Friday, December 5, 2008

Beginning of 2005

The beginning of 2005 was a little rough. I went to see Dr. Sexton a week after the cruise because I had not been feeling well. I had started running a fever and coughing up blood again. So, on February 7th I was admitted to the hospital. My fever kept spiking to 104 degrees and my oxygen level had fallen into the eighties. While admitted this time I had more CT scans, x-rays, blood work, and plasma transfusions (Fresh Frozen Plasma-FFP). Sputum tests revealed that I had pneumonia and staff infection. I was on a few antibiotics, breathing treatments, and had another embolization to stop the bleeding in my right lung. The CT scan and the blood work showed that my lungs and liver were worse than they were in November 2004. With the medications and embolization, I started feeling better except for the extreme bruising that I had from the embolization. I was released on Valentine's Day. I had to stay out of work for another week and stay on IV antibiotics through my port during that time.

During this time, we moved on with plans for the double lung and liver transplants. I was set up to have appointments done at Massachusetts General (although they were not sure about doing double lung and liver) only to find that the insurance (MVP) that I had through work was not contracted with MGH and they wouldn't pay for the transplants if I went there. We changed the clinic that I was going to go to to the Cleveland Clinic and waited to have the initial appointments set up there. In the process of this my insurance at worked changed to Blue Cross Blue Shield and I learned that BCBs would have paid for MGH but I decided to stay with the Cleveland Clinic. I received a phone call from Alan Stewart at the Cleveland Clinic and I received my appointment list in the mail for my initial appointments with them. I was to go to the Cleveland Clinic for the first time on June 8-9, 2005, just days after my 24th birthday.

I was busy for a little while in these months organizing a team for the Great Strides walk for Cystic Fibrosis. There was a total of 36 members on my team and our name was "Team Patti." I alone raised $968 and my whole team raised $1,643. Everyone who walked that day raised a total of over $35,000 which probably helped immensly with CF research. I met a few people that day but the people that I will remember forever are the people from "Team Tammy." I learned that Tammy had a double lung transplant at the age of 24 and died at the age of 35. She was a leader in a lot of things that she did and she had even carried the Olympic Torch. The last name of the family sounded familiar and I tried to figure out where I knew the name from and then finally it hit me that I had a French teacher at Groton High School by that last name. I mentioned that and they all looked at me and one of them said that she was part of their family. Mrs. Twitchell wasn't there but her husband was and I talked to him for a little while . He remembered that she had mentioned a long time ago that she had a girl in her French class who had CF and that must have been me. Sure enough it was!!

On the down side of all of this, I started getting sick again and went back to Dr. Sexton. I started back up on TOBI, kept taking Zythromax, and also had to take Cipro and Bactrim on top of that. Below is a journal entry from that time.

May 24, 2005
I'm so irritated with being sick constantly. I can only hope that the transplants happen soon and that things are better afterwards. I'm just looking forward to simple things such as being able to have a good laugh without coughing, playing my flute without getting out of breath, and just overall being able to breathe easier. It's the simple things that I really look forward to.

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