Monday, June 5, 2017


After three consecutive colds (after a winter of a million viruses) and a fun vacation that ended up leaving me more sleep deprived than a mother of a newborn I finally gave in and called clinic for meds. All the signs of infection were there: night cough, extra reactive airways, way too much mucus for one person to handle. My doctor wanted me to come in for PFTs before prescribing any antibiotics and so the weekend felt very long in the worst way possible.

The past several years I find clinic to be absolutely deflating. As a CFer I am the teacher's pet. I go to all my appointments, I do all my treatments (like seriously, I never miss mostly because if I do I am miserable and it just isn't worth it), I take all my pills 99% of the time (those dang vitamins are the ones that trip me up), I do everything they ask of me and yet I still have really horrible pfts that never seem to improve.

The frustrating aspect is that I often feel like clinic gets the worst of me. The last few times I went to clinic I was just getting over or just starting a cold. Of course, they also get me when I am sick and desperate for medication. The times I feel amazing and everything seems to be going well? Nope, never have a clinic appointment scheduled then. And so sometimes I feel like clinic has a skewed view of my health and here was just another "sick" pft to add to my list of subpar pfts.

When my respiratory therapist showed up, I was not all that excited to see him. He was in a rush and he wasn't his usual talkative self and I wasn't even able to check out my score before he pushed print on the pft machine, handed me the paper and left.

And guess what? Despite feeling bad, my pfts were up! What?! The last several clinics my pfts have gone up 1% each visit. Okay, I know, I know 1% is not clinically significant, but let me tell you something, it is significant to me!! Do you want to know why? My goal in life is to get back to 40% lung function (or as close to it as possible). When I went though a rough patch I fell to the 20s and even though I rebounded (and fell and rebounded a few times) I got stuck at 31% for a very long time. I tried everything to get past 31% and nothing worked, nothing!! Somehow the last few appointments, despite feeling bad, I have been creeping closer and closer to my goal. 31%, 32%, 33%, and today I was 34% even though I was coming in desperate for medication!! See how creeping up 1% at a time without sliding back down can be significant?

Maybe after this tune up I can gain another percentage point or two? Baby steps... baby steps...

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