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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…]

New Medication Routine

Keep Walking - by Michref

My medication routine changed this last clinic visit and I’ve been reporting on my findings on Facebook. With the foster care home study being our top priority to report on the blog, this has slipped by for almost two weeks, but it has to be shared. Oh, update on the home study: the health inspector is expected today, tomorrow, or Monday to test our water temps, refrigeration temps, and some other random health-related things about our home. Then we will be fast-tracked to licensing!

Due to some changes we made, I haven’t felt this good since high school. Did you catch that? My tenure at high school ended the last millennium: 1997. Back when I was running track, playing competitive golf and lugging my bag around 9-18 holes 5 to 6 times per week, and playing flag football with guys twice my size.

Changes like this need to be discussed, and you deserve to know what works for me so you can ask your doctors.

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Tight, Tight, Tight, But Not Sick

TGHToday I went in for an unscheduled clinic visit because I’ve been having seriously labored breathing.

There have been precious few times that I’ve actually been scared for my mortality because of my breathing (thinking about mortality and having physical feelings are so different). This week was one of them, as I’d climb into bed with my CPAP on, lay down on my side, and actually struggle for breath for a couple of very long minutes. I imagined that I looked like a fish out of water, gasping. My lungs hurt, or at least my ribs did, but it felt like my lungs.

I’ve also had episodes of a stabbing pain in my lower right ribcage, similar to a running stitch in the side about every other time I do my Vest. I have just had a general feeling that my lungs aren’t supple enough to expand or contract any more and that I’m wearing a very tight belt around my chest most of the time. Oh, yeah, and the whole blacking out episode – it’s all making me feel pretty nervous about where my health is at this point.

So, after doing PFTs, Bill said that my volume was up 10mL from last time, so even though I’d gained quite a bit of weight since my last visit, my FEV1 was up 1% to 35% now. What the heck?! I’m not saying that I’m not happy to have better PFTs, but I feel like they are going to think I’m crying wolf soon. I feel terrible, yet I’m still healthy.

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Hemoptysis: Bleeding Lungs

BloodIf any friends or family members don’t want to think about me bleeding from my lungs or what my cough is like from my perspective, come back for my next post… this one might be disturbing to you, but if you can stand it, it will give you a lot of insight into my past and present.

Still here? Good!

Hemoptysis is one of the words CFers hate. I’d rather be called a cuss word than a “hemoptysizer.” /shudder! It’s when your lung springs a vascular leak either due to an infection or when gunk that was previously in one spot eating away at your lining gets removed either from exercise or medication. It’s an indication of one of three things that I’m aware of as a non-pulmonologist with 12 years of medical training:

  • that something got dislodged over an infected site and you’re on the mend
  • that you have an infection that needs to be hit with meds
  • that you have an underlying pulmonary/vascular weak spot that needs to be plugged

My history of hemoptysis

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