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New Lungs 4 New Life
7/13/2016 Latest post:
I've always understood that God's plans for me are good, but two years ago (or even ONE year ago), I would not have guessed that His plans for me would include a double-lung transplant. After receiving this official news on June 23rd, I STILL believe His plans are good! I'm used to reading others' journals/blogs, so it's strange to be publishing my own. I want to start by sharing some background information to help those who may not know understand what lead up to the need for a double-lung transplant. So, here it goes: I was born prematurely in 1982 (at approximately 30 weeks gestation), and my lungs were not fully developed. I was on a ventilator until I was 3 years-old (the vent was connected through a tracheostomy). At that time, the doctors knew they were saving my life by ventilating, but they did not know what the outcome of long-term ventilation might be. The pressure from the ventilator ended up causing a build-up of scar tissue on both of my lungs. I was in and out of the hospital during childhood due to lung infections, then, from the time I was 12 years-old up until 2013, I didn't have much difficulty. Years later, in 2013 (over the Thanksgiving holiday), I was hospitalized again, then I was hospitalized twice in both 2014 and 2016. At this time, it was discovered that my lung function was declining. Since there is already scar tissue on my lungs, this puts me at a disadvantage since lung function naturally declines with age. In 2011, I had a pulmonary function test done at I.U. Med Center. I had another one done when we went down to I.U. on June 23rd for my transplant consultation. The results of the most recent pulmonary function test on June 23rd indicated a 25% decline in lung function, and my lungs were previously only functioning at 50% (according to the 2011 pulmonary function test). So, right now, my lungs are only functioning at 25%, which is why a transplant is necessary. They say that because of my young age, I am at the "peak" time for a transplant. They advise that it should be done while my heart is still in optimal condition. Because of my age, and otherwise good health, I will recover well, and I will be able to enjoy a much better quality of life after transplant. A year from now, I will be teaching and enjoying a much more active lifestyle than I've ever had before. I can't wait! I know it'll all be worth it!