Monday, April 25, 2011


Last week I began having some real problems with breathlessness to a new extent. I went for lung rehab on Wednesday and they sent me home. Not only was I having distress trying to breathe (even on oxygen) but they said my color was off and my lung breath sounds were not good. I came home and called my doctor, who was on vacation. Spoke to covering doctor who called the respiratory therapist at the rehab and decided I needed home oxygen (something she had been saying for over a week.) Late Thursday night I took delivery of a huge (R2D2 type) tank with liquid oxygen and a portable unit which can be filled from the larger unit. I had such mixed feelings but I was in no position to refuse it. I still use my other machine for sleeping. On Thursday morning I went for my CT scan. It was originally scheduled for Tuesday but the machine broke. I had the same problem as last time, I simply cannot lay flat on my back and breathe normally. I am gasping for air yet trying to hold my breath for three intervals of a minute each. Talk about torture. The CT scan showed some more problems which I won't go into except to say that the pleural effusion is now larger. This may be causing all the lung distress but you cannot know for sure as other things were observed as well.

At this point, I was given some information about post radiation lung disorders. After doing extensive research it certainly seems a possiblity this is what has been happening to my lungs. I am eager to discuss this with my lung doctor and she is supposed to call me this afternoon and meet with me on Thursday morning. I don't want to speculate at this point and I am not qualified to do so but I am certainly concerned. I was to return to work May 1. I don't see how that would be possible, but that decision is the doctor's not mine. I do know that I would need a lot of arrangements made in order to do that. I work a stressful job where there is no time for breaks other than the scheduled half hour lunch and two fifteen minute breaks.

I haven't been online too much. My son continues to have intestinal issues and I am greatly concerned about him. He was hospitalized eight weeks ago for several days and has been to the ER twice since then. He did come over yesterday and we managed to have an Easter dinner with my husband doing most of the work. My mother and sister also joined us. It didn't feel like a holiday of any kind. Even with the oxygen when I try to do physical things I have problems. I am tethered to lines and have to get to the main tank to change the setting if I am moving about or sitting. I certainly hope that this is going to be for a short time.


Cynthia said...

I haven't been commenting much, but I've been reading. You stay in my prayers, dear lady, and I hope your next appointment with your lung doctor provides you with some answers and a pathway to feeling better.

Virginia said...

Oh Nelle, this sounds really tough. We are so sorry you have this ordeal to go through. As always we keep wishing the best for you.


Judith HeartSong said...

Oh Nelle, I wish you easy breathing and a good rest.... you have been through so much and have maintained a really positive attitude. We send love and best wishes and I agree with Cynthia..... I hope you get some answers that will help.


I am sorry to hear that the pleural effusion is now larger and that you have all these problems. It must be difficult to be tethered, as you call it, to the oxygen tank. I know it's supposed to help you, even though it doesn't seem to be. Please take care of yourself. You'll be in my prayers.