Some good news, my lung function is up! Hurray! In fact it's up to a fev1 of .82. That's a huge jump from a week ago. Clearly this new antibiotic is what I've been missing in my life. My bowels might disagree but I've started taking some pro-biotics which should make them happier. So far the medication hasn't destroyed my red blood cells so that's also a plus (I really have low standards on the 'good news' front). Yay for not becoming anemic!
The other good news is that my oxygen levels are back to their baseline. In fact, the respirology therapist took me for a walk around the hallways and said I should decrease my levels to 1L at rest and 3L for exertion. I'm doing a sleep study test tonight on 1L to see if that can be decreased too. They really like to keep me on the lowest possible oxygen setting here. Too much oxygen and carbon dioxide can building up in the blood streaming causing poisoning. I would really prefer not to have my oxygen kill me. (Wouldn't that be ironic though if it did? I really hope everyone would make highly inappropriate jokes about it at my funeral.)
For the less than awesome news, I'm still feeling short of breath when I do anything significant like shower or walk down the hall. I thought it would be due to low lung function but seeing as my lungs are quite happy on the IVs, I can't figure out why it's happening.
The respirology therapist explained that when the lungs shrink, sometimes people feel short of breath because that is all the lungs are physically able to do. A person can have great oxygen levels but because their lungs are so poor, they still are very winded.
That makes sense but doesn't explain why this started happening all of a sudden. Or why it's still happening when my lung function is higher. I should be doing cartwheels down the hall with a fev1 of .82 (or you know...at least able to shower without feeling like I might fall over). He did not have an explanation to give me.
I asked him if it was something I just needed to push through and live with from now on. He basically replied yes and told me that I have to keep exercising or else my body will become weaker, causing my lungs to struggle more, causing my body to become weaker...etc etc. He said not to push myself to the point where I feel sick but that I need to not stop myself from doing things because of it. And as I've been told a million times in the past 13 months, he repeated: "The stronger you are going into surgery, the better you'll do post-op."
So it looks like I need to just deal with it. I can do that. I think.
With my lung function increasing, I expected them to be kicking me out of here today or tomorrow on oral antibiotics as they did my last two visits the moment my lung function increased. However, the doctor said today that they would like to give me a full dose of the antibiotics, which means at least 10-14 days. They mentioned possibly doing it at home with home care coming in to hang them but I think by the time they got the funding worked out with NS, I would be ready to leave so I doubt that will actually happen.