Looks like I forgot to update back in October. I wasn’t feeling good at the beginning of October so I did a round of oral Levaquin for 14 days and prednisone. It didn’t really do much but I held on until last week. I started with a sore throat and sinus drainage on Thanksgiving day. I went to the walk-in clinic last Saturday. It is always a gamble going to doctors that don’t know me or my CF history. I started another round of oral Levaquin (Saturday) and prednisone (Monday). I have a sinus infection that has made its way to my lungs. Today I had a regular CF clinic check up. My lung functions are pretty steady considering I’m sick. My FEV1 was .93L/34%.
My lungs sound junky, especially in the lower lobes. We decided to make a plan since I will be out of town until the 12th. I will finish the Levaquin and prednisone at the end of next week. If I’m no better by the time I get back in town I will start home IVs. I will do cefapime which is a push (just a syringe of medicine that is pushed in over 10 minutes) every 8 hours for 14 days. I will not be surprised if I end up on IVs because it’s been awhile.
I have been having random bruising the past few months so he put in orders for labs if/when I start IVs since they will be drawing labs anyway. My labs were all fine in September but things change. I’m also being referred to an allergy doctor to talk about doing asthma medicine shots, like Dupixent. My asthma has been a problem a lot lately. I’m hoping that will help with my wheezing and shortness of breath.
The national CF conference was not too long ago and they discussed doing an abdominal ultrasound every 2 years as a maintenance test just like the bone density scan. Mainly to look at the liver because the liver is not always good in people with CF. I think that sums up life to this point. I will update about how I feel and if I end up doing IVs.
Today I had my 3 month check up. First stop was the lab for my yearly labs. I managed to con my nurse into waiting on my glucose tolerance test for awhile. I hate that test. It upsets my stomach and sometimes gives me a headache from all the sugar. Plus being stuck 3 times in the hand (my arms are too scared for blood draws) in 3 hours sucks. Next stop was pulmonary function lab..My lung functions were basically the same. My FEV1 was 39%/1.08L. Last time was 40%. So holding steady is good. Last stop was clinic…oh yeah I was weighed in the pulmonary lab and I have lost weight which is good. With Trikafta I gained a lot of weight. I think I’m down about 10 pounds. I’ll take what I can get! I haven’t really been trying that hard. I did start calorie. counting and watching my diet but I saw that I was rarely going over my allowed calories so I stopped counting. haha. My doctor said my lungs sound good and I look good. My oxygen company contacted me to let me know it was time for my reevaluation to see if I still need oxygen. I haven’t used oxygen in about 2 years so I will be saying bye to my concentrator and portable oxygen. I’m ok with that because I wouldn’t fail the 6 minute walk showing I need oxygen. I just liked having it as a crutch just in case I was having a bad day. I can always get it back if needed. I see him back in 3 months for another regular check up. Now I just wait for my lab results.
I had covid last month and my lung functions went down to 37%, from 41%. I had a mild case of covid. I had a cough and I basically slept for about 5 days. Not much more than that. I did have the antibody infusion and a weeks worth of prednisone for the chest tightness.
Today was my regular 3 month check up. My lung functions went back up to 40% / 1.12L FEV1. I have managed to lose 5 pounds, which is good. My lungs sounded good, no wheezing, at least when he listened to me. We discussed the mental health side effect of the Trikafta that I have been dealing with. It has been worse since Covid as well. I have more blah days than I would like. I made an appointment with my psych doctor to discuss my meds and a possible change in one of them. That appointment is in 2 weeks. Maybe with a med change my blah days will be less and I will have motivation. Summer is my favorite season because of the ability to be outside in the sunshine which usually helps my mood.
I go back in 3 months for a regular check up. I will have my yearly labs drawn at that time to check my vitamin levels, liver function and kidney function, among other things. They check my sputum culture every clinic visit to see what bugs I’m growing in my lungs. I am usually growing only pseudomonas. We only treat it if I am having symptoms of an exacerbation. That would be increased cough, drop in lung functions, more wheezing/tightness, fever (I rarely run a fever when sick though), fatigue, lack of exercise endurance, etc.
All in all it was a good visit. We did talk about adding Spiriva (inhaler) for my asthma if I feel like I need it later. I didn’t want to add it just yet. I’m going to try using my albuterol inhaler before I do the treadmill to see if that helps with the wheezing while I exercise but that is the only change.
I know I haven’t updated in awhile but count that as a good thing this time. I did have a birthday. I turned 42 on February 1st. When I was born, the life expectancy was late teens. So to say that I am very proud to have turned 42 is an understatement. It hasn’t always been an easy road but I’ve kept pushing.
