Friday, 14 November 2014

Neverending hospital updates.

It looks as though they're sticking to their plan of 10-14 days of IV meds even though my lung function is super up. I'm okay with that actually. I never thought I would be at the point where I would be advocating to I stay in the hospital longer. (Does this mean I'm becoming a responsible adult?!) I think getting a full dose will put me in a better position upon being discharged so I hopefully I won't keep yo-yoing in and out of hospital.

In other news, I'm completely off oxygen now at rest. Or at least I have been today. Yay! I don't expect this will last once I am no longer on IVs but my nose gets a little break for now. I'm still on it for sleep or when I do anything involving any exertion. But I've been off it for most the day and my oxygen sats seem to be staying above 90%.

The strange thing is that now it feels a little weird to not be wearing it. When I've always imagined the post-transplant experience, I thought the first day without oxygen would feel absolutely freeing. I thought how nice it would be not to be tripping over the cord all the time or having it jammed in doorways. However today, it's like I have phantom tubing. I'm still checking it when I go to the bathroom or move around at all. My brain keeps feeling as though something is missing. It's amazing what the body can become accustomed to. I'm sure 3 more days of not wearing oxygen 24/7 and I'll start to feel weird when I have to return to wearing it all the time.

The question I'm sure everyone is asking, is why would they take me off the oxygen when I'm still feeling short of breath? Well, as I've found out this week, shortness of breath isn't always caused by a decreased oxygen saturation. It can be of course, but it isn't always the case.

The respirology therapist explained it to me better today. He said if someone has an infection in the lower lobes, it's harder for the blood to get oxygenated so the body desaturates. However, if the person's infection is more in the upper lobes (like me), than the blood can still gets oxygenated (as when you're standing, gravity draws it to the bottom of the lungs). The shortness of breath remains as the body is still struggling to get air into the upper lobes.

The reason I still need the the oxygen at night is because when laying down, the blood pools more in the upper lobes where it isn't oxygenated as well due to my infection/scarred areas. Also, I don't breath as deep at night so the oxygen helps compensated for that as well. I hope that makes a bit of sense....he explained it much more eloquently. I clearly should have been taking notes. 

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