My CT scans came back yesterday, and they aren't great. They show a lot of inflammation in the small airways, and when I breathe out, air gets trapped in pockets of my lung. My lungs function at about 30% of what they should. I can never smoke a cigarette again, let alone the wacky-backy. There's precious little known about Bronchiolitis, and it's unclear whether my condition will improve, or if there's an underlying cause. When we were given this news, I just cried. I only turned 20 years old twelve days ago, and I have permanent lung damage. 5-6 years of smoking tobacco, and 3 years of weed, and there you have it. Mum has to quit smoking too; doctor's orders, for my sake. Even secondhand smoke could cause me to deteriorate. We are officially non-smokers.
My doctor - let's call him the Specialist - is really good. He's funny, caring and easy to talk to; despite being 6'8" and quite intimidating to look at. This morning, after he listened to my chest, he recorded my breathing sounds on his iPhone! As in, holding the microphone to my chest like a stethoscope. It was the first time he'd ever done it, but it worked, crazily enough, and he's going to use it with his students as an example of Bronchiolitis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
My food intake's been lower than it's been in quite some time. Thursday was a total loss, with only 8 cans of Coke Zero consumed. Friday and Saturday both totaled in around 500 calories, and today will be 5-600 depending on dinner. I'm trying to keep my menu plain, safe and clean; wholemeal bread, fish, chicken, eggs, potatoes, veggies, fruit, yoghurt. Oh, and my wine. I feel incredibly cautious about eating here, and I have no idea what'll happen to my weight.
On the subject of wine: I'm still trying to figure out why this hospital offer alcohol, as it certainly isn't common practice, but it's something they've done for decades. They give me a quarter bottle, 187ml, of Cabernet and a little plastic goblet. If I can't smoke, or smoke, a drink is a nice substitute. Fun fact: wine is classed as a 'dessert' on the menu.
I'm on so many medications right now. Steroids of a morning, painkillers 4 times a day, weaker painkillers 3 times a day, nicotine patches and lozenges, two asthma inhalers 6-10 times a day (not that I have asthma), my regular seroquel/antidepressant/antidepressant combo at night, IV anti-emetics, followed by IV antibiotics. Blaaah!
I'm going to be in here at least a few more days, though I don't have an exact time. My oxygen saturation was back down to 90% this morning, which is not good. I had to use a shower chair this morning because I nearly fell over yesterday, and am still very breathless and weak.
Bonus: it's 3:30pm, and I haven't cried yet today. I've been a wreck by 8am the past few days, so hopefully today can be my first no-tears day.
Thank you to everyone who's been sending well wishes. I've said it before and I'll say it again; I'd be totally lost (and incredibly lonely) without this community.