Annelie on asthma, humor, and the world.

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At the Pulmonary Clinic. CT scan and Spirometry test – by Annelie Molin

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This one is posted to enable for you to learn about CT scan of the lungs, Spirometry test and sensitivity to chemicals in the daily life.

Last 2 months I have had troublish days with my asthma. I have been using the Optichamber (1, 2) a lot and really had to overdoze the Ventoline asthma spray a lot to be anything near being able to keep my asthma down. I had The Optichamber and medicine with me everywhere for three weeks since only using my inhalor was not enough, but with less success. I think it has a bit to do with me socializing a friend who smoke indoors (even not when I visited), uses fragranced non-asthma friendly washing and cleaning agents, fabric softener and dryer at the home on top of indoor environment at my job (they clean fragranced), and all the other stuff I get subjected to from all over. It became a bit to much for my lungs. And being sick often also hits your mood a bit. Only later I could leave the Optichamber at home, but still I used to much of the Ventoline inhaler.

Even when not visiting I had bad days that became too much. And astma coughing, tightened lungs, and asthma attacks, is a struggle to live with. And I really do not like to be sick and stay home from work, and time off is much better feeling good. I try to not stay home from work, often I rather struggle a bit than staying home from work. It must be really bad for me to ask for a sick leave.

My doc was a bit sad since he felt he had done all he could for me giving me more and stronger medicine to take away the bad breathing problems I got. And when I did not get better and had asthma attacks over and over, he sent me to a specialist with the pulmonary clinic with the local hospital. Plan was to get a specialists eye on it. Good thing!!

When one have asthma one shall have so much medicine that one can live as a normal life like anyone else as possible.

My plan was to:

  • Get a asthma Ventoline Nebulizer and stronger Ventoline. This will give me possibility to stop asthma attacks in the cryb before it gets bad, and also I do not have to run to the hospital to get it but can get the medicine at home when needed.
  • Get a Jonas mask to enable sport in bad or cold weather. This mask warm the air before it hits the lungs. Cold, wet and damp air irritate the lungs and make it hard to breath.
  • Stronger allergy medicine to prevent getting sick from different stuff as perfume, washing and cleaning agents a.s.o.
  • Get breathing therapy classes for asthma.
  • A doctors note for my employer so I can get perfume free products at work to be healthy.

As always when going to the Pulmonary Clinic to do tests I am not allowed to take any medicines at all before I go there. That is a standard rule. So this day I have been off medicines since Monday (Wednesday today), a real struggle. No medicines at all, and not allowed to use any medicine to help any possible pain. This was hard. I had to stay away from all what make me sick to be able to get through til after the test, and that means use all the tricks of the trade I know of. Keep away from people (because of what people use), keep away from allergens and irritants, keep the window open at work to get fresh air in, and hold my breath when needed.

CT Scanning
You probably did not know that they use CT scanning to check asthma? Well they do!

Before I could visit the Pulmonary Clinic I had to take a CT Scan of my lungs at the hospital so the doctor could see what it lookes like in there. A rather standard procedure in such cases. It is only to see what it looks like. Luckily I did not have to use any contrast liquid since I was a bit nervous about using that, since I am sensitive to chemicals.

CT-scan of the lungs to check out the asthma.

I lay on the bed in the CT scanning machine and I had to first inhale and hold my breath while they were scanning. I first thought this is a piece of cake. But no, it was actually hard to hold my breath for so long. And then I had to exhale and hold my breath as they scanned and that was even harder. The scanning seamed like it took ages while holding my breath, when it was really no long time at all.

CT scan for asthma was new to me too. When they do this they also take a blood sample in before hand to see if the kidneys are ok. This they do in case they will have to use contrast liquid. People with kidney problems should not use contrast liquid. My kidneys are fine, but I did not have to use the contrast liquid anyway.

The Pulmonary Clinic and Sprirometry
At the Pulmonary Clinic I took a Spirometry test. And it was for this test I was not allowed to medicate before I came here.

I entered the waiting room and reception. There were people sitting with both asthma and COPD and some of them smelled strongly of tobacco smoke and other stuff. It was so bad air in there I had to leave the room and sit by myself in the hall-way. Both because I am sensitive the stuff the air was polluted with, and I was on no medicine at all, meaning I had not protection. I was coughing so hard from the bad air I was on the edge of crying, while I could feel my lungs tighten and with no big pauses. And people passing in the hall-way wearing perfumed products on themselves did not help. I even coughed when I entered the spirometry room half an hour later.

At a Spirometry test one sit in a chair and breathe in a tube connected to a machine that messures the air flow. The tube is connected to a computer and the readings is registered on the computer and shown on screen. The test is taken several times to confirm the other results. A deep inhale and a as looong and hard blow out as possible as long as one stand it, and it is done the same way every time. Messurements are calculated by the computer in graphics showing the lung capasity, and the onxygen in the blood are also messured. (Photo of the machine further down.) It is like a PEF test just more advanced. Test result was not very good and worse than the last time when I did the Mannitol test and the Metacholin test, only just above the bottom limit.

I took some photos from the spirometry room.

Sprimetry room and Ventoline Nebulizer. Demonstration photo (it was no medicine in it at the time).

I had not taken any athma medicines since Monday and it is Wednesday today. I was coughing very hard from just about anything around. The smallest doze of chems in the air made me have breathing problems and blowing in the tube was a struggle.

After the test I met the pulmonary specialist and he viewed the results and concluded with that my asthma was worse today than the last time I were there. We had a good talk and he really knew what I was talking about. I told him all of my problems with chemicals in the day everywhere, and he conluded with that I got very sensitive lungs. Thanks, I felt good hearing it from someone confirming what I felt. One need that, to hear it from someone who knows, and is a doc. It feels good. Comforting.

I was also granted all my wishes and got a Ventoline Nebulizer to take home with me (see pic above). This does the same job as the Nebulizer at the hospital that I normally use, only this one is my very own even if it is for lending from the hospital. It feels really nice to have one of my own now. If I get sick I do not have to rush to the hospital and pay a lot of money to see the doctor. I can fix it myself in my own living room, or at work! SWELL!!!! This means I save money, I save time, and I save myself from being sick. Could not be better!

The photo above show the nebulizer i got, and also a demonstration photo of me holding it (it was no medicine in it at the time).

And the doctor did not change the medicines I got now since he said I had about what I could get, and any other sort was about the same as I got today. Changing from the ones I got today would not make any difference. The only change is that he said I could try do double the allergy pill for a month and take two, to see if it make any difference, and I got the nebulizer and stronger Ventoline.

I bet this will do the trick! (But I still must stay away from what makes me sick to avoid using to much medicine.)

My very own Nebulizer, it will be much better now!!!

Author: Annelie

I like canoeing, photographing, friends, movies, food, humor, and going on trips. I dislike rudeness, dishonesty, violence, nastyness, and people not caring for others. I do not drink much, I do not smoke and I do not do drugs. I love friends who are kind to me and stick with me. If you want to give me a gift, the best gift is to stop smoking and stop using fragranced products. Then you give me health and that dear friend, is the best gift a person can get. It is a gift of love. I got asthma and I am hearing disabled.

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