This photo of an autopsy lung with end-stage pulmonary fibrosis was taken in the early 1980s and digitized in 1999. It shows the honeycombed lung. It is my future.
I have just been told that there are three new pulmonary patients in the 8-week rehab classes. They are in the gym just before we begin at 12:30. The head of the pulmonary program will usually tell me that she has “fresh meat” coming into our class for maintenance. She can’t say what they have but she will very quietly say, “They will need you.”
What she means is that they are going to need to talk, feel comfortable in the class, encouraged, folded into the class with the others and just propped up. If I may be so bold, I must say that I am really good at that. We fold them in and they become friends.
The three new patients are from an interstitial lung disease specialist at my university hospital. WOW! This has never happened before. I am thrilled that they are now recommending rehab for their interstitial patients. It has staved off lung transplants for me as well as improving my quality of life.
I began talking with one of them who is an older gentleman. He was telling me that in the ILD classes at the university hospital, they are recommending a supplement for their ILD patients which helps slow down and possibly prevent fibrosis – the major problem of my disease.
The inside of the lungs are the same cells as on the outside skin of our body. When you get a cut, a scab forms then a scar. The same process happens in the lungs. As each “cut” in the lungs happens due to the disease, the scab and scar form which makes that area tighter/smaller. This is very basic and I am sure the doctors who read this are screaming at me that it is not quite that simple. Sorry.
The supplement is called N-Acetyl Cysteine and must also be taken with Vitamin C. Mega doses can be deadly. I just ordered some online. I will report back to you if I notice any improvement in my breathing.