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Asthma and anesthesia

Happy Labor Day to everyone. Weather here is absolutely wonderful & I can finally enjoy some comfortable outside time. I wanted to let you know that my new doc will be arriving to take patients on the 26th but I needed to see a doc so saw her partner. I FINALLY HAVE AN ASTHMA ACTION PLAN!  My inhaled corticosteroid dose was increased so hopefully I will not have to use the albuterol as much. Now, facing a new challenge in the near future — a general anesthetic. Anyone been there?  How did things go for you since you're asthmatic too?

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  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Debby — congrats on the asthma action plan and getting into see a doctor! Did you like her partner? It's always great when you have a back-up plan in place, so your doc having a partner is a good sign.

    As far as asthma and general anesthesia … What kind of surgery will you be having? When are you having it?

    I have gone under general anesthesia three times since I was diagnosed with asthma. Each time I made sure that my anesthesiologist knew and understood my issues and that he felt comfy managing them. 

    One thing to remember about general anesthesia is that it is important to get those lungs moving air ASAP afterwards. If you don't follow the plan as far as using the spirometer (that's the thing that they give you that you blow into and try to get the little ball or colored piece of plastic to reach a certain level), then your lungs will have a harder time bouncing back from surgery. 

    Also, depending on your surgery and your doctor's orders, exercise is an important part of recovery. I'm a firm believer in getting up and walking ASAP after surgery. The last time I had surgery, it was in the dead of winter, so I wound up walking laps inside my house. Eventually I got strong enough to move outside, but at first, just walking the equivalent of a quarter of a mile, and then a half mile and then a full mile inside, was enough to get me on the road to recovery. 

  • Debby

    I found out 1 1/2 weeks ago that I have a brain tumor. Rarely is this kind malignant and I am still working full time, so no side effects from it yet. Seeing the neurosurgeon this Friday. Spirometer, I am hoping, will be part of my respiratory therapy plan post op. As for up and around quickly, it will be a little tricky this time. I am an RN at the hospital where the surgery will be done so I will have all kinds of people watching out for me. I just wanted an actual person who has asthma to give me there take on it. You did & I appreciate it. This is a scary situation — more serious than a hysterectomy!

  • Kathy P

    Wow! Yes that that does sound scary! Hopefully everything goes smoothly and the tumor is benign.GL on Friday and KUP.

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, my goodness! Yes, that is waaaay more serious than a hysterectomy! Brain surgery is brain surgery — yes, it is great that it is most likely benign, but I know you are facing a scary thing when you are facing the prospect of a surgeon operating on your brain. You seem a great deal calmer about it than I would be!

    Have they considered doing a  gamma-knife procedure? That wouldn't be as invasive, and it wouldn't require general anesthesia. 

    How did you find out about the tumor? What can we do to help?

    Big, big and good and :fingersx: and big, big prayers! Please let us know what the neurosurgeon says. 

  • Nemo88

    Debby I am sending major good vibes your way and yeah use the the spirometer like a life line. I can tell you my med team feels better when I am full under because they have the established airway. The worst part i think I find is clearing the gunk out after surgery but is easier the more you get up and move but Im guessing if might be a day or 2 before you will be able to so that spirometer will be your best friend as you well know. I will keep you in my prayers and Good luck sending good vibes your way.

  • Debby

    I really am not calm but I need to keep from freaking out so my family can cope. Now the morning of surgery—give me all the meds that they can!!!! Gamma knife is offered at our hospital but is not indicated for this type of tumor. They found it looking for a cerebral arterial disease that I have and there it was. Funny how the good Lord looks out for us that way!! Respiratory therapy has told me how they and anesthesia will work together with my asthma. I am in good hands. Nice to have "the community" out there for help too. This has been an eventful year so far!

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, Debby! Freak out all you want to here — no need to be "strong" for us, because we totally get how you have to be strong for family. 

    I'm so glad that RT and the anesthesiologist will be working in tandem and are already considering ways to look out of you. 

