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May 30, 2018 Latest post:
Jun 15, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
I was a very healthy, active person in 2014. I was square dancing up to 4 nights a week, working as a neurological Physical Therapist, doing pretty much what I wanted to do with the health to do it. In 2014 I got very ill and was hospitalized. I ended up off work for 9 weeks and given a confusing diagnosis: asthma and GERD (reflux). I was told the asthma and GERD formed a continuous cycle, triggering each other, and causing a continual asthma flare. I went from 4 medications to 12 overnight. As long as I took those 12 medications, my lungs stayed stable for 3 more years, or so I thought.
In May of 2017, I got sick again. Coughing and wheezing and short of breath. I started to ask more questions of my doctors. After many tests and many specialists, on March 8, 2018 they arrived at a diagnosis. It turns out this is the correct diagnosis for what happened in 2014 as well. I have been diagnosed with tracheobronchomalacia. It is a softening of the cartilage of the trachea and bronchi such that they collapse when I exhale. So when I cough, or laugh, or sing, or lay down, my airways collapse. As always, my Father God was looking over me and I was accepted into a specialty clinic for TBM at the hospital for Harvard Medical School in Boston, Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center. I spent 2 weeks at Beth Israel in April for evaluation and a stent trial to determine if I was likely to benefit from a surgery to stabilize my floppy airways. The stent trial was successful and surgery was scheduled.
I went home to St. Louis to work for 4 weeks and await my time for the tracheobronchoplasty. Now the time has come. On Memorial Day Rick and I will fly to Boston to be ready for surgery on Wednesday morning, May 30th. We have been told to anticipate an 8 hour surgery where my very skilled surgeon, Dr. S. Gangadharan, will attach silicone mesh to my trachea and bronchi to stabilize the airways. I feel so privileged to have the very best surgeon as my doctor, and the very best interventional pulmonologist, Dr. A. Majid, as my doctor as well. I am ready to breathe well again!!!!!