Monday, February 8, 2010

Breathing Easier

Firstly, we had a good reason to be thankful and to praise God this morning. Michael was able to sleep better than he had in many, many nights. Previously, Michael had only been able to sleep for an hour at a time before waking up to cough and spit up fluid. Last night he was able to sleep twice as long. That may not seem like a good night's sleep to most of us, but to him it was a huge improvement.

Today's appointment went well. The pulmonologist listened carefully to our concerns and thoughtfully responded with a treatment plan. The first thing he had Michael do was remove the borrowed portable oxygen tank for a few minutes so that they could get an accurate pulse-ox reading. With the oxygen, Michael's pulse-ox had been 93. Ninety-six to one hundred is considered normal. Our insurance company wouldn't pay for any oxygen system unless the pulse-ox was 88 or lower. Well, once he was off the oxygen for a few minutes, his pulse-ox bounced back and forth between 88 and 89. The nurse called it a 88, and the doctor prescribed a portable oxygen system for Michael. This will come in handy whenever he has to leave the house.

After quite a bit of discussion, the doctor decided to keep Michael on the low-dose steroid he's been on since his hospital stay last month. He said it was such a low dose that it's probably not doing much for him inasmuch as increasing the elasticity of the lungs as intended, but we agreed that it was helping Michael's appetite and the doctor thought that was reason enough to continue taking it. He also prescribed an oral medication for Michael's cough that can be taken up to three times per day.

It was his opinion that Michael did not need to take a pulmonary function test, and he couldn't understand why the pulmonologist we'd first been referred to would require that before seeing Michael. He reviewed Michael's most recent CT scan taken last month, and determined that now was not a good time to drain any of the fluid in Michael's lungs. However, he did say that the next CT scan may show something different and perhaps draining off the fluid at that point would make sense.

Michael was very happy that the doctor did not require any further tests, and that we were able to get home by lunchtime. Me, too!


Tamara said...

Joannah, I'm so happy for you and Micheal that at least you have some answers and that perhaps Michael is on the right course for now. Perhaps his sleep will come easier, too!

Love, hugs and blessings,

Elaine said...

That is fabulous news!!! I hope that the cough meds will relieve some of his coughing attacks and that the two of you will get the much needed rest you deserve! Still praying!

Two Kayaks said...

Good news, Joannah! Glad that he is getting some help with all of this.

onesillymama said...

Oh yay! Sometimes finding another doctor is what it takes. It sonds like this one is really listening to you both and invested in getting Michael healthier and stronger. Once that happens, his body can better kick out that cancer-type stuff. Sending you both all the prayers and positive vibes I can!


mekate said...

Oh I am so glad for the oxygen and the continued steroid and the new med for coughing- I hope they all help Michael (and YOU) feel better.

thinking of you
and thanking you, deeply and truly, for your sweet support. Sweetie, I wish I could take away what you two (and your families) are going through- I wish I could offer solace and healing. I can send love, and I do, and I will.