My 43rd birthday was yesterday. February 1st should be a national holiday by now! Haha
I absolutely love my birthday. I know most women don’t like getting older but I’m not most women. Getting older is a blessing a lot of people take for granted.
Life expectancy numbers have never really worried me. It’s just a number. When I was born the life expectancy was around 12. Now for CF patients that were born between 2017-2021 the life expectancy is 53!!! There are now many more treatments and medications for CF including the revolutionary modulators like Trikafta that works on the cellular level. Research for CF is so important to extend the lives of those with CF. Finding a cure for CF is the ultimate goal. The CF Foundation has more than 70 chapters in the United States. Their slogan is “make CF stand for Cure Found.” You can go to http://www.CFF.org to find a local chapter or to donate to the cause. You can also find a Great Strides walk close to you. You can start a team or be an individual walker. Great Strides is the biggest fundraiser for the CFF.
Thank you for always checking in on me and for all the prayers and positive thoughts. Just remember that growing old is a blessing that isn’t offered to everyone.
My CF nurse called today to check in and see if I needed another week of IV antibiotics. I told her I’m as good as think I’ll get and that another week of IVs won’t do anything. My doctor wanted me to do home spirometry (lung functions) and to send it in so he can see it. My FEV1 was 32%! So I’m back up to my baseline between 30-35%. My last days dose of IVs will be my 10pm dose tomorrow night. I can then deaccess my port and be free!
I’m not as tight or wheezy as even I went into the hospital. I was up at 4am wheezing so I did a breathing treatment and stayed up until my 6am dose of IVs. I’m also not as short of breath so I’ll take it. I’ve been able to do more around the house, like cleaning. I do still have to take breaks like I usually do but I’m about to push through.
I’ve had some people ask about lung transplant and where that stands with having my lung function having been down to 21%. I’m still not ready for transplant yet. To be reevaluated for transplant, my lung functions would have to be 29% or under (steadily) along with other things like being resistant to IV antibiotics meaning they are having no effect on my lungs. IV antibiotics already are not as effective as they used to be when I was younger. I don’t bounce back like I used to. There are still different antibiotic combos they they can try for me with the hope they will help. We aren’t out of options quite yet.
Like I said before, you learn to adapt to lower lung function as it slowly goes down. The reason I noticed such a difference in my breathing when I went to the hospital was because it had dropped like 12% rather quickly. Yes, new lungs seem like a solution but there’s more to it than just getting new lungs. It’s a lot of hard work getting listed and enduring transplant. I will cross that bridge when the time comes. I’m still not mentally ready for transplant. It is so scary! It’s a journey for sure. Yes, I would get ready real quick if I declined quickly and had to be listed sooner than I would like. There are a lot of moving parts that have to be figured out when I do list for transplant. We will figure it all out in due time though. I know I have a lot of support with my family and friends. I will make it!
I have a telehealth appointment with my CF doctor on Friday the 20th for a check up after finishing IVs. I will do lung functions again and send them in the day before my appointment for his reference. I’ll update after that appointment.
Oh, and I got word that I was approved for Dupixent, the asthma medicine. I have an appointment with the allergy doc/nurse on the 18th to do my first injection in the office so they can teach me how to do it. The initial dose is 2 injections and then it’s 1 injection every 2 weeks. It’s in a pen injection like an epi pen is. I’m really hoping this helps my asthma and I won’t get as short of breath. We shall see.
Hey all! I was educated on what parainfluenza is so I thought I would share. Parainfluenza is not actually like the regular flu. First of all the flu shot doesn’t cover parainfluenza so even though I got my flu shot it wouldn’t have protected me from parainfluenza. It can last up to 16 days, if not longer. No tamiflu is given for it, just Tylenol or ibuprofen for aches, pains and fevers. With that said, having parainfluenza along with a CF exacerbation (whether the parainfluenza brought on the exacerbation or not doesn’t really matter) it’s going to take me awhile to recover from this.
I spoke with my CF nurse this morning. I had sent her an email about the steroid debacle and just to fill her in in general. Apparently my CF doctor is in St. Lucia for vacation. Rough life I tell ya. Haha I told her I finally got the correct dose of solumedrol finally. She did tell me what my lung functions were when I did them yesterday since no one ever came to tell me. They are 21% FEV1. So yes I am much lower than my normal which is between 30-35% regularly.
