Lung issues

In case it isn’t obvious from my medical history, I have a butt load of medical issues. Most can be related to the bone marrow transplant (BMT) I received when I was 12. Most of the issues are minor and at most a daily annoyance. But on the whole I am quite healthy and live a fairly ‘normal’ life.

That being said, given that I have issues with my reproductive, circulatory (heart issues) and digestive (GERD that acts up every now and then) systems, I just would not be fair to leave out my respiratory system.

I have had an ongoing cough since the BMT. It is basically the result of the chemo radiation and perhaps from the bout of Graft v. Host disease that I had after the BMT (where the new bone marrow decided it didn’t like my body as a host and started to fight against it). It was fun times.

I have this constant wheeze and a productive, wet cough, almost like a smoker with none of the fun nicotine high. I  basically have something that is irritating my airways constantly and I always feel the need to cough it out. But nothing really helps. It is not asthma. So inhalers do little to solve the problem. Occasionally I feel like a weight on my chest like I can’t breath deeply enough. But that is rare, like once or twice a year. Mostly it is just a very annoying cough all the time.

This also has made me prone to lung infections and when I get sick it will always affect my lungs and turn into bronchitis which will need antibiotics. So I have been following up with my lung specialist periodically to see if we can do anything about it.

My lung CT seems to show some mild bronchiectasis, but also there seems to be some very localized thickening of my bronchioles on my left side. It looks like there is some phlegm which is just perpetually stuck in there and could be what is causing me to wheeze and cough all the time.

Dr. F wants to put a scope into my lungs to have a better look and to maybe help clear out the lungs if she can. The procedure is not a major deal. It is done with some sedation, takes about an hour, and will just require me to take the day off work to recover from the sedation.

I am debating whether to undergo the bronchoscopy procedure. Apparently she can have me in next week to complete the procedure so it will not interfere with the whole IVF schedule. And there is a chance this will help clear up my wheezing and coughing. But also it is a surgical procedure, and there are risks of complications. Mostly the usual, risk of infection, damage to the airways and of course death. The latter is not very likely, so I am not concerned about that. But the risk of infection or further damage is a concern to me. Do I really need to put myself through a surgical procedure when this really isn’t something that is a major problem in my life right now, and there is no guarantee that it will fix the problem?

I am going to speak to my father about it (he is a doctor, although not a lung specialist, and my go to for a second opinion on anything medical related). DH says I should get the procedure done. I am not so convinced. With the millions of things wrong with me I don’t want to make things worse for myself.

For now, I am mulling over the idea.

 

 

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