Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ny weekend visit part 1 - the lungs part

I had a few things happening in Manhattan Saturday to Monday - spending time with Aly, a paint bridal event for Laurie, and my second annual lung transplant testing for my new lungs! This weekend included lots of eating too, that I will blog about later. I wanted to first write about lungs, since I actually don't share THAT much about that aspect of my life...

First I can't believe it's been two years since my second double lung transplant. Time flies! Monday I had to do the following tests: bone dentisy scan, chest CT scan, full PFT (pulmonary function test), the normal xray and blood work, a 6 minute walk, an EKG and an echo. It was a full day! 

My CT scan looked really good. This always makes me nervous because in my 5th year of my first lungs all of a sudden I had spots all of my lungs in a CT scan, and then sort of started my downward spiral. But this one looked really good!  I wish I had a picture to show you guys. I forgot to capture this.

My 6 minute walk seemed good. It's much easier to do this without the aid of oxygen. I hadn't done this test yet with these lungs so there really is no base line - this is my base line. I can't tell you if I did better or worse than last year. But it did kill my leg muscles. Eleven years of all the medication I take and my muscles are pretty sad. 

My EKG looked good! The heart is still pumping! We are trying to figure out why I'm having serious palpitations at night even with the aid of two heart medications. We'll figure it out eventually!

My PFTs are pretty normal.  My lungs are at around 80% function - which is not where my first lungs were, but it's still great and I've learned to be okay with this after much internal conflict and anxiety. My lungs feel pretty good most of the time and this is what matters.  

The only test that came back that was really concerning to my team was my bone density scan. Just a quick explanation that I've had "bad" bones forever, this is a complication of CF and transplant and transplant medications, but since the last time I had a scan - likely 4 years ago, my hip bones in particular have drastically taken a turn for the worst. I am being set up to see the bone team there. I always have really bad lower back pain, but to be honest I just assumed it was a side effect of my life (i.e CF, meds, transplant) and never complain or say anything about it. It can get really severe too. I probably should have mentioned this years ago but alas we will figure this out too. 

So all in all the lungs look good. There is always something happening. This is transplant life. Besides the bones we are still trying to figure out if my stomach wrap has come undone and I'll go back for another test in a few months, but seriously I am breathing. Transplant is trading one disease for another. They don't give you lungs and set you free and everything is like a normal person. I still have CF, I still have a lot of problems, but the most important thing is they are all manageable. And so far I've come up against nothing I could not handle. But I hope this is a message for those of you that are healthy - literally something is always going on in the body of someone who has had a transplant and rarely will you hear one of us complain about it (like many other illnesses). Please think about that when you evaluate your own life and how lucky you probably are and how thankful you should be for your healthy specifically. I'm so very thankful for all of you that have followed and supported me along the way! I wouldn't be able to do it without you guys!

82% lung function - looking good!

They are filming at Columbia! Duck for cover!

A sweet message from Dylan's Candy Bar - my favorite

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