Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve 2017

Today is the last day of 2017. All in all the year turned out pretty well - whenever there was a "down," it wasn't long until an "up" followed.
  • My latest "up" is how well the Sporanox has worked for my asthma, sinuses and eustachian tubes. My peakflow is about 85-90%, my post nasal drip isn't too bad and I can hear fairly well.  No aches and pains. Lots of fibre means no constipation. Sporanox is magic for someone like me.
  • Spiriva is supposed to reduce the amount of Symbicort (corticosteroid) I need. Unfortunately it gave me nose bleeds and made me deaf so I stopped taking it a week ago. The "up" - I seem to be back to normal with lots of energy without Spiriva. Waiting to hear from asthma doc whether to try it again.
  • New "down" - teeth. #6 molar on the bottom left lost a gold cap. No problem? Yes problem - very decayed underneath. I now have a temporary filling and am waiting to have a root canal on Wednesday. But the dentist says there is so much decay that the root canal may not work. Even if it does work, he says it won't last long. Eventually this very useful tooth will have to come out. Oh no!
  • The technical problem - I'm missing 2  upper right molars (#5 and 6) so can't chew on the right side. With my lower left #6 compromised I can't chew on the left side. Chewing with front teeth is very inefficient as they are designed for biting not chewing. So I am now eating soft food or foods that are in small enough bits that I can swallow them unchewed: yogurt, banana, mashed veg, applesauce, eggs, salmon (thank goodness), soup, bread (without a crust and lots of butter), cottage cheese with ripe cantaloupe, pound cake with ice cream. 
  • Not chewing was hard at first because  - wanting not to overtax my newly renovated large intestine - I am a bit of a stickler for chewing my food thoroughly.  However, I guess I just have to trust my stomach and small intestine to do their digestive work and not get too hung up on chewing every bit perfectly. 
  • An "up" - Mike and I bought a mini-food processor so I can grind anything up very fine and don't need to miss out on eating anything - even steak and ham. Unfortunately  nothing seems to have much taste when it's ground up. I guess a lot of flavour is in the texture. 
  • The next "up" will have to be about what happens to my faulty tooth. If the root canal works, the dentist will make a temporary acrylic cap (not an expensive proper cap) which I will be able to use for a while - hopefully until my upper right implants are completed next fall and I can chew on that side again.
  • If it doesn't work or when it fails, I'll have to decide on whether to replace it with an implant or a bridge. My dentist favours a bridge which is three caps joined together in row - the middle one filling in for the missing tooth. I have had a bridge in the past and didn't like the way food got stuck underneath. Also, when one of the supporting teeth failed, the whole bridge failed - which is why I am lacking molars on my upper right. So I am leery of bridges.
  • I think I prefer an implant - but it takes at least a year to get one - extraction, bone graft, implant itself and finally a new crown. A long expensive process with no guarantees. But at least no food gets stuck under it. We are going to ask the dentist's periodontist son his view of what I should do. My guess he says implant.
  • I realize I am lucky that I still have the majority of my teeth. How do people in third world countries survive with only a few teeth? Is it an "up" to be grateful you don't have someone else's problems. I don't think so.
So happy new year and may your body survive its ups and downs another 365 days! 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Fungus

Unfortunately the increased pulmicort which I mentioned in my last post did not stop the phlegm.  I started feeling really sore all over and felt really tired. I still had lots of postnasal drip. Last week I saw both my asthma doc and my sinus doc.

Asthma- My pulmonary function test indicated I was at 74% - not terrible but not good. My asthma doctor recommended sporanox but said it was up to me when I started. He also started me on a new spiriva dispenser.

Sinus - When my sinus doc looked into my upper left sinus with his scope he found fungus. Lots of it. I had my eyes shut so didn't see it on the monitor but Mike said there was plenty. My doc did the usual wash out - shooting "water"  up into my sinus to loosen and dislodge it. What a mess! It hurt a lot but was worth it. At the end he said I must start taking sporanox.

So the next day I started daily sporanox. I was so afraid of constipation that I added 3 scoops of metamucil to my daily routine. It worked! Yippee! No constipation!

I have now been on sporanox for a week. Things are definitely improved but I am not completely better - still phlegmy and some coughing but no more awful body aches and headaches.   My peak flows are in the 90% range so this is very good. Most days I have more energy than before - though one day I was so tired I actually cried with exhaustion at dinner. Sporanox can make you seriously depressed and it can cause congestive heart failure which makes you feel really tired. I don't think those were my problems but I sure was tired and lacking normal resilience.

So - Severe Asthma is not only about the symptoms but also about the side effects of the drugs you need to keep on breathing.

I'm carrying on and hoping all my symptoms really go away.

(PS Our pup is turning out to be a great little dog. I now have the energy to do training with him and he is learning to sit, sit-stay, down, roll-over, touch, watch me and walk pretty well on a loose leash - not yet a heal. He also comes to his name. We'll see how well this holds up at puppy kindergarten tomorrow.)


tomorrow.)