Today’s Doctor Visit

Went too my regular Pulmonologist visit and PFT today.

Usually for the PFT I only have to perform one test, but I did three this time. I took a while because I kept screwing up the resistance test. Also, this was the first time for an iron test and I was not too happy about having my finger pricked. Hum…I wonder if the blood work thing gives me a feeling of a loss of control. I mean, I prick my finger once in a while to check my blood sugar. It usually doesn’t hurt a bit, it didn’t this time when the Tech did it. However, the fear crept up on me again, just about freaked out and refused it too. I don’t know what to say, the fear is real and it’s hard to fight against it.

When the PFT was finished I was directed to the room for my doctor visit. Waited for the doctor, more than normal I might add. He came in. He asked about my month, which happened to be a rough one. Yeah, between marathon, season change, and burning leaves he told me he could see why. I am still not considered under control yet, but he is starting to think I am getting close. There was a moment of confusion for me though. I was thinking that I had a FEV1 of 67% last visit, but he said it was 76%. What started this conversation was the fact that he told me that my FEV1 was 79% today, which he said I only showed a little improvement. Well, thinking it was 67% last time, it seemed like a large gain to me. Come to find out, he has been telling me different percentages of the tests and I am just not understanding what is what.

Anyway, since I am not yet were I need to be, he upped my steroids. My new goody in my goody bag was Pulmicort Flexhaler 180mg. I only have to take one puff a day with it. I think I can handle that. I hope that it does the trick. The good news is that he wants to see me in three months. So he must be comfortable with my progress. I have been seeing him every month in the past.

Ok, now to the blood work thing. He didn’t say a thing and I didn’t bring it up. Yes, I already got an ear full from the wife about not saying a word. And yes, it’s not going to get better if you don’t seek help. I am so ashamed of having this problem and I really want to bury it. I don’t know what else to say…

Kind of a good visit anyway…

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6 responses to “Today’s Doctor Visit

  1. The good news is that he wants to see me in three months. So he must be comfortable with my progress.
    This is good news indeed.
    What should your FEV be? I suppose you can’t expect someone with asthma to reach 100%.

    • I regularly hit over 100% on those. First from feeling good when I’m there and second is cuz my lungs are bigger and stronger than average for my gender and height, which is what they compare you to instead of to yourself.

      James – I just have to ask. Do you have the birthday candle thing on your PFTs? At my old pulmonologist’s office they had a screen that showed a cake with birthday candles connected to the machine. The dr would tell us to try to blow out as many candles as we could. I loved that thing and really miss it.

    • I’m in the same boat as Elisheva. I have moderate to severe asthma on every scale except on my PFTs, which are ridiculous numbers (for someone who’s sick with asthma like 105% when I’m sick and even more ridiculous numbers like 140% when I’m well. Even at my worst, I was still making close to 90% of predicted (which is within the realm of “normal” until you realize that my best is close to 150%).

      My peak flows are even worse: my personal best is almost 160% of predicted, so even when I’m severely ill, I’m usually still blowing a “near-normal” peak flow if you go off of what’s predicted.

      Elisheva: My GP’s office has that! It’s cool.

      My pulmonologist doesn’t have it, though, sadly.

      • Oh wow! Highest I’ve ever gotten is 109%. I hate when drs don’t take you seriously because your numbers are in the normal range and you’re all like “but I can do better than that. Really.”

  2. Sorry Ilanadavita for the slow response, to answer your great question. He says that 81% of predicted is considered normal. So, I am getting pretty close to normal. Although he is a little more concerned about my down turns after exercising. He definitely does not want me to stop what I am doing though, which is good because I don’t really want too.

  3. Hey Elisheva, I have heard about those machines but have never used one or seen one for that matter. No, this was the telephone booth one. Frankly, one of my tests was a closed door one, talk about a claustrophobic moment. I would have blown out those candles any day over that.

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