Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Health Update

Okay: Yesterdays' treatment went perfectly, bruise and all. Dawn the girl that always does it, was back from vacation. Hallalujah! So I am done with this series of 5 treatments. After the pheresis, the nuero nurse came up and took a sputum sample (ohh yummy) and ordered a chest x-ray. They are sure something is going on besides the MG, becuse these 5 treatments should have me bouncing off the walls. Well, I'm clearly not bouncing.

So I go to my PCP and gab with him for a few, and he orders a medication for reactive airway disease which is like asthma, just not 24/7. Also ordered bloodwork, completel CBC, TSH, the usual suspects, but then added a mono test. Nice.

Got a call from the U of M...I do NOT have pneumonia, thank GOD!!! Nothing icky showed up in the sputum, well, except the sputum! Tim says, "all that's really on the chest x-ray is bilateral opaque striations due to atelectasis which we saw in January, so..." I was like, Um, can you repeat that in English?

Basically the bottoms of both lobes of my lungs are stuck together because they haven't been used in so long; i.e. my vital capacity is about 50% normally. Which means I can move 1/2 as much air as a person with healthy lungs can. This is not a LUNG disease, per se, it is a direct result of the myasthenia.

This is the treatment according to wikipedia (but the docs didn't seem terribly concerned because they've known about it since January, and haven't said anything to me):

Treatment is directed at correcting the underlying cause. People with chest deformities or neurologic conditions that cause shallow breathing for long periods may benefit from mechanical devices that assist their breathing. One method is continuous positive airway pressure, which delivers pressurized air or oxygen through a nose or face mask to help ensure that the alveoli do not collapse, even at the end of a breath. This is helpful, as partially-inflated alveoli can be expanded more easily than collapsed alveoli. Sometimes additional respiratory support is needed with a mechanical ventilator.The primary treatment for acute massive atelectasis is correction of the underlying cause. A blockage that cannot be removed by coughing or by suctioning the airways often can be removed by bronchoscopy. Antibiotics are given for an infection. Chronic atelectasis is often treated with antibiotics because infection is almost inevitable. In certain cases, the affected part of the lung may be surgically removed when recurring or chronic infections become disabling or bleeding is significant. If a tumor is blocking the airway, relieving the obstruction by surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or laser therapy may prevent atelectasis from progressing and recurrent obstructive pneumonia from developing.

So now I'm just on hold to hear about the next time I have to have pheresis...I'm hoping it's at least 2 weeks. They can't do the Rituxan until I'm better...Stronger. Haven't heard from insurance yet, so I don't know if they can do it or not anyway! Tick, tock, tick, tock.

I'm OH-so good at this waiting thing. (yah.)


Young Wife said...

I'll keep praying for you! Glad the pheresis treatment went well.

Jenxr77 said...

HA- I LOVE Tim -
"Tiiiim nurse here, calling the -insert name here- household."
Anywho...I have/had atelectesis too, it only took me until day 5 in the hospital to be able to pronounce it:) I kept calling it the A lung word until I had it down to a T.

When I was in last time, I had a Resp Therapist whose mom suffered MG for 30 years and he gave me a great excercise that helped expand my lung volume and clear the secretions. Basically you inhale as much as you can (slow and comfortable so as not to call too much attention to the muscle receptors on the diaphragm) and count to five then exhale slowly. Start out doing this 10 times a day and work up to 30 times a day. I promise it works. My lungs were so restricted I was on an 02 tank 24/7 for 6 months.