Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Tight Lungs & Chesty Cough

Today my chest kindly woke me up from coughing so much. However, my chest felt tight so I couldn't cough up the sticky mucus and I was struggling to breathe! So I got up and did my DNase and some physio.

For you non CFers... When you have infection in your lungs your own white blood cells eat up the bugs to kill off infection. A non CFer would then cough up the dead white blood cells and dead bugs, (this is why when you have a cough you cough up that horrible mucus). But for a CF person, we struggle to cough up the dead bugs because our lungs are already filled with sticky mucus which is why our lungs end up full of lots of dead bugs, blocking our lungs up, making it hard to breathe. 

Which is why DNase comes in handy for a CF sufferer. DNase is a nebulised drug that is an enzyme which eats up all the white blood cells full of dead bugs. When it eats up all the cells, it creates a runny liquid which still needs to be coughed up but is a lot easier to cough up than the sticky mucus. It takes about an hour to react with your body so you should do the DNase and then do some hardcore physiotherapy on your lungs an hour afterwards. There are lots of different types of physiotherapy such as percussion, breathing exercises, special machines, normal exercise etc. The idea of physio is to help cough up all that rubbish sitting in your lungs and make you feel alot clearer. 

For my physio I did 20 minutes bouncing on my trampoline then some huffs, which is a deep breath in then pushing your breath out to force you to cough up the mucus. 

My chest now feels a lot clearer as I cleared out some mucus and I've stopped coughing as much! I'll do some more physio later, to keep myself feeling clear, on my Isleep machine. An Isleep is a CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) machine that pushes extra air into my lungs when I breathe in and has a pressure on it for when I breathe out, making my lungs work harder so the mucus is easier to cough up and clear. It is called an Isleep as you can use it when you are sleeping aswell to stop your lungs feeling tight when you are trying to sleep. 

Me doing my DNase.
As well as physio us CFers also do our normal nebulisers (I call mine my 'puffer') which is used to breath in antibiotics to help your chest stay healthy.

I'm now going to go and spend the day in the sunshine as its my last day off before starting college tomorrow! 

Have a good day :-)

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