• Jack Blum posted an update 2 years, 11 months ago

    My name is Jack Blum. In April of 2014, my VA primary Dr. heard crackling in my lungs and sent me for an xray. A month later he stated he thought I had IPF. Was sent to pulmonary at Phoenix VA Hospital. Had a lung biopsy in Oct 2014 and was verified by VA lab and Mayo Clinic that I had moderate to high levels of fibrosis. This all happened a month after the blowup about the Phoenix VA Hospital. I was told by the Chief of Staff of Pulmonology that I had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and had 2 to 5 years left and to go enjoy the time I had left.
    November 2014, Esbriet was approved by FDA, VA told me it would take them 3 years to get approval for use. I raised holy hexx, and it was sent to special committee, and thanks to their Chief of Staff, I am the first vet in Arizona to be approved for its use (on trial) in December 2014.
    In January 2015, I went to a private Doctor for a second opinion. He tested my O2 levels, and prescribed me to 2 lpm. at rest and 4 lpm. during exercise. I have been on O2, 24 -7 ever since.
    Through my Medicare Advantage Plan with Humana, I was accepted to be tested for lung transplant at St. Joseph Hospital in Phoenix. I was approved for lung transplant, but thanks to Esbriet and exercise and staying Positive, my PFT’s and Six Minute Walks have stayed relatively steady with slow decreases in lung function. I still do not need a lung transplant!
    Last month while doing my treadmill (3 times a week for a mile), on my second lap, my pulse Ox dropped to low 70’s. I had to stop and rest for about a minute and the try to continue. This happened every time. I went into a state of depression, and knew when you get worse with IPF, you go down fast.
    Pulmonary Fibrosis News sent me my weekly e-mail and it listed an article on Laser Therapy. I clicked on it and read the blog and found Dr. Halls website “ipflaserstudy.com” . I e-mailed with him, and he found a Class 4 laser about 100 miles away from me.
    I have had only three treatments, and decided to try the treadmill after not being on it for 2 weeks. For three days in a row, my pulse Ox dropped on the second lap, but only to the low 80’s and did not have to stop, just slow down to 2mph for 1 minute, then able to finish the mile at 2.5mph!
    The main reason for me telling this long drawn out story is to tell folks to not lose hope. Keep positive, do exercise, lose weight if overweight, stay progressive with your illness, and do not be afraid to try something if you think it will help. My transplant Doctors have not researched Laser, and could not comment. My VA Chief of Staff said go for it and keep him informed of my progress.
    Thanks so much to the VA and their doctors for providing me with Esbriet, the Pulmonary Fibrosis News and their articles, and Dr. Hall for coming up with Laser Therapy for IPF.
    Keep the faith,
    Jack Blum

    • Hi @jackblum,

      Wow, thank you so much for writing to us and providing this thorough update, which no doubt in my mind, will inspire and be encouraging to many others on this site! Although I despise this cruel disease, and the fact that it is PF/IPF that brings us all together, I am so grateful for the willingness of others to share their story (and successes) with us on this site. I will keep my fingers crossed that you continue to do well, and not need a lung transplant for a long time to come! Isn’t it amazing, the information that Dr. Hall shared regarding laser therapy? I know some people are understandably still unsure about it, but the folks who have been willing to try it seem pleased. Like you said, it is important not to be afraid to try something if you believe it will help. What is there to lose, right?

      Thank you again for sharing and if you think of it, please do keep us posted on your progress. So glad you’re part of our wonderful online community Jack!

      Take care,
      Charlene.

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