Monday, August 31, 2009

Becoming Stable Enough to Stay Out of the Hospital


Between 1986 and 1996 I was hospitalized for asthma/status asthmaticus 16 times and was intubated 4 times (the longest being 4 days in January 1995).

1992- 1998-- I worked in the fashion industry in Miami, and had several hospitalizations. So I went to school to study art education, worked in a high school and ended up having to be hospitalized before what should have been an outpatient knee surgery, because of my bad pulmonary function. I was working out with weights and running. Peak flows between 150 and 350.

1998--2005--As exposures to bad air and sick people while working appeared to continue to put me in the hospital, I went on disability and worked part time in a nursery and volunteered at a botanical center seed bank. I continued to work out and run. I had a sinus surgery in 2004 (deviated septum, polyps and overgrowth of tissue removed), and saw much improvement with that --I could breathe through my nose after years of total sinus congestion and breathing only through my mouth. Peak flows between 200 and 300.

2005-- 2007--I moved to Dunnellon, FL and continued to see my Miami doctors, while
seeing a naturopath/acupuncturist in Micanopy, my condition had become slowly worse over the years, but less extreme in my good and bad moments. I was still running and working out with weights. Peak flows between 150 and 300.

2008--I saw a new doctor in Ocala and built an earth sheltered house that I spent 5 months installing all the floor tile in. I was no longer able to run, but used the treadmill and stair machine. The doctor in Ocala advised me to increase my Advair, which had stopped helping me, so when I increased it, I became worse. During the winter of 2008, I was on multiple periods of prednisone and many nebulizer treatments. I tried using a Chinese COPD treatment for 6 weeks--no noticable improvement, and tried Yamoa root, with no noticable improvement--perhaps both kept me more stable than I would have been. Peak flows around 200.

January-August 2009--I am back to seeing my Miami Doctors and with the help of Symbicort, I am able to run again. I began taking serrapeptase in June and noticed an improvement in my fibrous breast lumps and carpel tunnel. I suffered several sinus infections after being around others with colds. My peak flows range from 200-300 --usually at the low end. I can run when I am 250 or higher, though not for an extended period.

I feel like I am at the the very brink of what my body can endure, as far as compensating for my injured lungs. I can get by when I am very careful about exercise, what I eat, drink and take as meds, get enough rest and minimize my exposure to irritants; however, if I neglect even one thing, I go down like a house of cards. My naturopath/acupuncturist is trying to get my body stronger and more able to deal with daily insults, but it is a long and arduous road. I am often extremely fatigued, and totally wiped out after a workout or even a normal day (w/o a nap). Since I have been dealing with this for so long, it would be expected to take quite some time to reverse. I am trying to focus on the small improvements and the fact that I can run again (however limited).

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