My Two Favorite Dorks

My Two Favorite Dorks

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Not so flying colors

An x-ray of a healthy set of lungs

I wish I could say that my one year anniversary since needing IV antibiotics (9-29-10) passed with flying colors. But unfortunately, this isn't the case.

Under one theory, the so-called "Montana cold" never really went away and is now causing me to need intervention. Under another, a series of other things converged to lead me to the same place. Either way, a couple weeks after all my viral symptoms were gone, I was feeling lousy in several ways (see my last blog) - the only exception being that my lungs felt fine.

Tired of not feeling myself, I contacted my doctor Sunday night and we arranged for me to come in Thursday to discuss my recent anxiety/depression and his thoughts on gallbladder surgery. Then, that night, I woke up at 6:30 am feeling like crap, with a fever and chills, and a pretty decent pain in my left upper lobe. I contacted Dr. C again Monday and he got me in this morning.

The verdict was mixed. PFTs were fine. (Sidenote: I expected this, but still, yay! After a month of hardly any exercise - first the cold and then "exercise time" turning into "nap time" - I was pretty psyched.) X-ray showed a spot of infection in my left upper lobe, where the pain had been. Let me say, things are not nearly always this neat when it comes to x-rays and symptoms. I have been on IVs before with a nearly normal x-ray. I could only wonder if the spot was there before the pain or vise versa. Because, really, my lungs have been totally fine lately.

Everything else (oxygen level, weight, etc.) was fine.

But, one plus one equals intervention: The x-ray/lung pain or the fatigue/malaise might not be enough on their own, but together, they spell antibiotics. IVs were discussed, although not necessarily recommended. Since my lung symptoms seemed under control (pain was much better today), we decided to do a tobi/mino/bactrum cocktail. (Tobi is inhaled Tobramycin twice per day and Minocycline and Bactrum are antibiotics which target the other major bug that I culture.)

In discussing the possibility of an antidepressant, Dr. C was quick to hand me off to a psychiatrist. He says he has a "low threshhold" for sending folks for referral because 1) talk therapy can be as effective as drugs with none of the side effects and 2) those people are much better versed in the nuances of the medications. (I only half believe that, knowing that much of the process of finding the right med is trial and error. But anyway...)

There was one positive development...switching gears here to the gallbladder issues. Thanks to my wonderful online CF forum, a drug called Actigall was suggested to me. This medicine is used to break down existing gallstones (or, in my case, hopefully, gall sludge) and also to prevent formation of new sludge/stones. One of my CF friends has been on it for years and has not needed other intervention. I hope this will be the case for me. Anyway, my GI doc approved it, and Dr. C wrote me a script, so I am anxious to give it a go.

Since it was obvious the gallbladder surgery had been weighing heavily on my mind, Dr. C suggested that I talk to a surgeon at UNC to see what they recommend based on my information. We agreed, the more information, the better to help me make this decision.

So I'm on this antibiotic cocktail starting tomorrow, and missing at least three days of work this week. I hope I start to feel better soon.


  1. Lots of love and concern to you, Laura. More to say, will catch up with you.

  2. You are a dear person, Laura, and I am ashamed to say this is the first time I have visited your blog. It will not be the last. xoxo LBC

  3. I hope you start feeling better too and that this new med keeps your gallstones small! That'd be so nice. Good luck with the new med. :)

    Hey, I just posted my first experience with my hypnotherapy session. Check it out on my cowbella blog. I think anyone who appreciates good shrink sessions to help with issues, would definitely appreciate hypnotherapy too. They work a little differently but both on the mind.

    Peace and hugs ~

  4. I just saw your caption for those lungs. I was going to those look clean, so spotless! Ha.

  5. I know...someone gave up their HIPPA rights!