I know, I know, most people don't get excited about being burned. Hey, you already know I'm weird. :P
But THIS burning is good for me. As I posted back in January, there is now a surgical procedure available for people with severe asthma that involves sticking a specially designed catheter tube down the lungs and burning off layers of smooth muscle. This should result in fewer asthma flares and attacks, and the ones that do occur should be milder. It's not a cure, but it should make life a little easier.
The surgery was only approved in 2010 in the US (I'm not sure if it's available outside of the US yet) and, unfortunately, is not covered by insurance companies yet. But, my regular asthma specialist referred me to a doctor at a research hospital who is running a follow up study. The study is a 5 year long study; the study pays for the surgery and then follows me for 5 years afterwards to track what the results are. The surgery is done in 3 parts, each one approximately three weeks after the preceding one. So, since January I've been seeing the new specialist, following the regimen she laid out for me, and undergoing tests. The research parameters for being accepted into the study are strict and if you don't fall exactly within them, you don't get in. Well, I made it! I'm sick enough to need the surgery, healthy enough to undergo it, and my test results fell within the study protocols.
The only hitch is that I can't have the procedure until July at the earliest. There's two reasons: 1) I have to be healthy for 60 days and 2) I was on prednisone too frequently between July of 2011 and January of this year. That puts me slightly over the acceptable number of incidences so we have to wait several months. If I do have an asthma episode that requires me to be on prednisone, it won't disqualify me; it will postpone the surgery date.
So, for the next three months, I will be a paranoid hermit. I'm heading into prime allergy season and my allergies trigger my asthma. My apartment windows are closed, it won't be too much longer before I turn on the A/C, and I will spend as little time outside as I possibly can. That last will be tricky when I'm at work, I'll need to find a balance.
Three more months. Oh please oh please oh please!!!