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    Bronchial Thermoplasty -First Procedure Today:)
    asthmawarrior posted:
    Im a 50 yr old female -diagnosed with severe Asthma at the age of 6. I can recall a very limited childhood -teenage years due to my disease. I've been on just 'bout any med. Out in the market for asthma and some worked a li'l better than others, but not well enough! As I've aged -my asthma has gotten worse to the point where the last year has been unbearable! I heard of this procedure called Bronchial Thermoplasty and was told by my Pulmonologist "Your the Poster Child" for this -this is our next step! This was 6 months ago! It's taken 5 months of mind boggling appeals with my PPO INS. finally got the approval last Thursday and I'm going in today! Let's see -I've been on the following Meds regimen for the last 6 months when I was diagnosed as a Chronic Severe Asthmatic in critical state:/ Nebulizer -Albuterol 2.5mg/3ml every three hours now -first three months was every hour and a half. Ventolin Rescue inhaler -as needed (allot)! Prednisone 60mg once a day for the last 3 months (was at 100mg) Singular 10mg once a day Symbicort 2 puffs a day Qvar 80mcg 2puff a day

    If you have any questions or concerns about what the procedure is like -I will be updating as I'm able to:) wish me luck! I'm so ready for this change -I know it's not a cure -but in my case it's a miracle waiting to happen!! God Bless:)
    atti_editor responded:
    Hi asthmawarrior,

    I hope that your procedure went well yesterday, and that you are finally able to find some relief from your asthma symptoms! We look forward to your update

    Best wishes,
    asthmawarrior replied to atti_editor's response:
    Hello Atti -Good Afternoon All:)

    My procedure was done on Monday 03.24.14 The following day was rough -a low grade fever -a li'l pain & a mild cough..... My appetite was limited -until later in the day. My albuterol nebulizer dropped drastically from every 3 hours to every 6 and only one of the treatments was due to shortness if breath -others more of a dial actor to help expectorate the mucus from the procedure! My rescue inhaler was only needed twice -through out the entire day! That's amazing! Today is 03.26.14 my second day after first procedure and doing better than yesterday! One nebulizer treatment this far in the day:) and NO rescue inhaler:) The pain is now a mild discomfort, NO fever and cough is controlled! Scheduled to see my doc. For follow up visit on the 10th of April and I've already set My Own preference in date for 2nd procedure for the 14th of April -hope doc. Is in agreement and all continues on a positive track! I'm extremely grateful and positive on what lays ahead:) battling hard and totally see the light at the end of my tunnel:) this is a miracle -I know it's only been 2 days, but by God it's amazing! Time for a li'l recliner nap:) stay strong all and smile:)

    wezman replied to asthmawarrior's response:
    Good luck hope you get better soon !!
    atti_editor replied to asthmawarrior's response:
    I am so glad to hear that you are doing so well! I hope you continue to improve and that your April 14th date gets approved Let us know how your follow-up appointment goes. I am sure your doctor will be very pleased with your progress!

    mobeary replied to asthmawarrior's response:
    This is encouraging. I'm looking at starting this procedure in about 3 weeks. I'm both excited and scared.

    I hope everything goes great and I really appreciate the updates!

    Thanks so much for being brave enough to do this and to share your experience!

    asthmawarrior replied to mobeary's response:
    Hello All:)

    Sorry for my delay in updates! Laptop issues ~got a new one:) Yeehawwwww!

    I'm doing GREAT... My 2nd procedure was done on the 17th of April, and this one was a bit rougher than the first ~but was expected due to the targeted area (Doc. had informed me it was the worst condition ~previous testing had warned us). No fever this time 'round <--Yay me:) The cough was controlled with meds, and due to all the zapping that went on this time 'round the bloody mucus was more than usual..... yesterday marked a week post procedure, and I'm feeling much better today.

    Current meds ~albuterol treatment down to one a day (from every 6 hours post 1st procedure) ~to keep expectorating mucus. Ventolin Inhaler once (if that) for tightness. Singular 10 mg. per day. Prednisone 20mg a day. Hydromet Syrup 5ml every 6 hours as needed (cough suppressant) Im took it every 12hrs the first 5 days this time 'round.

