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Adventures in Vasculitis
11/1/2016 Latest post:
My Mom has been struggling to get well. Feeling the frustration that many do before being properly diagnosed, she was simply exhausted. A few weeks ago she was admitted to West Jefferson Hospital via the ER and diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia. After a 5 day stay, she went home with an oxygen tank, not feeling much better, but expecting improvement the following week. Unfortunately, after another week, and feeling worse than ever, she returned to the emergency room, this time at Oschner Hospital, and was admitted once again. After a transfer to the CCU, she was diagnosed with a rare multisystem autoimmune disease called Granulomatosis with polyangitis (GPA,) also referred to as Wegener's Vasculitis. Below I'll plagiarize a bit, and give you a VERY brief explanation of what this means.
GPA belongs to a group of disease's characterized by blood vessel inflammation(or vasculitis.) Organ damage occurs as a result of inflammation involving small and medium-sized blood vessels, from a type of tissue injury called granulomatous inflammation. GPA commonly affects the sinuses, lungs and kidney's, but may also affect the eyes, ears, skin, nerves, joints, and other organs. Symptoms can develop over days or months because of the wide range of symptoms. In my typical family medical fashion, about 3 out of 100,000 people receive this diagnosis.
Mom's early symptoms included joint pain, decreased hearing, skin rash, fatigue and a compromised immune system(thus the fierce bout of bacterial pneumonia she's been fighting.) Now, I'll fill you in on the medical adventure that began on the evening of Wednesday, October 26, 2016.