Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lung Status: 89%

Having not been to my Cystic Fibrosis doctors since last September, I recently realized that I was overdue for my 'quarterly' lung check-up at National Jewish. I went into yesterday's appointment highly optimistic that I'd see improvement from the 85% FEV1 I registered last fall.

For those of you not very familiar with the disease, it's not so much the overall lung capacity that suffers with CF patients, as much as our ability to get air in and out... especially out. The FEV1 is a test of the total volume you're able to expel in the first second after fully inhaling. As our airways get more and more filled with infected mucus and scarring, it takes longer and longer to get air moving in or out. After a pulmonary function test [PFT], all the percentages given refer to how we compare to the predicted performance of a completely healthy individual of our same age, weight, and gender. FEV1 is the most critical of all the numbers checked.

Needless to say, the increased running effort and perceived increase in my fitness wasn't all psychological.

Yesterday's PFT showed my FEV1 at 89%, which is 4% higher than September of 2010, but still 4% low from my peak in August of 2009.

Looks like I need to hit it even harder now and get that additional 11%!


Brandon Fuller said...

Run to live. You are my hero.

Jim P. said...


GZ said...

Whoa. I had no idea.

And yeah, get to work on that 11 percent. ;)

Andy said...

Remarkable Brooks... Remarkable! Keep it up.

dug said...

Best news I've heard in a long time. But I'm confused...Do you blow or do you just suck bad?

Brooks said...

Thanks guys.

Let me clarify one thing, I'm extremely healthy by CF standards, but I have to work pretty hard to stay there (lots of drugs and daily respiratory therapies, besides the obvious running) and I don't take my health for granted.
I've been as low as sub-40% before, and it's no fun.

Since I'm clearly not too good at either, I recommend you leave that to your girlfriend.

Sean O'Day said...

Eff yeah buddy. Keep fightin the fight.

mike_hinterberg said...

Good to hear, and congrats on brew to brew!

Do you know some of your genetic information (f508 mutation?), and/or are you able to participate in any UC Denver studies? I am working with some of these data and learning about the disease, which makes it more awesome to see what you're doing.

Brooks said...

I really don't have any clue on which mutation I have. It will be worth asking at my next check-up.

I haven't taken part in any research studies, but am not opposed to it, either. Feel free to email me more info and I can see if it's something I'd like to help with...