Okay, back from my last visit to Duke on Thursday, September 23 and the news is SO MUCH better than before! Praise the Lord!
First of all, ALL of my Pulmonary Function Tests were up. Overall, my lung function was at 73%. Now, you may say, that’s not great but here’s the story. Unless you’re a triathlete, a marathon runner, Michael Phelps or Lance Armstrong, the best you would expect your lung function to be would be around 80%. So, this is a pretty amazing number. Just like our brains, most of us who have never had any kind of lung disease, etc. never use our total lung capacity. This information is from the pulmonary doctors, not me.
Here’s a little further education, during the Pulmonary Functions Tests (a.k.a. PFTs) they mainly look at 3 areas to determine how your lungs are functioning.
First of all, they look at the FEF. The FEF, or Forced Expiratory Flow, is a measure of how much air can be expired from the lungs. This is one of the first numbers they look at to help determine if Chronic Rejection, the bad kind, is possibly occurring. The FEF gives the pulmonologist a reading of what’s going on in the smaller airways. My FEF was at 30%, which was an increase of 15% from the last time! Duke is real pleased if that value is anywhere from 30-40%, so I’m getting there.
Secondly, they look at the FVC. The FVC, or Forced Vital Capacity, is after you’ve taken in the deepest breath, the volume of air which can be forcibly and maximally exhaled out of the lungs until no more can be expired. This is kind of the overall measure of lung capacity and again, mine was at 73%, which was an increase of 11% from the last time!
And finally, they look at your FEVs, which are your Forced Expulsion Volumes. This is the volume of air which can be forcibly exhaled from the lungs in the first second of a forced expiratory maneuver, or how much air you can blow out in the first second. This measurement is expressed in liters and is used to help diagnose obstructive and restrictive airway diseases. (Like COPD, Emphysema, Asthma, etc.) They take several readings for FEVs and my FEV1 reading was at 58%, which was an increase of 14%.
Overall, the doctor said this was one of the best PFTs I’ve had! Thanks be to God!
The other component, the white blood cell count has been resolved too. My white blood count was 46!! The normal range is 3.5-10. So, no more Neupogen shots!! PTL!
I go back in about a week for another bronchoscopy and we should have a final word on any rejection at that point.
Thank you for ALL of your prayers! Our God still heals and He definitely still answers prayer! I know that it is only by His Word and the faithful prayers of SO many that I can still testify today of His goodness and faithfulness. However, I still know that no matter what happens it doesn’t change the fact that God is God and He is still good!
I have several friends who are going through some really tough times right now with their health and I would appreciate you lifting them up to the Father when you get a chance. I’ll only share their first names because of privacy but I would REALLY appreciate you remembering them. The Father knows who they are and knows the specific details of their situation. They are Emmett, Mitchell, Mr. Greene, Bruce and Lottie.
Thank you and may God richly bless you! It feels good to have some wind back in my sails! At least for now!