My Two Favorite Dorks

My Two Favorite Dorks

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My freaky clinic appointment

My last dose of antibiotics!

I wanted to tell you about my appointment today. (Follow-up from being on IV antibiotics for 2 weeks.)

The order of things was a little strange. I actually saw my doctor before (and again after) I did my lung function tests because the PFT lab was backed up. We agreed that I had made the right decision to do IVs and were catching up on other things when the lab technician came to get me.

On my first blow, the absolute strangest thing happened...I was at the end of my expiration, squeezing every last bit of air out of my lungs, when I suddenly found myself not at all in my own body anymore. It lasted for 15 or 20 seconds. I was trapped in a semi-conscious state, heaven and earth collided and everything was one. In short, I came very close to passing out - which has never ever happened to me before.

I told the technician but she wasn't too surprised. She had some sort of name for it, "vageling down" or "a near syncopal episode" - which was a fancy way of saying you almost passed out: you get light headed, start seeing stars...  It can happen when the blood rushes out of your head too quickly, which can happen with forced expiration like during a PFT test, but it may be worse since you are continuing to push air/exert pressure on the vagel nerve. I guess it was like a gigantic mondo head-rush, the difference being that it lasted longer. In any case, I was relieved to know that I was not the first one to experience this.

When I asked WHY this could have happened, she asked if I had eaten - yes, I had a normal breakfast; She said that I could have been a bit dehydrated - but I have been drinking water like a fiend for the last week as well as mostly staying out of the heat and besides it's only 83 degrees today! In other words, both of her suggestions were extremely improbable, so I found myself trying incessantly to figure out what might have been different about today than other days. I still have no idea.
"deepbreath" from

 Back to PFTs: I took it easy on the next two blows. As in - I stopped way before I was actually out of air so that I wouldn't come to the point of la-la-land. And all and all, my numbers were up about 5%, which is good but not spectacular. I am happy with it, though, given how I am feeling symptomatically.

Honestly, I was a little shaken after 'the incident' for the rest of the appointment. I had told both my doctor and the technician and neither of them were too alarmed. So I didn't feel in any kind of medical danger. But when something weird and unexpected like that happens, I automatically feel anxious and my brain goes into detective mode.

I just hope that it never happens again.

 P.A. bacteria in a petri dish, Harvard University

The second thing that was kind of strange: my bacteria cultures from two weeks ago (i.e. right before I started IVs) showed my bacteria concentrations lower than I remember them being in a long time. Usually they are all 3 + and 4 + (4++ is the max), but everything was 1 +, except for my multivorans which was 3 +. My doctor said that in his experience, over time one bug tends to win out over the other ones. Is that was is happening, or is this just an accident? Is this a new trend or just a fluke? There can be a lot of variability to these tests, so I'm not putting too much stock in it, but I will be interested to see what happens going forward.

One other note on that. Not that it is necessarily good or bad, but the multivorans is one of my better bugs in terms of antibiotic resistance. In other words, lots of antibiotics still theoretically work on it (unlike my other bugs that are more particular.) So like I said, I will be watching the 'Battle of the Bugs' closely.

And, finally, a bit of good news. I had a bone scan this morning and both my femur and hip bones were WAY UP in density - yay! I am not sure why this is - I had an IV-bone strengthener about a year and a half ago, but with all of the Prednisone I take and the caffeine that I drink -- let's just say that I consider myself very lucky.

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