My Lungs Are Doing a Flip-Flop: Part 2
You can read part one of this story here.
The change in medications is making a positive difference!
Talking to your doctor about symptoms
It's important to talk to your doctor and tell him or her what is happening with you. Tell him your symptoms and what happened just before your symptoms. Did anything feel like you were in crisis?
That helps the doctor determine your overall health, as well as lung health. Aside from the new nebulizer treatments I discussed in part 1 of my article, we will discuss my new injectable medication.
I take Nucala for asthma. I just had my third monthly injection, which goes into the stomach.
Injections in the stomach hardly sting. Those in the legs sting. Nucala is for severe Eosinophilic Asthma.
Be aware that there is another use for Nucala. There is FDA approval for Nucala (mepolizumab) and its use in adults with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps.
I hope that this medication helps for rhinosinusitis as it does for asthma.
Receiving an asthma diagnosis
Once again, my COPD has taken a backseat to asthma.
Let's look back to the basic beginning. I'm kind of jumping around here. But yes, back to the basic beginning.
My initial diagnosis of asthma and allergies was seventeen years ago. COPD came a few years later. April 2007.
Seeing my charts, the doctor would call it asthma, other times COPD. Asking about it, some have said it's okay since I get treated for both.
Facing having COPD
When I was first diagnosed with COPD, reports said it was severe. The doctor said I would likely have five years to live.
So many of our writers have talked about how their doctors told them five years. Again, it’s been fifteen years since I was diagnosed.
My doctors have since told me that I was moderate. I don't think my doctors would declare or even believe I should have had that five-year sentence.
I didn't bother mentioning it to more recent doctors, except in conversation.
After being told about that five years sentence, I went down for mandatory counseling. The therapist asked how everything was, and I told her I didn’t feel very good.
I was numb and scared, which likely showed when I told her the doctor mentioned five years. My adult children took it hard when I told my family about everything.
If only I could have taken some of that information back. The therapist looked at my record in front of her and nodded.
She brought up disability. I think about others in this vast COPD family who were told they possibly had five years. It can also be scary and unnerving when thrown into that COPD kettle.
Feeling better after changing medication
This flip-flop of a diagnosis and a medication change seems to lean more toward asthma since the medications make a big difference. It’s incredible how much more active I can be.
Today, for example, I finally got moving around 9:30. I nebbed, took other medications, and had cereal.
After a few online hours, I cleaned, made a big batch of hamburger soup, did dishes, chatted with my husband, and sat down to write this article.
I haven’t been able to do these things or to be on my feet before this change of meds and the addition of Nucala. It's been a long time.
I’m so grateful for the determination of my pulmonologist and his redirection of my treatment. Things that I need to remember, that I preach so often:
Slow down, pace myself, and take baby steps. There have been days when I go for hours, then crash and am in bed the next day.
Even Superman is weakened by kryptonite. Dust and scents are my kryptonite, inside and out.
Stores and their bathrooms are so overpowering. I should know that they have candles, sprays, dryer sheets, and everything that makes things smell better.
After telling Dr. Hardie that I’m so thankful that he’s my doctor, he responded, "It’s a good thing that you didn’t wait too long because I want to retire in a couple of years.”
Yes, I’m glad that he’s my doctor!
Do you have a COPD caregiver?