Repeat Aspiration Pneumonia

Although I realize every case is different my question is if the timing of the second bout is affected by the severity of the first? I have had PSP for three years, and aspiration problems for about half that. I thickened drinks ad puree my food.

I just left a University hospital after being in Critical Care for 21days and the hospital 26. I had delayed going to the ER since I had visited my pulmonologist for my restrictive lung disease three days earlier and she mentioned nothing about pneumonia.

When I arrived at the ER I had aspiration pneumonia, atrial fibula ion and kidney failure Atrial fibulation and kidney failure can follow pneumonia. Both are now reversed.

I only mention the above to note the severity of the situation. Antibiotics and three draining tubes did not solve the issues so surgery had to be performed. They scrapped my lungs to remove as much foreign and scar tissue as possible. Follow CT shows problems still exist.

I've read that the first pneumonia weakens the person with following pneumonia causing a downward spiral. I am a 63 year old male and verily strong person. I still have the aspiration problem confirmed by barium studies

From your experiences does the repeat pneumonia happen faster due to the already damaged lungs, or does my general weaken health find it harder to fight off future infections.

Until then I am planning vacations and being as active as possible.

4 Replies

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  • I say to you , you are amazing! and instead of worry about what bad might happen ; wonder what good will happen when you take your vacation.... God bless you in all pursuits.....I think I would encourage you to practice deep breathing as lungs seem to have difficulty doing that automatically. Tai Chi, or yoga if you can do it will be good exercises for breathing.....

    Good luck and God bless

    AVB

  • Oh my, you must be a strong person indeed. What an ordeal. I don't know any more than you do about the timing of repeat bouts of pneumonia, I'm afraid, except that the longer the time between bouts the better! Did the SALT give you any exercises to strengthen your swallowing? They seemed to help my guy. He still, 6 years in, drinks unthickened liquids, although perhaps we are on the verge of a change in that. He can't concentrate as he used to, so the exercises are going by the wayside.

    I do hope you have wonderful vacations and recover your strength. Best of luck, ec

  • I am very familiar with chronic disease. I became a Type 1 diabetic at 9 when little was known about the importance of diabetic sugar control. At 24 the very day my first son was born my inner eye vessels burst from the diabetes and I was legally blind for the next three years. However, because I had a wife and child I went on and worked and lived life to the fullest.

    At age 50 my kidney's failed due to diabetes and I was put on dialysis and then a successful transplant,but I continued to work and lived life to the fullest because I had a wife and family who depended on me.

    These were chronic diseases who had a healing cure and an ending. Now I am on disability and an empty nester My wife of 39 years still needs me to be strong.

    Now I'm facing a fatal not chronic disease. The pneumonia came faster than I imaged. When my wife took me to the ER we thought it was just another ER visit, but by the time they wheeled me to a bed my heart went wacky and the pneumonia was found and the rest of the month was gone I went in and out of a fog except remembering I needed to fight and hearing the docs from time to time.

    I am not at all afraid of death because I know my God has numbered my steps. As before I have a wife and people who need me and I will do all I can to be productive.

    It's just now I'm trying to wrap my arms around all of this, and plan as is my nature.

    However, I guess there is no planning. There is the day to build for the future and then let the future hold me in God's arms.

  • Although you and I are nearly the same age, you remind me of my wonderful father, who nearly died many times of asthma when he was a child and then contracted osteomyelitis and was hospitalized for a year when he was 14. He had awful scars on his ankles and ribs where they removed infected bone marrow. That disease recurred. There were many deadly scares over other things, and the asthma was a daily battle, but he had a career, raised a large family and lived life well. He loved the outdoors and was amazingly active despite everything. He died suddenly at home at 86.

    I truly admire your courage and perseverance. Childhood diabetes alone is a terrible challenge, even now when treatment has advanced so much. Having psp after all you have endured seems more than unfair.

    I had a friend with cystic fibrosis who had lost both his parents when he was 16. I asked him how he dealt with the injustice of it all and he said that he believed God tests the metal he finds worthy. I don't share his faith, but I was comforted by it, just the same. I know it allowed him to endure without bitterness suffering I can barely imagine.

    I wish you well. Love and peace to you and your wife, ec

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