Family News - September 12, 2009
September 12, 2009
I'm adding a brand new update just a few days after my last one as Tom just had a visit with his pulmonologist to discuss his PFT results and also results from other tests he had recently. The tests show that Tom is experiencing the effects of a common complication of IPF. He has the beginnings of pulmonary hypertension. No, it hasn't got anything to do with his heart—that's ticking real strong, actually. And no, it isn't connected to high blood pressure—that's holding quite normal too. It has to do with the blood flow into the lungs and constriction that interferes with it. His number right now is 42 (haven't a clue what 42 actually means), which the doctor says isn't real bad, but not good either.
Our first question was whether it would hinder him from getting a transplant. The doctor replied that on the contrary, it would likely bump him up higher on the "need" list. At the point people begin having complications with pulmonary hypertension, the IPF starts taking a nose dive and progressing very rapidly. The next question was whether Tom is doing or not doing something that is causing this. The answer, "No, it is simply a result of the IPF." Then finally, the questions as to how it is treated. First, they are going to do some more tests to positively rule out any other causes, then he will go on a medication that the doctor says usually works real well in controlling it. (Only $6,000 a month! What a deal!) Meanwhile, Tom is beginning a lung rehabilitation program next week that will require him to go to Riverside for therapy 3 times a week. This will begin preparing him for the physically taxing rigors of a transplant and also help him get the most out of his lungs.
Please pray that Tom continues to escape the flu and cold bugs, and especially the new swine flu bug. He will be among the first to get the new vaccine, as he would not likely survive this strain of flu, but we still have a month or so to go before he's protected at all. (The vaccine is estimated to have a 70% chance of working.) Pray he is able to handle the lung therapy and get in shape for a transplant, and then pray that he will be able to travel to Michigan for thanksgiving with his family there. We have train tickets (he needs too much oxygen to fly) and are looking forward to our trip, but it does have it's complications with elevation across the country and oxygen needs. Our LA elevation is almost sea level, and elevations across the country range from 1,000 to 6,500 ft before going back down to 675 ft. elevation in Detroit area. He doesn't usually do too well in high elevations, even with oxygen, so we're a bit concerned, but the doctor is ok with it and is helping with arrangements.
Of course, we are putting ourselves in our Heavenly Father's care and trusting Him to intervene or not according to His will. We make our requests known as He has instructed us to do, then commit ourselves to His wise decisions, knowing He has our best interests at heart. Our desire is that He always be glorified in our lives, whether in life or in death.We have no complaints—only extreme gratitude for all the many answers to prayer and many mercies we have seen over these past 4 years of IPF.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 18 July 2012 20:57)