Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bronchiectasis: An Early Christmas Gift

Today turned out to be a really really good day. But before I tell you why, let me first give you the backstory.

It all started with really bad news. I contracted pneumonia in February 2014 while training for a triathlon that month. Since then my lung function decreased by more than 25% and I continually picked up one respiratory infection after another.

I eventually went to a specialist three weeks ago. The accompanying x-ray literally lit up like a Christmas tree. What it revealed was widened damaged inflamed bronchi, with prominent mucus cysts. The diagnosis was Bronchiectasis and the prognosis for it wasn’t good. Essentially it is degenerative and that I would in all likelihood be dead by 60. The most likely cause of death: suffocation by lung fluids; or a heart attack because it would be battling to transport the limited oxygen.

Typically when I receive bad news I usually give myself half a day to be depressed or down-cast—usually from the time I receive the news until I go to bed. In this case, however, there was no feeling of despondency, just relief. I’ve been battling this for almost two years and I was happy to know the cause of my discomfort. This allowed me to do my homework in order to know what I was dealing with. To cut a long story short my plan of action was to buy a nebulizer, a focused diet, and lots of exercise.

Now to the good news. Went for a CT-scan on Tuesday and awaited the response. Well, this was it: My lungs were perfectly healthy, let alone that there was ever any signs of Bronchiectasis. I.e. there was no widening, inflammation, or any other damage shown in the bronchi, and no mucous cysts.

One cannot ask for a better Christmas gift, the gift of health. I know it’s cliché, but once you’ve received such a scare, there’s nothing better.