So with my oxygen saturation being down when not on oxygen, low lung function and having parainfluenza it might be a long recovery ahead of me. I will need to get my lung functions up some, off IV steroids and on oral prednisone and hopefully off oxygen so I can go home. Going home on oxygen is not the end of the world but not ideal. It would be much easier to not need oxygen at home. I will be on IV antibiotics when I got home as usual. I usually do 14 days total of antibiotics but sometimes I need a total of 21 days. We will have to just wait and see how things pan out. I might be a little less tight but still getting short of breath when I go to the bathroom without oxygen. I don’t have anything planned today (that I know of) just the usual antibiotics and breathing treatments and resting. I think that’s all for the update for now. Thank you for all your support and prayers. I appreciate them so much.
The steroid debacle of not getting what I wanted/needed has finally come to an end. I just received a 80mg dose of solumedrol (IV steroid). I received 2 doses of 40mg solumedrol before this. The attending pulmonary doctor that saw me this morning agreed to do the 80mg. Also I looked in my patient portal for my hospital and saw that I don’t have influenza A, I actually have a parainfluenza. It’s still the flu either way. I was also able to see the reports for my chest X-ray and chest CT. My X-ray showed no changes. My CT speed showed a spot of pneumonia. That only means I have an active infection so don’t freak out. It also mentioned bronchiectasis which is narrowing of the airways which I’ve had for awhile. It didn’t mention any progression.
I’m still feeling the same, no better. I’m hoping the solumedrol will kick in and help in the next day or so. It usually takes a few days to start working. Then it takes maybe 3 days or so of being on the solumedrol to be able to go to a lower dose. I’ve been continuing the IV cefapime antibiotic every 8 hours.
Today was pretty uneventful really. I did manage a nap with only 2 interruptions. I did get more sleep last night as well such was nice. I’m in the hospital so that means no sleep. It’s hard because you are supposed to be able to rest to get better but they are always in and out all day and night. I do ask that they don’t do vitals overnight so I can possibly get some sleep. But things start bright and early around 5:30am or so with drawing labs. I’m still hoping I can be out of here by Friday so I don’t have to spend New Year’s in the hospital. That would be no fun at all. I will be going home on IV antibiotics like usual so it will be at least 2 full weeks of cefapime. I will also be on a prednisone taper. I think that’s all for the update tonight. Thank you for all of your love, prayers and support. I appreciate it very much.
We had a fantastic fundraiser yesterday. We played singo which is like bingo with song titles. You listen to 30 seconds-1 minute of a song and if you have that song on your singo card you mark it off. You get a singo with 5 in a row like bingo. Winners received gift cards to the restaurant where the event was held. Next up was trivia. That was a lot of fun as well. The winners also won gift cards which were donated. We also had 16 raffle baskets, one of which was custom made cornhole boards. I’d say you had lot of fun things to do yesterday.
We had a great turn out showing lots of love and support. It was greatly appreciated. I had set a goal for myself of $1000. Well that was surpassed twice. We raised just over $3000!!!
The money will go to the specific savings account we have set up for the lung fund to help cover medical costs now and for the future transplant costs.
We are truly humbled by the outpouring of love and support shown to us. Thank you so very much for every donation.
What to do when you are woken up and you can’t get back to sleep….you get up and blog about what is on your mind. Friends and family have been on my heart and mind for a while. The sicker that I get the more I think about them and what they may be feeling. Family is “stuck” with me but that doesn’t mean they have to deal or even claim my CF. They can love me from afar and still be my family even if they don’t want to acknowledge my CF or even remember. It is easy to ‘forget’ that I have anything since we are states away from one another and we don’t see each other daily or even weekly or monthly, sometimes going longer without talking to each other as well. Continue reading →
I hope I can write this and let it make sense because it is all jumbled in my head…. It feels like a game of ping pong with my thoughts in my head. Hmmmm let me divide it into topics….hahahaha Continue reading →
/shannonigansToday I had my third set of intercostal blocks in my back for the rib pain. As you know, I have a broken rib that is taking forever to heal due to the fact that I can’t take a break from breathing, coughing or sneezing to give it time to heal. The pain is better than when it first began back in February, 5 and a half months ago so for that I’m glad but there is still a little bit to go to be pain free. Yes, I hope to be pain free. Yes, I’m asking for a lot. Yes, I’m stubborn. hahaha. I have a follow up appointment with the pain clinic August 10th to talk about this set injections hoping to be done with the pain clinic. Continue reading →
Today’s clinic visit was a follow up from my last admission. Ya know, the one where I kept coughing up blood, yeah that one. The visit was short and “sweet” because I had so many other things I had to get done today so I put them on a deadline of when I needed to be out of there. hahaha Continue reading →