Saturday, June 30, 2012

PICC Line Blood Draw

One good thing about having a PICC line is the ability to draw blood straight from the line. While on IV antibiotics I have to have labs drawn three times a week, mostly to keep an eye on kidney function.  It is so much easier to have labs drawn from the line then having to be poked.  Here is a video of blood being drawn from my line this morning.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 5- IV Antibiotic Treatment

It is time for a tune up.  After nearly three months of struggling to recover from a cold, my lungs and sinuses need a break from fighting infection.  I need a break too, mostly from being tired and fighting fatigue that tags along with fighting an infection.  My doctor and I agreed that IV antibiotics would be an appropriate treatment. 

I went in for a PICC on Monday, June 25.  This was nearly two years from the date of my last PICC (which was placed on June 21, 2010).  The second time was easier in a way because I knew what to expect.  But, it was also more difficult because this time took two pokes.  The first attempt at placement was not successful.  The line would not push past a certain point.  So that line was abandoned and we switched over to try the over arm.  Everything with the second attempt was smooth and only took about 10 minutes to complete. 

In terms of the medication, I am on the same treatment course as last time: Tobramycin once a day and Ceftazidime three times a day.  I also have to have labs drawn three times a week.  Luckily, that can be drawn from the PICC line. 

Moving into day 5 of the treatment, I am feeling better already.  I was actually feeling better after the first day.  These super drugs are amazing!  I could really feel the pressure release off of my sinuses by the second day and I can breathe through my nose again.  And my cough has almost completely subsided.  I am still fighting fatigue...which I am hoping is more from the side-effects of the medication, rather then the infection. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm Losing Track

One function of my blog is to document my health: when I am sick, what medications I am taking, when I see the doctor, when I have labs done, etc.  It really serves as a place for me to keep a record so I can have better communication with the doctors.  I think it is also nice to share information with other CFers and it can also keep friends and family up to date.  But I am having a hard time keeping up.  Not that a lot is going on, but I think it is just hard sometimes to find the time to get all the information into a blog.  Here is what has been going on as of lately:

June 11: I had an appointment with the ENT.  It was a rather uneventful appointment, which is nice when it comes to seeing the ENT.  My previous sinus pressure and headaches subsided prior to the visit, but I wanted to check in with him since I was having some problems and I had not seen him for about a year and a half.  He actually said my sinuses looked good, which I had never really heard before.  He also is taking me off Pulmicort.  So as of right now, I am only doing daily rinses with no added medications.  

June 19: That's today.  I am starting another course of Cipro.  Ever since my cold in April, I have not felt back to baseline.  Although the coughing has not been bad, I have been feeling more junk in my lungs.  But I have also been fighting fatigue.  Last week was rough, as I was having a hard time getting up in the morning, not having a lot of energy to exercise, and not feeling productive at work.  We decided on the Cipro route, which is always challenging to take during the summer. 

I know these posts can be boring, but they are helpful to me to remember what is going on with my health. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hypertonic Saline- One Year Later

Well, more like a year and six weeks.  I started using HTS once a day back in April of last year.  From the beginning I have really liked this treatment.  Although it is very harsh and irritates the throat, it is extremely effective at mucus clearance.  But I am finding it may have an additional benefit.

When I went into my last doctors appointment, I was having an increased amount of coughing.  It was irritating, painful, and keeping me up at night.  While my doctor was not concerned with the symptoms I was experiencing, he did mention "experimenting" with HTS during this time.  Sometimes, as he explained it, HTS can be so irritating that it actually creates these types of coughing complications.  So from May 9-May 30 (three weeks) I stopped using HTS.  Within about a week, the long coughing spells stopped.  But soon my sinuses started hurting.  I started experiencing painful headaches and pressure around my nose.  Very classic symptoms to indicate I had a sinus infection. Initially, I thought that I developed the sinus infection post-cold, which is typical.  But on May 30 I started using HTS again and I have not had a sinus headache since! Amazing.  I am hopeful that the HTS is keeping my sinuses in check.  Now I have even more reasons to like this treatment.