Since 2016, January is not an easy month for me with the anniversary of my mom’s passing. By the time my birthday comes I’m ready to be happy. It’s still a hard time without my mom because my mom wanted nothing but the best for me and was my biggest supporter. I keep fighting in her memory. She is greatly missed.
Now for a health update… I am doing well for the most part. The weight gain I have had from Trikafta is not fun but it is what it is and I have to endure it. I have been sleeping a lot. I take after my mom and grandma when it comes to being a night owl and sleeping late in the mornings. I have to get up to take my morning meds and do a breathing treatment but I have been laying back down when I’m done if I have nothing else to do. I have had some blah days mentally/emotionally. I do have SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder) or commonly known as the winter blues. It’s real and it sucks. I need sunshine…real vitamin D and warm temps. Granted here in Tennessee we don’t get crazy cold and lots of snow so I’m not complaining too much but I’m still ready for summer. I don’t miss midwest (KS/MO) winters what so ever.
I think that’s a good update for now. 😆 I have a CF clinic appointment in March, I’ll update after that.
Today was CF clinic day. I am seen every 3 months, so today was a regular check up. However, I have been wheezing more so it was good timing. They had me do my lung functions at home on my home spirometer. My FEV1 was 35% which is my baseline (average). If you are new here the 35% FEV1 means I am using 35% of my lungs to breath. Most healthy people are 100% or more. They checked all my vitals and they were all good except that I had gained some more weight. Usually that would be a good thing for a CFer but I have gained quite a bit over the last 2 years since starting the new CF drug Trikafta. So basically they aren’t concerned with my weight but I am. The extra weight doesn’t make my breathing any easier that’s for sure.
We spoke about all my meds and what changes we could make, if any to change. They are going to try and up my inhaled steroid Budesonide (Pulmicort) in hopes that it will help with my wheezing. I have been wheezing a lot and getting out of breath easily with activity. My oxygen sats are fine so oxygen is not the answer. I am thinking it is a combo of the extra weight and the weather changing. The season changes mess with me every time.
They drew labs while I was there to check my thyroid, iron and vitamin levels to see if any of that could be contributing to why I’m always tired and sleep a lot. They decided to do an oral antibiotic, Augmentin, for 2 weeks and a prednisone taper over a 10 days. Hoping that combo helps with my wheezing and rattling in my chest. I see them back in December for another 3 month check up.
Today I had a follow up appointment from being on IVs. First up was vitals, all good some too good (weight….). Next up was lung functions. I’m holding steady for a year now. Of course there has been some ups and a lot of downs but I’ve managed to hold steady. My FEV1 was 36% / 1.00L. My sputum that I brought into clinic was a little pinkish from blood and is something to keep an eye on. If I have real blood then it would mean an admission to figure things out with more testing and to do IV antibiotics of course. Next up was pharmacy techs to go over my meds. I had stopped the azithromycin (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) because I didn’t see the point of it and wasn’t seeing any affects of it. I was then schooled in azithromycin 101 (because I was honest and told the truth that I had stopped it…haha) and told that it is not only for anti-inflammatory properties but it lessens CF exacerbations as well in studies. I will be restarting that one. I also questioned the singular (for allergies and asthma) because I once again wasn’t noticing any difference. I was told I could stop that one and see how I do off of it because it can have some psych side effects and we all know that I already have depression and anxiety and don’t need any help in causing problems in that area.
Doctor time! We discussed a lot today since it had been a year since I’ve been seen in person and not a Telehealth visit. He informed me that I am due for my bone density test yet again. I swear that thing sneaks up on me every time. I will be scheduled for that and if it shows no improvement since the last one, which showed osteoporosis, then we will talk about doing Reclast infusion once a year instead of the fosamax pill once a week to see if that makes any difference. I was started on Vitron+C (iron plus vitamin C) a month and a half ago because my iron was on the low side. He had them draw labs today to check my iron to see where it’s at. I’m not a huge fan of the vitron because it upsets my tummy in the sense of stinky gas and bowel movements. I told him my husband was really the one who wanted to know how much longer I needed to take it…haha. If I still need it we talked about doing an iron infusion instead of the pills. We will cross that bridge once we get results from the bloodwork.
