Thursday, June 4, 2009

Breathing and Sweating

Well, that's what Sumana did today. We left at 7am in order to be at Strong for a sweat test. Yep. You read that right. The short version is that a technician placed a collecting device on her arm, wrapped it up and then we bundled Sumana up in a sweatshirt and coat for one hour. The blue in the disk shows how much sweat was collected. Her sodium levels were above the normal range, so it will be repeated in August. I guess the sodium levels in her sweat can tell if she has cystic fibrosis. Hmmmm . . . interesting, huh? It's very rare for Indians to have this disease, though.

When she had finished the sweat test, she did some lung function tests. This involved breathing into some tubes that were connected to a computer program. This measured the air she takes in and breathes out. I was really hoping she would have improved (with the respiratory exercises she's been doing). However, she performed at about the same level as in March.
Next, we headed out for some clothes shopping for Sumana. Just after we entered the store, we heard a voice call, 'Hi!' It was my bloggin' cousin, Megan and her son, Brady. Even though they live near Batavia, they come to Rochester for PT. It was a wonderful surprise to see them!!

After shopping, we went to Tandoori for a wonderful Indian buffet. Sumana can really put away the food! After that we returned to the hospital and tried to find her hospital craft friend, Gracie. I guess it's good news that she had gone home. We'll keep checking for her at the hospital. She is also a patient of Dr. Sanders.
By then, it was time to see Dr. Maggie. It was a bittersweet appointment. Dr. Maggie is finishing her fellowship and moving to Florida this month. We decided to get Sumana set up with a 'cough assist' machine. It forces air into her lungs and makes her cough. The thinking is that if she can learn to use the machine, she will be better prepared for any respiratory complications after her VEPTR surgery. Her lungs will be stronger and if she needs help after surgery, she will already know how to use the machine. Hopefully, we can avoid any bouts of pneumonia after surgery (that is one of the major complications to this surgery).

We also are going to have her 'do' a sleep study. When she was in the PICU, (where they monitored her oxygen level around the clock), her oxygen levels dropped several times and set off the alarms. I guess that could be a warning sign. So, off for another test. I guess I'm glad to have these tests available to help find out if she has any issues that may present problems down the road. AND, some things may be better managed if we know about them NOW, rather than later.

1 comment:

  1. What a day Sumana! I think you deserve a big ice cream cone tonight:) It was so great to see you at the store!!! Isn't it neat the way God sprinkles little blessings in our days?