COPD and Other Stuff

This is a patient-to-patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between.
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Posts Tagged ‘Spiriva’

Does a tumor mean Cancer? Part 3 of 4

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Does a tumor mean Cancer?  Part 3 of 4

Glimpses of a patient’s life and the medical folks who helped save my life.  The University of Washington Medical Center(my lung doctor is here) and the Cancer Alliance of Seattle worked together to give me a life again.

One of the cheeriest technicians I have been around is right there at the University of Washington Medical Hospital.  Washington State first class teaching hospital.  The U – students and staff – alike is loaded with inquisitive, open minded, brilliant medical doctors teaching students to seek answers to patient’s medical woes.

Of the tremendous group of my tumor surgical medical team, this superb doctor stood out by his mention and appreciation of my first iPad covered Otter when he spotted it at my bedside table.  I appreciated his comments and conversation about a non-medical related product.  Btw… I think younger people are generally surprised many of us older folks appreciate and use new technology.

The view from my window was of one of my favorite bridges, the Montlake Bridge by the U. Beautiful views helped lessen the pain.

Need you ask?  This is without doubt the best-arranged toilet area of any I have had the privilege to know and love. The shower is just on the other side of the low wall.  The toilet was at a comfortable height and I let go of the walker, hung on to the low wall, and grasped the support bar on the other side.  I gently lowered myself and my new equipment onto the throne.

The day I was standing by the bathroom door when my incision opened and the blood flow began through the popped seal to the machine.  The bloody fluid flowed through the fingers I had pressed against the gaping open belly wound trying to hold stuff in where it belonged.   Instead, bloody fluid flooded the floor and formed running rivers downhill through my room.

The professionals who answered my call light moved swiftly to stem the bloody flow and no one raised a voice in alarm – not one.  I was immobilized in place hanging on to the pole with one hand and feeling the warm blood rush through the fingers of the other.  The warm blood flowed on down my legs while they quickly, quietly told me where to move.  They did their job with aplomb and took care of a horrified patient…like another normal day.  I had an incredible feeling of well-being in spite of the thought other belly parts and stuff might flow past my open fingers over the wound trying to hold back the blood flood.

Checkout day… the dried remains of one of the bloody flows remain under my soon to be vacated bed.

…Inhalers are important to lung patients.  The order we take them is also important.  I mention it here because my inhalers are rarely dispensed in proper order for the full benefit of my lungs.  Luckily, I know the right order to take them and do pass on that information.

I take Foradil first – a fast acting inhaler few nurses have heard of.  It is one of the best for me – opens my airway fast.  Spiriva is long lasting and second, while Qvar (inhaled steroid) is third.

Harrison Medical Center, University of Washington Medical, and  Martha and Mary in Poulsbo – none dispense Foradil…and I do not understand why.

I hope patients and med dispensing folks using other inhaler combinations see they are taken properly.

One nurse told me she did not know there is a proper order to taking inhalers.  Why not?   One possible answer…  If I were in the cancer area recovery, the nurses would be cancer oriented, not lung patient oriented for inhalers.

One of the terrific and friendly docs from my informative medical team.  Another super University of Washington/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance doctor that I cannot name due to misplacing my notes/business cards.

 Kristin, physical therapist…

 

Meet Gretchen, one of the outstanding nurses I had and now, my discharge nurse.  She is putting together the little vac machine that will collect the fluid from the tube sealed inside the unstapled lower belly surgery site.  I will wear it day and night for the next few months…while Harrison Home Health nurses will change it out every three days, per doctor orders.

Gretchen showing how the vac – the entire devise works.

 

Gretchen read directions and showed me how to change the container when it got full of the bloody belly fluid.  I was told an alarm would sound first giving me plenty of time to take care of it.

…Goodbye Nurse Gretchen …another patient going home – another patient tomorrow.   Thanks for your care and kindness.

Thank God for nurses like you…and…your detailed instructions on the belly vac came in handy the very next evening at home.