    Ecstatic to announce I'm scheduled for my 3rd (last) procedure on the 8th of May:) I can't express what a MIRACLE this procedure has been for me.... My doctor continues to stress that this is not a cure ~and it may not be a MEDICAL CURE, but AS FOR ME and my CHRONIC ASTHMA: the fact that for the first time in my life that I can recall -I can take a deep breath naturally, just typing this makes me tear up.

    If anyone has any questions ~please feel free to ask.

    mobeary replied to asthmawarrior's response:
    I'm so glad you're feeling better. WOW sounds like this has been life changing for you already. I'm soooo happy for you as I can relate to how tough asthma is and how it makes you emotional by just being able to breath. I don't think people without asthma really understand.

    I have a few questions:

    Were you laid up for the entire week after the procedure? I work full time and was thinking about taking the entire week off work after the procedure but wasn't sure if that was required or not.

    Are you in bed for a few days after or are you still up and about?

    How long from the time of your procedure until you actually woke up and were released from hospital?

    It sounds, from your list of meds, that your asthma is quite bad. Is there something that you haven't been able to do that you are confident after your finished with the procedures that you will be able to do??

    Sorry for all the questions, I'm just really curious.

    There has only been 6 patients done at the hospital where I'm going, I'm hoping to be #7 - hope that's lucky. My specialist said that out of the 6 patients none of them are taking inhalers anymore. And with how you've reduced down on meds this is really amazing and encouraging!

    I live 3 hours drive, one way, from the hospital where I'm having the procedure done so I hope that I won't have any complications.

    I was actually turned down about 2 weeks ago because I smoked 23 years ago and because I've had 'life threatening' asthma, in ICU a few times! I was very disappointed and a little depressed by it.

    But the hospital called this week to say that the Dr will accept me as long as I do a methalcholine test to make sure that I do have asthma. That test is scheduled for Tues 29 Apr.

    I'm 52 and have had asthma all my life so I think I'll pass the test! Although I'm a little worried because I've been on Xolair for almost 8 years and my asthma has been so good since I've been on it that I hope I can pass the test! I still have lots of bad days but none that I've had to be hospitalize in the last 8 years. I'm crossing my fingers!!

    I would love to ride a bike with my grand kids and hope that I'll be able to do that once I have the procedures done! This is one of my goals!!
    cwille replied to mobeary's response:
    hi, i too have had the bronchial thermoplasty, i am scheduled to have the final procedure (the upper part of the lungs) next wed, the 30th. I was reading about the success of the procedure , so i figured i would throw in my 2 cents for whatever it's worth , lol. First let me tell you a little about myself, I have had cough variant asthma now for 6 years, i am disabled so i don't work because of it, i usually am in the hospital anywhere between 5-10 times a year for a week at a time, so far this year it's been 4 times, i am on pulmicort and atrivatn nebulizer treatments 2-3 times a day , morphine for the cough when it's bad , otherwise guifisean ( i can't spell it lol) cough syrup with codiene, about 2 times a day , cetrizine for the allergies, and a rescue inhaler, i can't take symbicort because i have reactions to it, i am also on prednisone now, usually on and off of it , so really i can be on 50 mg than taper, get off and two weeks later i end up back in the hospital so i go back on the prednisone, lol anyway that is just a quick (i hope) little thing on me, i started my bronchial thermoplasty back in dec , the first procedure went ok, it was a same day surgery, i felt fine they did the lower right lung, I ended up with bronchitist
    but it only lasted a week, than i ran into insurance problems for the next 4 months and i started to get sick , so i was in the hospital a couple of times. So finally the beginning of april i had the lower left lung done, when i woke up i was coughing, i couldn't stop so they put me in the hospital for 2 days and sent me home on a friday. That following tuesday i was put back in the hospital because i was real tight, my pulmo said he had never heard me so bad, i was also coughing, i was in the hospital for 5 days. But i am doing fine now, for me it has been an experience, i wasn't coughing up blood or mucas, all i had when i woke up was burning in my chest and the coughing real bad. The doc told me that they are finding out a lot of paitients are having problems with the lower lungs after the procedure, not everybody, just some people. So now i go in for the final one, hopefully there won't be any problems. I just wanted to give you some other opinion , would i do it again, yep. Because until i am done you never know, i am definitly not your ordinary paitient, i have read nothing but good things about the procedure, I have been all over the country trying to figure out what is causing my asthma, but nobody can come up with an answer, i have tried all types of meds but it seems that i am now not able to tolerate alot of them , of they just don't work, so hopefully this will, I hope you have a lot of success with the procedure , i don't mean to scare you or get you thinking bad things about it, if you can do it, than go for it. Good luck , cwille
    mobeary replied to cwille's response:
    Thanks for putting your 2 cents in. I really appreciate it. I've been similar to you for years. 8 years ago, before going on Xolair, I was contemplating an early or medical retirement. Xolair has helped me get off of a lot of my drugs but I'm still having problems and more this last 8 months or so. The specialist is concern that I'm spiralling out of control!