    And, yes, it is amazing how these things happen … in 2010, my DD, who had a bleeding disorder, was undergoing screening tests to figure out whether she had hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). The screening tests involved ultrasounds, and the tech just happen to roll the wand over her spleen — she had a large cyst that could have ruptured at any time. Thank goodness we found it — a cyst on the spleen + a bleeding disorder would not have been a pretty sight!

    Turns out she didn't have HHT at all, but it was just a freak thing that we went on this wild goose chase and that it turned up the cyst. She had surgery (btw, she has asthma, too), and did quite well. 

    Please keep us posted!

  • GigiGibson

    Hi Debby, girl I'm so sorry u have to go through this but I'm glad u know about it and can deal with ahead of it impacting your health in a bigger way. I will be praying for peace, calm and strength for you. Breathe, breathe and remember we aren't really in control of anything so trust it will be just fine, our worry won't contribute one positive thing at all anyway! :hugs:. Sending u love….gigi

  • Kelli

    Hi Debby, I don't know much about general anesthetics, but I am so filled with joy and relief that your dose got up. Hopefully you can put that inhaler away a bit more often. Let us know how it all goes. You have positive vibes your way and good healthy thoughts too. *vitrual hug*

  • Mandy

    Good luck Debby! It sounds like you will have a great team looking after you. I can appreciate that this would be extremely scary. I think doing as much research and prep before hand like you're doing is awesome. I think I would find comfort in knowing what was going to happen. I hope you do too. Sending virtual good vibes for a good consult. Let us know what happens.

  • glyncor
    Debby posted:

    I really am not calm but I need to keep from freaking out so my family can cope. Now the morning of surgery—give me all the meds that they can!!!! Gamma knife is offered at our hospital but is not indicated for this type of tumor. They found it looking for a cerebral arterial disease that I have and there it was. Funny how the good Lord looks out for us that way!! Respiratory therapy has told me how they and anesthesia will work together with my asthma. I am in good hands. Nice to have "the community" out there for help too. This has been an eventful year so far!

    Debby, praying all will go well with you and your surgery.  I don't really understand how asthma affects surgery/breathing/anesthesia, since I have only been diagnosed since April this year.  It sounds like you have a good team working for you, though.  Good luck to you, and keep us posted.

  • Jen

    Debby – I am sorry that you are dealing with all this, but glad to know you have so many people looking out for you.  Do let us know how the appt w the neurosurgeon goes and what they say re your asthma/anesthesia.

    In terms of dealing w scary/serious stuff, I will tell you what the chemo nurse told us on the day of dh's first chemo  - The patients and families that fare the best are the ones that keep up their normal routine as much as possible.  Of course you need time for rest, but keeping up the normal routine can help keep you from getting too overwhelmed.  Remember that we are all here for you.  Hugs~

  • Gloria

    Hi Debby. I am new to this group. I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma less than one year ago. Since I joined this group (less than a month ago) I have found a great deal of information and support here.

    Since this is all new to me, I find the topic of anesthsia very interesting as it is something that I should be aware of.

    I am so sorry that you are going through this frightening experience of having a brain tumor.  I had cancer about 10 years ago; and I felt like I had an alien being living inside of me. I wanted it out YESTERDAY! Thank goodness, everything is fine with me now. I worked in the medical profession at the time, so I know it is a real comfort to know that you will receive the best of care.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hugs.

  • K8sMom2002

    Gloria, and … I know exactly what you mean about having something in you that you consider "alien." I'm glad you beat cancer!

    Yes, asthma complicates everything, doesn't it?

    Debby, check in when you can … 

  • GigiGibson

    Welcome Gloria!!! We welcome your thoughts, rants and experience. Of course you can just read, whatever you need from us we want to give it to you. :hugs:

  • K8sMom2002

    @Debby Just checking … and letting you know that we are all sending good and crossing fingers and saying big prayers about your appointment tomorrow. Let us know what you find out, okay?

  • GigiGibson

    Ditto Debby. Praying that you can trust and feel peace throughout this time. I know you will come out stronger and braver, and better!!! Sending hugs and love, I hope you feel our prayer lifting you up tomorrow.

