Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Getting Harder to Breathe

As I said in my last post I had an Pulmonary Breathing Test done yesterday at Riverbend hospital. The entire test took about two and a half hours and was very well done and quite intense. I feel confident with the examiner and am waiting for the official tests after they have been read by the specialist. However, this is what I do know...
I have lost 40% of my lung capacity and am now functioning on just 60%. What that means is that throughout the Lupus disease process the chronic inflammation causes the loss of ability to fully utilize the lungs. I was surprised at how little I am functioning with, but most interesting and something that gives me some relief to know how I have been feeling in the breathing area.
About three months ago I noticed a significant decrease in my ability to finish a sentence. Some would say that that is a good thing (joking). One thing that bothers me the most are my fevers. They come on without notice and instantly rise to an average of 100.5 to 101 degrees for about and hour or so if I am up and moving. When I say moving it is simply getting a glass of water and load the dish washer and I am sweating, short of breath, and up goes the fever and I get clammy. I thought that it was probably the 90+ lbs. that I have put on in just over 6 months. After all that would cause anyone to be short of breath, but it didn't explain the fevers.
The vicious Lupus, Sjogren's, and Peripheral Neuropathy process causes this cycle...Movement of the muscles naturally cause the muscles to release toxins into the bodies system; my Lupus kicks in and says "hold on foreign matter" and goes into overdrive to do it's job of attacking the toxins. When the attack begins the Lupus causes the fevers to fight the foreign invaders.
They had me walk to see where I begin to have problems with breathing, etc. Unfortunately, the pace that I need to take is so slow in order to try and avoid the side-effects of everything combined. I did see another specialist this morning and he of course increased two of my medications, one of them is to hopefully give me some extra energy during the day to bring me up to somewhat of a normal level of energy. I do go to the Rheumatologist on Thursday and to OHSU Hospital on Friday to see the team of doctors. Hopefully with the new found results with my lungs, fevers, and muscle loss we will have a clearer picture of where I am at this point of the disease process. I am finished speculating anything and am as they say "taking it one day at a time". No offense but I really despise that saying. I should also receive the results from my brain MRI tomorrow (fingers crossed). With the brain MRI we are hoping that the lump they found 9 mo. ago hasn't changed in size. I really am praying that it hasn't changed and they can just leave my twin in there (haha).
Well this is it as it stands, more to come after this week has ended. What I have learned so far is enough to process for now. I would be lying if I didn't say that processing all of this is extremely hard, but we are learning where we are at and for that I am thankful. Love to all.
For more information http://www.jrnlappliedresearch.com/articles/Vol4Iss2/Domingolung-Jar-spring.pdf

No comments: