The verdict from the pulmonologist

Is that I have a classic case of asthma.  Why asthma?  My pulmonary function tests indicate obstructive lung disease (and asthma is an obstructive lung disease) and my pulmonary function test results improved after taking Albuterol.  Those two pieces of information together are indicative of asthma.  My peak flow when I did the pulmonary function test about a month age was 380.  For someone my age and size, that number should be around 490.  When I did the peak flow test in the pulmonologist’s office?  It was 300.    So if it is asthma, it is getting a lot worse.

So the pulmonologist put me on Symbicort.  The problem is that so far it isn’t working.   I am wiped out.  My chest is burning and just a little bit of talking gets me coughing.  This doesn’t feel like asthma to me.  I am not convinced that it is asthma.  I was willing to give the asthma diagnosis the benefit of the doubt, but as the medication continues to do nothing, my enthusiasm for this little experiment is waning fast.

I have emailed him to let him know the meds aren’t working and that, combined with the fact that the NIH wanted me to have a repeat CT scan right about now and the fact that I am still flushing (consistent with a carcinoid, which can grow in the thymus which is roughly the location of the activity on the Octreoscan) that I would feel much better if he would order the CT scan and maybe a bronchial scope.  We will see what he says.

In any event, my Plan C is going to be a consult with a well-known (and expensive) out-of-state carcinoid expert.  I made an appointment today and was able to get an appointment at the end of March.  I am really hoping I can make some progress locally before then, but if not I will just have to hang on, hop on a plane again and hope that a fresh set of eyes will lead to some new answers.

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