  • K8sMom2002

    @Debby Thinking of you today — good and fingers crossed and saying big prayers! Please check in when you can!

  • Debby

    Just got home from appointment. My surgery is scheduled for 7:30A on September 27. Have to get medical and pulmonary clearance which made me feel good. I wanted to thank EVERYONE who has responded. It was reassuring. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Thanks for updating, Debby! Fingers, toes and eyelashes crossed!

    What all is involved in getting your medical and pulmonary clearances? How long will you be in the hospital, do they think?

  • Kathy P

    Glad you have things scheduled! Do you need to schedule the clearanceappointments or will they contact you?

  • Debby

    Gotcha, Gigi but I am a nurse.  I will be working up to the day before so I will be sure to be extra vigilant with the hand hygiene.  Thanks for the advice!

  • K8sMom2002

    Debby, do you have family to help come in and give you a hand after the surgery? I'm not sure what restrictions the doctor would give you after brain surgery, but I'm thinking heavy lifting may be out. 

    Since you're working until the day before, maybe some very nice friends and family could put together some freezer meals for you during your recovery? If I were closer, I'd make up a mean pan of lasagna for you …

  • jujutsumaster

    Oh I love lasagna and paella too.

    Prayers, thoughts, love and hugs and good luck Debby.  Can I say hugs as I'm a bloke? Oh what the heck…..hugs from England UK.

     

  • K8sMom2002

    JujutsuMaster, we accept virtual hugs from everyone! And TWO hugs on Mondays!

    I don't believe I've ever had a real, authentic paella, just pretenders and lookalikes. But I've heard the real stuff is excellent. 

  • Debby

    My husband will be a big help but between my son and daughter in law (the local ones) and our Sunday School class members — these things will be covered.  Y'all are so sweet to think of these things and care. I hope to make spaghetti sauce and vegetable soup this week then freeze them in portions too.  

  • K8sMom2002

    Excellent! That means you can concentrate on a quick recovery and doing all the breathing exercises your doctor and respiratory advises.

    Any updates on the medical clearance appointments? 

  • Jen

    Debby – glad to hear you have the surgery scheduled.  It sounds like a good thing that you're working up until then – hopefully that will help keep your mind off things.  Hugs~

  • K8sMom2002

    @Debby … thinking of you and wishing you the best of luck tomorrow! If you can, keep us posted!

  • GigiGibson

    @Debby, I will say special prayers for you tonight that you will have calm, peace and the easiest experience possible. Hugs

  • Mandy

    Good Luck Debby! Wishing you all the best tomorrow and for a speedy recovery.

  • Jen

    @Debby - you've been on my mind.  I hope you're doing ok.  Hugs~

  • Debby

    Hi everyone!  I have been busy with work and overcoming the fatigue that comes with being post-op. It has been 13 weeks and  I went back to full time work 6 weeks post-op and have done very well.  A person is given Decadron during surgery and for weeks after brain surgery to keep the brain from swelling but from an asthma standpoint it was wonderful because it prevent any issues with it.  However, "my lungs" knew when the last of it wore off because my need for albuterol (rescue inhaler) increased.  I was switched from a corticosteriod to a "combo" inhaler.  I am now using BREO. It has helped to relieve my symptoms of coughing and shortness of breath.  I am probably like everyone else, meaning that I am wondering what winter weather and the flu season have in store for me.  This will be my first winter being asthmatic.  However, I got my flu shot and my dose of Pneumovax is due in March. Good hand washing and avoiding sick people are high on my list too, even though the second one for a nurse is a little difficult!  So here's to a better 2017 (compared to 2016!) for all of us!  Thank you for you concern about me.  Hope everyone else is doing well.

    Debby

  • K8sMom2002

    Debby, I'm so glad to hear from you and that you are doing well, all considering. The fatigue after any surgery is a bummer, but I'm sure after brain surgery, it might even be worse, especially after being on Decadron.

    Glad to know you already have your flu shot and you're on deck for your Pneumovax … do you take that every year?

    Is the Breo working okay for you?

    Happy New Year — I hope this year will be a much better one for EVERYONE!