CFers need colonoscopies starting at age 40 and I am 41, oops. Some clinics start at 35. So we will be getting that scheduled as well. He gave me the option to wait until I get the COVID vaccine or just do it now. I said do it now and get it over with because who knows when I’ll be eligible for the vaccine. It’s not pleasant so just get it over with. CFers have to do a much longer prep than you healthy folks. I will have to be on a clear liquid diet for a few days leading up to the prep to help clear out my colon. I also have to do more of a prep (lots of GoLytly), not looking forward to it but it must be done. My mom and grandma were prone to polyps so I need to get it done. I think that might be all. I’m sure I forgot something. I should have taken notes since it was such a long appointment…haha.
Today is my 41st birthday!!! When I was born, the life expectancy was 12. I don’t even think about the life expectancy now because it doesn’t define me. I had a good day with many phone calls, texts, Facebook messages and posts. Thank you to everyone that showed me some love today. It was greatly appreciated.
I did 2 weeks of IV Zosyn and was still not back to baseline. My lung functions had dropped from 35% at the beginning go IVs to 31% at the 2 week mark. We decided to do another week hoping to get over the hump. IV Zosyn is a bit daunting at every 6 hours but I manage. It wears me out to say the least. I sleep at every chance I get. I am able to “bump” my doses an hour either way which helps me get a little more sleep at one time. I’ve mastered it over the last few decades. At the end of 21 days/3 weeks my lung functions hadn’t come back up to where they were when I started IVs. I was at 32% at the end of IVs. With all that said, I am feeling better for the most part. I am however coughing a little more and coughing more up. I say better out than in! So it’s a good thing.
We had talked about putting me inpatient for IV colistin which was the one that messes with my kidneys and sent me into acute kidney failure a few years ago. That being said that is the reason they want me in the hospital for it because they would want labs everyday and be at the ready for extra IV fluids if needed. We decided against that for now. I may have to revisit that in the future when I get sick the next time (have a CF exacerbation). Yes, I say WHEN because it’s inevitable…it’s life with CF. I have another chest x-ray on February 16th to see if the pneumonia is gone. Hoping it is. If it’s not we will have to revisit IVs again I’m sure.
I barely made it through January emotionally speaking. This year my mom’s passing anniversary was harder for some reason. I found myself in bed more. Being sick on top of it didn’t not help either. I hope I’m coming out the other side of it now. My birthday is Monday which I always celebrate gladly unlike others. haha. I love getting older! Every birthday is a great milestone in my life. Especially since I am now past the “life expectancy” for CFers. I am always happy I made it another year. I might post on my birthday, I might not. Just depends on how nostalgic I am feeling…haha.
February 2020 was the last time I was on IVs. I would like to think it is Trikafta making the difference. I usually do IVs every 3-5 months so that’s a plus of Trikafta. It makes me attempt to take the bad (weight gain) with the good. Oh I did my lung functions with my home spirometer. My best fev1 was 35%. So basically holding steady which is good. They had dropped a little over the last few weeks but managed to be back to my baseline today of course. Haha
With that said I have been fighting something for a few weeks. I’ve had an increased cough, coughing more stuff up (which is less since Trikafta), more short of breath, been using my oxygen at night to help, wheezy and fatigue. I made the call for IVs. I have a telemed appointment on Thursday with my CF clinic. So I called to see if they wanted to see me or would prescribe IVs without. Thanks to Covid I was about to get things going without being seen but still have me appointment on Thursday to check in. My port is accessed, labs are drawn and a chest X-ray is done. Busy day at the hospital. Now I wait for the home health to deliver my IV supplies. I will be on Zosyn every 6 hours for 2 weeks. Here’s to no sleep!
Mentally I’ve been in a funk. We are coming up on the anniversary of my moms passing, Jan 19. It’s always a tough time reliving it. We are coming up on 5 years. So my depression has been creeping up. I’m trying my best. Yes I’m still seeing a counselor and taking my antidepressants but that’s not a cure all. There are still bad days. I take what I get.
I have been on Trikafta for one year as of today. The major things I have noticed is that I am coughing less, less coughing attacks and weight gain. I have not gained any lung function like others have reported. I have been stable though as far as lung functions are concerned. I have been lingering around 35% FEV1 (give or take a few percentage points). I still however get very short of breath with exertion like walking in a store or. any long distances, moving things around the house, making a bed, carrying things, etc. I wish I could breath better because that is the most frustrating thing right now, but that’s life with CF (getting closer to end stage CF).
As far as transplant is concerned, I’m still too healthy to be transplanted. I am ok with that because I’m not mentally ready for it at this time anyway. According to one of my transplant doctors most CFers get listed around 20-25% lung function or less. So I still have a little ways to go. Mind you one bad exacerbation (illness) and I could drop lung function pretty quick. That’s about it as far as an update on Trikafta. I have a virtual CF clinic appointment on December 17th, just a check in/check up.