Thursday, November 04, 2010

Chapter 748: The story of a wheezy penguin.

Well firstly, I had a lovely half term. A and I took the opportunity to get away and went to Derbyshire where we also visited my wonderful Grandad.

I had been coughing a bit more all week but feeling fine, but suddenly over the weekend just gone I began feeling very wheezy and a bit breathless. By Sunday I was convinced something wasn't quite right and so rang the on-call doctor at Harefield to ask to come to clinic on the Monday. I thought I might be being too cautious but better safe than sorry.

So on Monday I headed up to clinic to get checked out. My FEV1* had dropped significantly (although randomly my FVC** was actually slightly better than last time...) and as the day went on I was feeling more and more breathless and sounded like I was playing a tin whistle very badly. Therefore I wasn't really surprised when I was told I'd be admitted that afternoon for a bronchoscopy and biopsy the following morning to check for rejection and to see if they could discover what was going on.

Most importantly, the bronch revealed no rejection (WOOHOO) but showed a lot of inflammation and narrowing, particularly on the right side. Dr C explained the reason I'm probably feeling so crappy is because the right lower lobe is very affected and that accounts for a very large portion of lung. I'm using nebs again to help ease the wheeze (ha, that rhymes) which just eases the symptoms, but we do have a gameplan.

There is research to show that reflux can affect lung function and can cause a number of problems. A study done earlier this year showed that I do have bad reflux and I was warned I'd need a procedure called fundoplication at some point in the future. Dr C suspects that the cause of this pulmonary hissy fit is indeed the reflux, which probably means I'll need this op sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I'm going to go back in in the next week or so to have another bronch and to have my airways widened (no idea how they do this, have a lovely image of pixies running in and errecting scafolding but sadly I suspect the true method is nowhere near as charming) which will hopefully make me less squeaky.

I have learnt from this admission that I have indeed turned into a complete and utter wuss. I didn't find out the results of the bronch for a little while and I really began to panic about how I was feeling and what it could mean. I think I need to man up a little again....I'm obviously out of practice being lucky enough to stay so well. Am going to try not to push myself too much whilst I'm still a wheezy penguin, and will update my blog once I know whether it will indeed be pixies performing my airwaystretchyopenyproceedure.

*How fast you can blow the air out
**Amount of air you can blow out of your lungs all together.


Anonymous said...

i know how hard it is to await results!!!! worse than anything else - hope you are sorted soon

Molly said...

Glad to hear that you're back home now and have discovered the cause of your wheeziness. I hope you can get a date for the fundoplication soon and that it helps.

Take care,
Moll x x

Theresa said...

I'd be interested to know how you get on if you do have the op, as it's possible I'll need it too - I have bronchiectasis and I'm worried my lung function is being affected by my reflux.

Tori said...

This reflux thing worries me a bit!! I have bad reflux, if I miss my tablets at least once it makes me feel sick.

Glad they have a plan of action

V xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily i am 6 months behind you having had a tx in july 2007 and i have been told that where the lung on the left side has been joined to me the scar tissue is building up and i will need at some point to go down to theatre for a broncoscopy where they will put down a small balloon and inflate it where the scar tissue is and stretch the airway. this is consequestly affecting my FEV1 and has been dropping for the last 6 months. My small airways reading have been also dropping too but my FEC is the best its ever been since my tx! I also tend to burp quite a bit so will be intesting to see how you get on, i dont think i will be that far behind you having the airways widened myself! Hope all goes well. xxx