to put me on IVs because her excellent intuition has been beeping for a few months about my cough sounding worse and she said I smelled like tomato soup in the middle of the day yesterday. It’s been more than a year and a half and I’ve kicked a few resistances according to my cultures recently. Maybe they can put me on some low-grade meds to save the really good ones for last resort measures later to buy more time. Speaking of that thing I didn’t just mention now, I have exciting news I’ll be sharing tomorrow about that thing I’m not mentioning that happens down the road… just wait.

After clinic, we head across the complex to see Dr. Tabor for my monthly ENT visit. It’s actually been more like 6 or 7 weeks this time because we were supposed to go when we were still in Ohio caring for my grandpa right around Labor Day. I’m still feeling pretty good in my sinuses, so I think we have a good routine going. I’ve also heard recently that big diet changes help sinusitis, so that may also be contributing to my better condition since we changed so much of what we eat.

MediaTemple - (dv) serverOne last thing: I’ve recently migrated our whole family’s collection of sites/blogs to a dedicated server. Basically, we are isolated from other peoples’ sites and bad security choices, as well as dedicated resources to run our databases, images, and designs without waiting for the server to do other peoples’ things. It’s taken me the better part of 3 evenings and a good chunk of today to learn how to set it up, then move the sites, and then fix any nagging items, but I’m all done except my company site. So tell me, is it faster than before? It sure is quicker in the dashboard and loads all of my sharing buttons faster. Here’s a link if you want to give it a try or get it and expand into the realm of self-hosted yummy-ness.