Rachel Cairnduff described much of her day as ‘like breathing through a straw’.
The former nurse and mother of two was diagnosed with adult onset asthma when she was 27 and coped with chest infections or pneumonia complications as a regular part of her busy life for more than 20 years. This year alone, she has been prescribed eight courses of antibiotics so far.
“The worst thing about it is the exhaustion. I still don’t have my breathing under control even though I take five or six medications every morning and evening” Ms Cairnduff said.
“I force myself to walk every day, but can only manage the flat surfaces near my home in Warrandyte. My husband goes ahead with our dogs and I walk telegraph pole to telegraph pole with a rest at each one to catch my breath.”
Ms Cairnduff was relieved when her respiratory specialist Nick Wilsmore suggested that bronchial thermoplasty might be the way forward. It is a relatively new procedure in Australia being used for patients where various medical therapies have been trialled but are not working as well as hoped. Coincidentally the procedure, which is the first in a Victorian private hospital, took place on 4 September – the beginning of the annual Patient Experience Week.
Photo: Dr Nicholas Wilsmore and the team using the bronchoscope
Ms Cairnduff reported feeling an improvement in the weeks that followed the first procedure and anticipates the real benefits will show after her third procedure, as recommended by Dr Wilsmore.
Dr Nicholas Wilsmore is a respiratory and sleep physician with an interest in interventional pulmonology, lung cancer, pleural diseases, COPD management and sleep disorders. He has procedural expertise in EBUS (endobronchial ultrasound), bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR), tunnelled chest drains, chest and neck ultrasound (in rooms).
Reprinted with thanks to Paddy Naughtin and the Whitehorse + Manningham Leader. Read the full article.