Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 793

Let's have a lesson on lungs today. More of a lesson on the diaphragm. 

The diaphragm sits below the lungs and is the major muscle involved in breathing. It contracts and relaxes, forcing air in and out of your lungs. When you breath in, the diaphragm flattens out and lets air in your lungs. When you breathe out, it expands and forces air out of your lungs. A diaphragm also acts as a barrier between the chest cavity and abdominal cavity.

There is also a nerve that runs through your chest that makes those diaphragms work. That nerve can be damaged by a virus. That nerve damage can cause the diaphragm to be pretty much be stuck in the expanded state, pushing into the lungs permanently. No contracting in and out, no air in and out. That diaphragm can also lose its job as chest/abdominal cavity barrier and wind up carrying the liver and other abdominal organs into the lung cavity with it.

So thus is the lesson of the diaphragm. And the preliminary diagnosis from the pulmonary specialist. I have a few more tests lined up next week to confirm.

The good news? It shouldn't get worse. The bad news? It won't get better. There are some treatments, but nothing guaranteed. I've been told to do everything very slowly. Keep the walking down to a minimum, stick close to home. Even suggested a scooter to get around. Not what I had in mind.

Also what I didn't have in mind? A CT scan of my lungs that looked like this. You can see that doggone diaphragm clogging up the lungs. No wonder I can't breathe!