I am very lucky.  They found no wingding blooming cancer – only some strange looking cells that bear watching every four months for a while.

Please understand – Kitsap County has first class cancer docs and treatment  – I’ve talked to enough cancer survivors to know it.

That said…My first and primary medical condition involves my lungs – COPD first and Sarcoidosis second.  I will not do any surgical procedure that involves anesthesia without my pulmonologist as part of the discussion as a consultant.  While Karen Eady, MD, is my wonderful primary doctor, right here in Kitsap County,  Christopher Goss, MD is my lung doc  at the U .   Thanks to you all!

Harrison Home Health.  Part 4 of 4,  next time.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

Good-bye and thank you, Lisa Marie.  You’ve moved on to a  fabulous person and  forever home, and we’re grateful for the eight years we had with you.  Mom S

 

 


COPD Research Study at Leicester University – New Hope for Future

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

It is about time!  The Leicester University researcher, Prof Chris Brightling, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow is leading a team on a five year EU quest to – ultimately – individualize the COPDer treatment.  Currently, we’re pretty much given the same inhalers to help open our airways for better breathing and most COPD inhalers were developed for asthma patients – quite different from
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  (COPD)

I’ve taken many different inhalers over the years, none worked well – for me – as my present three inhalers.

For example, I’ve been on the same inhalers about five years – nothing newer or better has been developed and approved for use in the United States.  The last new inhaler I’ve taken for COPD was initially an incredible boost to my lungs.  The 24-hour inhaler, Spiriva, recommended to take in the morning was so powerful for me I took it at night and every morning was able to exercise three hours or so before breakfast and taking my other inhalers.  Not everyone has the same reaction and some don’t take it for various reasons – we’re all different.  This is the first time we’ve had research into our differences and I applaud and thank them on behalf of future COPDers.

These days I take it in the morning as time and COPD march on.

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“A Leicester University researcher is leading an international team in the development of a tool to help tailor the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Prof Chris Brightling, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow at Leicester University and an honorary consultant based at Glenfield Hospital, is spearheading the five-year EU project, dubbed AirPROM.

According to Leicester University, the project will create computed and physical models of the whole airways system, to help scientists and doctors predict how patients might react to different treatments.

Damaged, inflamed or obstructed airways are common in people with COPD and asthma, which makes breathing difficult. The current methods to detect and treat these conditions do not always consider individual differences in the airways that make each person unique. As a consequence, people with these conditions may not receive the most effective treatment.

While scientists are working on more advanced, targeted approaches to treatment, they have been unable to match these treatments to the right patients and explain the reasons behind this.

The AirPROM research team will make a computed model of the cells in an airway and a physical model of the airways, to assess how air flows through the lungs and why it becomes obstructed in people with asthma and COPD.

By using these unique models, along with existing data from tests that measure lung capacity and highly detailed X-rays, known as CT scans, the scientists will be able test new therapies, which will enable them to tailor treatments to the individual.

The aim is to use this information to generate an extensive database that will be able to link the characteristics of different airways to a particular treatment in the future, helping health professionals provide personalized treatment for people with COPD and asthma.

These tools will also help scientists predict how the diseases will progress and the effect on the airways, to help monitor the future risk to patients.

Breda Flood, a patient with asthma and board member of European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Association, said: ‘This new model will help us to visualize activity in our lungs and see how our illness affects our breathing. By gaining an insight into how specific treatments will work, patients will have a better understanding of how to manage their condition in the future.’”

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/sectors/medical-and-healthcare/news/project-seeks-better-treatment-for-breathing-disorders/1008723.article

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Interesting  – We have EFFORTS (Emphysema Foundation For Our Right To Survive): http://www.emphysema.net and  Alpha 1, the inherited type of COPD:  http://www.alpha-1foundation.org/

The United States does not have a ‘Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Association’ that I know about.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

New Bird at the Feeder – Yesterday – New Hope for COPDers – Today


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This is a patient to patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between. Written by Sharon O'Hara.

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