Asthma and Scarred Lungs
Asthma has definitely been a complicated factor in my life, since it does not respond to most treatments. I have the traditional nebulizer, a travel nebulizer, and a ton of rescue inhalers within arms reach of most places in my house & my purse, of course. That seems to be the best we have gotten to at the moment. We have not given up, I saw a new pulmonary specialist today who is not afraid to take on my case. Despite the fact that my last pulmonary doctor told me I was too complicated for her to continue to treat! Comforting, right?
Unfortunately, I have ended up with extreme pneumonia several times in the last two years. This pneumonia was bad enough that I was hospitalized because of it. It definitely seems that once you get it so severely and there is a compromised immune system in the mix, you become an individual that will get it easier the next time. Especially when doctors, like my previous pulmonary doctor, do not act promptly enough when the first signs begin to show themselves.
My last scans have showed that my lungs have scarring on some of the lobes. The scars are from the pneumonia that I have had in the past. But they complicate any future respiratory progress. These complications have lead doctors to tell me that regardless of how much I recover, there is an extremely large possibility that I may not be able to ever be as active as I was before all of the bouts with pneumonia. In her words, I would probably never be able to run a 5k again or anything with extreme cardio. Although right now, I'm good to do the grocery shopping for my household without running out of breath and energy. Which makes more sense after my appointment today because my oxygen was only in the high eighties when the doctors prefer your oxygen levels to stay in the nineties. I did come home with oxygen after one hospitalization but it was only temporary and while one of my doctors wanted me to come home with oxygen after the last hospitalization, the physical therapy and respiratory people employed by the hospital disagreed.
After my appointment today with the new pulmonary doctor, I do have more hope that things will get better. They gave me a sample of a new daily medication, called Stiolto Respimat, to try since the Breo was not an effective treatment for me. I am also doing a set of new chest x-rays and then I will do another pulmonary function test next week. I was unaware that our outcomes on a pulmonary function test can change but according to my new doctor the outcomes can change. So next week I will know more about how I am doing overall and what the game plan will be moving forward. I am finally hopeful now with this new doctor that I will see some sort of progress.
Have you done more than one pulmonary function test? Do you have scarring on your lungs?
Note: Asthma is not a one size fits all disease. Everyone's asthma severity and experience vary.
Do you get muscle cramps caused by your asthma medicine?