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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bronchoscopies, who knew!

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, the information i bring forward to you this day, will not only shock you into something you didn't know existed, but also prepare you for something a little more, out of the ordinary.

Bronchoscopies are a wonderful thing, after a transplant they can determine if you are "rejecting" your donor lungs. I had mine on the 24th of August, 2010. I took my time that day, waiting to get up to the office, and wait in the waiting room for them to tell me to strip down, and wear two robes. One for the front, and one for the back. I did what i was told to do, as always.

Usually my Bronch's are scheduled for the Wednesday's of my assessments, but this time around they had it on a Tuesday, and not just any Tuesday it was the Tuesday of Paige and Katie's birthday's. As you saw on one of my posts.

Anyhow. For some odd reason, the team up there, had me registered as having MRSA, which is not very cool. MRSA can be defined as the following:

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that's become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections.

Most MRSA infections occur in people who have been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When it occurs in these settings, it's known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.

Another type of MRSA infection has occurred in the wider community — among healthy people. This form, community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA), often begins as a painful skin boil. It's spread by skin-to-skin contact. At-risk populations include groups such as high school wrestlers, child care workers and people who live in crowded conditions.


I don't nor have I ever had MRSA.

So to my astonishment, I was whisked away into a room, a very isolated room, that was cold and not of the fun, light and brightness of the usual room I go to. The windows are closed, the blinds are closed and there is no one to talk to. You are literally ISOLATED! Not fun. usually i have the nurses to joke around with, and tell my funny stories to, but nothing. Then suddenly, there is a knock on the door, and there is a nurse there, in full precaution gear... face mask, gloves, hair net, isolation gown, booties and all the necessities for an IV.

My Port a cath isn't working properly, so I had to have a regular IV. They hurt going in, but the tingling sensation of the needle goes away.

As she has plugged me in, and prepped me with the mandatory throat numbing gargle, and inhaled solution, I am whisked away to the OR, where the begin the process of the Bronch.

First things first. My Doctor, Dr. Lianne Singer, the Dr. responsible for putting me on the list, is my Dr for the day, and i am so excited, I love her. She sees me, laughs, cause i told her the day before at clinic that i love getting Bronch's done. She thinks I am nuts, but I really do love them. She says to me, I'll be with you in a second, I need to change my iPOD song. She changes it to Elvis Costello's song called Alison; i am speechless, Dr. Singer is flushed.

I am given a sedative, as the numb my throat a little more, so i don't really feel anything, and I don't gag as they do it. I used to gag, then they sedated me. I don't know what they give you when they put you under, but they are awesome. I love the sensation of my body when it happens. It's gradual, but it's so relaxing. For an hour i don't know where i am, who I am or what i am supposed to be doing. It's like my kind of drunk, but without the painful side effects of a hangover.

I talk for a little bit, then they stick the spacer in your mouth, so they can guide the camera down your throat. I remeber the guide/spacer being put in my mouth, then... NOTHING! They cover your eyes, and then its just a matter of time, before you wake up in the recovery room, wondering, is it over already... can I do it again! Seriously, i am that weird.

As I come out of my stooper, I think, wow, this technique, this scientific method of dissection is going to help save my life. while they do the bronch, they take a biopsy of the lung, to see what's growing, and if there is any rejection going on. I think this should be done once a year in the CF clinics across the world. How much easier would it be to determine what the hell is going on in there. Just like my theory on Transplant assessments. They should be done as soon as someone's PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) are down to less than 30%. Before they are too sick to be transplanted.

I will get the results in about a week, and when that time comes, and those results come in, you will know, I promise I will tell you all, and you will know.

Until then, my fellow CF masters in crime. I bid you Adieu.

Tootles
Ali

18 MONTH ASSESSMENT!!!!!

Ladies and Gentleman, let me introduce you to my 18 month assessment.

But first let me tell you about the wonderful people who have opened their home to us while we are down there. Derek and I were blessed to spend our 4 days in Mississauga, about 30 minutes outside of Toronto.

We had a wonderful Saturday and Sunday of free time, Travis and Lauren had a little gathering and it was spectacular. Their hospitality will not go unrecognized. Not by us anyhow.

MONDAY: Assessment Day #1

6:00 am - wake up
6:30 - 7:10 am - travel from Mississauga to Toronto General Hospital
7:15 - 7:45 am - get blood work done
8:00 - 8:30 am - Pulmonary Function test & Arterial Blood Gas - have a nice bruise too.

Results of PFT :
FEV 1 @ 2.5 or 94%
FVC @ 3.1 or 87%
8:45 - 9:45 am - Chest CT & X-Ray
9:50 - 11:15 am - sat around trying to waste time, wish i could have slept, but didn't.
11:30 - 11:45 am - 6 minute walk test.
12:00 - 1:30 pm - lunch at the Chinese place. Not bad, not great.
1:30 pm - supposed to go in for doctors appointment.
3:30 pm - actual admitting to doctors office
4:30 pm - Doctor actually came in.

Results of Doctors meeting:

Stop taking potassium tablets, increase Cyclosporine to 175 am & pm. They may reduce my Prednisone level to 5mg instead of 7.5. WOOHOO, this is gret news. But won't hear until after my Bronch which is on Tuesday.

5:00 - 6:30 p, - Toronto General Hospital to Mississauga - TRAFFIC SUCKS!

TUESDAY: Assessment Day #2

8:30 am - meds taken
9:00 - 10:30 am - back to bed
10:45 - 11:30 - clean Travis and Lauren's apartment, it's the least we could do.
12:00 am - Register for Brochoscopy appointment.
12:30 - 1:00 pm - Had IV put in, and took the necessary inhalers for pre Bronc
1:30 - 3:30 pm - Bronc done, and believe it or not i love them.

When I get a chance, I'll post my last Bronc on here if I can get it to work. I don't smoke, don't do drugs and don't drink, but I love being put under for a bronc... I know, I am weird. But hey, if you have to do it, you might as well like it right.

My Doctor, Dr. Singer listens to music while she does her broncs. It's awesome, when I came in, smile and all, she had changed her ipod music to Elvis Costello's song called "Alison". It was awesome. She loves me, and i love her. If it weren't for her following up with me for the last 5 years, I wouldn't be here today.

The doctors in Toronto are amazing. LOVE LOVE LOVE them.

Well, until I get results back from that, you are going to have to keep tight, cause i am just as anxious as you are to hear if I have any rejection or anything like that. also, find out if i can change my Prednisone levels. Woohoo again, that will be amazing.

Well, time to head off to bed.

Love you all
Ali