This stay started out like so many before it but a recent turn of events have made it unlike any other.
On Wednesday night I was falling in and out of sleep watching Netflix. I woke up around 12:45am or so and decided to put the head of my bed down to be a little more comfortable. And then it happened, a feeling that many of my fellow cysters and fibros the world over recognize, the rattling of the chest and the gurgling in the throat. I knew immediately what is happening as it is a sensation I have felt many times before.
|Only a representation of what I remember it looking like :)|
In between one of my coughing fits I managed to press the call light to try to get some assistance. At this point I was feeling a bit lightheaded and worried that I wouldn't be able to stand much longer. I can't imagine what my nurse thought as she walked into my room well after midnight not finding me in my bed but instead covered in blood in my bathroom. If it's any indication her first words were, "Oh no!!"
Within minutes there was a rapid response team in my room. I stayed in the bathroom until the blood ceased and when I walked out and saw 8 people standing in my room or immediately outside of it and I said, “It's not that big of a deal guys!". I was sat down in the chair and the questions ensued.
Yes, this is happened before.
No. There hasn't been this much blood since 2009.
Yes, I feel lightheaded.
No, I don't feel dizzy.
Since the active bleeding stopped and my vitals did not look alarmingly bad, they just decided to order an x-ray and different blood panels.
On Thursday morning I felt like I had coughed up a lot of blood the night before. I had body and joint aches and my lungs were experiencing a bit of pain. I also sat up for the rest of the night as to try and avoid another bleed. The rest of the morning was normal with doctors coming in and out of my room and breakfast nourishing my body. Then around 1:30pm or so, it happened again.
This time I grabbed a nearby bucket that they had given me the night before as I new they would want to get a measurement. The rapid response team was again called and as a result of my prior history and the fact that I had coughed up an additional 100 mL on top of the estimated 150 to 200 mL the night before, I was sent to the ICU for observation. They wanted to be sure I was in a place that I could get immediate attention if a massive hemoptysis visited me again.
After consultation with the pulmonary team and interventional radiology it was decided that a bronchial artery embolization (BAE) was needed. I've had two of these procedures in the past, once done to both lungs and once done to only one side (forget which one). I was admitted to the ICU on Thursday afternoon and wheeled down to have the procedure on Friday at 5 PM.
|Not my lung. My bleed was from my left BA and they used foam and beads.|
I was moved back to my regular floor late Saturday night and I'm very grateful to the ICU nurses who took care of me, the interventional radiologists who did my procedure, all those involved on the rapid response teams, my nurses and techs on 3NE, my pulmonary and CF teams, and all my family and friends.
Side Note: I have to brag a little bit about my family support. Mandi was at our home in Chandler when the second episode of hemoptysis occurred. In fact, she happened to FaceTime me as I was holding the bucket of blood. The concern on her face was of course expected and immediate. I told her not to worry and that I would call her with an update. Before I had the chance to call, she let me know that the girls and her were on their way up to meet my in-laws at a halfway point between our houses. Eric and Nancy didn't think twice about taking the girls for an unknown period of time even though they had just picked up dear friends from the airport who were in town for a visit. I am so very grateful. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that my wife ended up driving back to Phoenix the next day to get the girls and bring them back down the very same day. They arrived shortly after my procedure and were with me while recovering (Friday night) and the entire weekend. When my wife wasn't by my side, my mom was. And finally, I received many texts and prayers of support from my family and friends.
And finally, honor and praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who guided the hands of the IR team, protected my wife on the roads and sustained my health and spirit throughout the entire process. God is always good.