    It sounds like you've not had a good experience with this procedure and I admire you for continuing! Have you found some relief since the second procedure?

    I hope your final procedure goes better than the others and that you can have a more normal life. Please keep us updated on how you're doing.
    cwille replied to mobeary's response:
    had tried xolair also, had a reaction to it, so the docs took me off of it, i have also done the allergy shots, guess, yep reaction to that also, actually did that before xolair. I go tomorrow for my final procedure, hopefully it works out. So far i haven't noticed a difference but maybe it's to early, we'll see. thanks , i'll keep you posted.
    mobeary replied to cwille's response:
    I had the methalcholine test today and the criteria to have BT my lung function had to be down by 20% and MY lung function was down 19%!!

    So I don't think this procedure is in the cards for me unfortunately. I find it amazing when the tech said it me 'we'll at least your numbers show that your asthma us under control'! WHAT!! How can a 1% difference mean that your asthma is either under control or not under control!!

    Very disappointing news!! The tech is talking to the Dr on Fri and will give me a call next week. But the criteria is set and as far as he's concerned there is no deviation from the required 20%!

    Maybe I should stop my Xolair and see what happens. Why keep injecting $40,000 worth of drugs each year plus inhalers and prednisone if this procedure could help eliminate some of my drug costs!! UGH
    asthmawarrior responded:
    Hi All:)

    Well Had my 3rd and final BT last week 05/07/14 and just as the doc. had advised ~Im tight and have a rumble in my chest. but all that put to the side, I'm elated this is all over and I'm on my way to full recovery. Can only speak for myself ~This has been life changing for me and i haven't even gotten the alls clear yet. I have my follow up next week and we will start lowering the prednisone dose:) THANK GOD!!!! We acre also set to start tapering down on all other meds, and see how well I do.

    I don't have anything negative to say on the BT and if I had to do it all over again Id DO IT in a FLASH! Its a process ~you will feel discomfort and tightness, but in the end nothing compared to living with Chronic Asthma since the age of 6.

    If you work Full time ~I would definitely look into taking a minimum of 4 days off ~preferably a week. After the first week of procedure your feeling much better (of course if all goes well) and after the 2nd week ~your ready to go, I was ready full speed ahead!

    Good Luck Everyone!

    My Doctors info is:
    Michael J Hernandez
    15955 SW 96 ST. #306
    Miami, FL. 33196

    My name is Connie Salas:)
    cwille replied to asthmawarrior's response:
    great , i am very happy to hear it is working out for you, as you can see on my posts, it didn't go exactly as planned for me, i had my final procedure april 30, ended up in the hospital for 8 days, lungs where inflammed and of course tight and couldn't stop coughing, was a real bad procedure this time, but i made it through and went to the doc today and said i sound fine was real happy with the way i sounded, now doing prednisone taper, and just hope that it works,
    mobeary replied to cwille's response:
    Great news Connie. I'm so glad you are doing so well. It gives the rest of us hope!!

    Cwille. So sorry your procedure wasn't as expected. Theres only improvement from here.

    I hope both of you still keep us updated on your progress!

    Thanks for sharing.

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