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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pulmozyme Decision / New Prevacid Capsule

After much thought, research, and prayer, our decision is in about the Pulmozyme....kinda;) LOL

This past Monday, I had to call the CF clinic b/c they left me a voicemail that he could no longer get the Solutab Prevacid that he has been on for years. So, now he is on the capsule Prevacid. They are just like his enzymes except bigger and a different color. He takes one 15ml capsule each morning. He's such a trooper that he can take all 3 enzymes AND prevacid all at once with a drink!!!! If you look in the pic below, you can see the aqua color capsule next to his enzymes. I took this pic for his 2012 Great Strides Video(see at top of blog:) Won't you please donate today?? :)

Ok, back to that phone call... when I called the CF clinic, I asked for my fav nurse and I was sooooo glad she was there!!! After we got the Prevacid thing settled, I started asking her about the Pulmozyme. She told me all about it and gave me a website to look up with videos. Its just Pulmozyme.com. I looked it up and right away was very encouraged b/c I saw 3 fellow adult CFers that I knew...Ronnie and his wife Mandi Sharp from Run Sick Boy Run CF blog and who founded CysticLife.org...Emily Schaller the founder of Let's Rock CF and the "You Know" You Tube videos which are Ellen Degeneres-like shows about CF(they are AWESOME), and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes who has a twin sister with CF too and they wrote a book about CF called "The Power of Two" I can't wait to get my hands on it and read it, b/c those girls are Amazing!!! Also, Isabel told me that her movie should be coming to OH soon!!! YEA!!! So, needless to say, when I saw the CFers that I knew, I felt very comforted!! When I started watching the videos, I realized that I had already watched them before at some point! I watch lots of videos that people post, just in case I will need that info for Lil' Chris. I especially liked the "How Pulmozyme Works" video.

Alright, back to my call again...I WILL get to our decision eventually;-) LOL As I was talking to my fav nurse, she was telling me that Pulomozyme is more like a preventative medicine. It will help keep his mucus thinner so he can cough it up and out easier. She mentioned that Pulmozyme has been around for 15-16 years and it usually increases the FEV1. She went on to tell me that they usually start this around 5 years old and are on it for life. Now, I always knew that more treatments would eventually get added, b/c I know so many CFers around the world, esp adult CFers that do 3-4 hour treatments every morning and night...but I guess I was thinking it would happen later on since he is doing so well, not in just a few months!! YIKES!!! She said it's not very effective if it is used just when he has a cough. They have seen better results in long term use. This med may prevent a lung infection, a hospital stay or many, and will hopefully help his cough get better b/c it will make him cough more to get it out.

I asked her about HTS or Hypertonic Saline which is very similar and I know a lot of CFers on it, some even do both Pulmozyme and HTS! HTS has only been around for the last 5-6 years. It does not have to be refrigerated like Pulmozyme does, and it is more natural. HTS is also cheaper. It draws more water into the airways and makes it easier to cough out the mucus. Pulmozyme is approved my FDA and works to thin mucus so people can cough it out easier. Fortunately, it looks like our insurances will cover it...THANK YOU LORD, b/c Pulmozyme is $2,000 for a 30 day supply!!!

CFF.org has some great info on both, so click these links or any of the color links above to learn more...
Pulmozyme-http://www.cff.org/treatments/Therapies/Respiratory/Pulmozyme/
HTS-http://www.cff.org/treatments/Therapies/Respiratory/HypertonicSaline/

So, as I was talking to the nurse, I was telling her about my rough experience at my last visit. (BTW, thank to my fellow CF moms who helped me get through that rough time by sharing your stories with me:) She apologized and offered to get a second opinion from another doctor, who is the director of our CF clinic as well. He suggested one more week of Bactrim to see if his cough will clear up completely(he has one more day left and he isn't coughing, but when I ask him to cough, you can still hear that it is a little bit wet). He also didn't think that Lil' Chris needed to go on the Pulmozyme right away. He suggested that we do some research on it, and come back to our next visit in 3 months with all the questions we have about Pulmozyme and HTS and ask our doctor. His next visit is on May 16th and I've already got a list started...I LOVE the list app on my phone;)

Since talking to this nice nurse, it's seems as though if we want to keep Lil' Chris "healthy", then we are going to have to start one of these chronic medications soon. He will continue his Vest as usual and will do this new treatment either before or during his Vest either in the morning or at night. I can't believe he has been on his Vest for over 1,100 HOURS!!! My husband and I have a BIG decision as to which one to go with. I'm kinda thinking Pulmozyme, and Chris is kinda thinking HTS. Which one is better in the long run...that is the big question!?!?

Chris and I were trying to decide whether to start him on it in May, or wait til his next appointment in August, when he'll be 5 years old, since it has only been tested in 5 year olds and up. Actually, the CF Foundation recommends it in 6 year olds and up, but if we wait too long, he could possible get irreversible lung damage....we DEF don't want that!!! I say we start it in May, that way he will have a couple of months to get used to it and get into a routine before he starts Kindergarten in August....YIKES KINDERGARTEN!!!! That's a whole nother story;-) LOL

Although it is disheartening to add one more chronic treatment to his daily life at such a young age....this is NOT the end!!! There are new drugs in the pipeline that are tackling the basic defect of CF. I've talked about them before, but we are getting closer and closer now!
Kalydeco (previously known as VX-770) is a new oral medication that was approved by the FDA on January 31, 2012 for people with CF ages 6 and older with the G551D mutation of CF. It is the first drug available that targets the underlying cause of CF – a faulty gene and its protein product, CFTR. Although this won't help Lil' Chris yet, b/c his CF genes are Double Delta F508, doesn't mean that there is no hope. They are doing test now on DDF508 patients to figure out a way to get it to work for them too:) They say possibly within the next 5-10 years!!! THIS COULD BE THE CURE THAT WE HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR AND RAISING MONEY FOR!!!!!

So what does this mean?? We need to keep praying and keep raising money so they can do their research and GET US THAT CURE!!!! This past weekend was my birthday weekend and I decided that the best present possible, would be donations for A CURE for Lil' Chris and all with CF!! So, many many many thanks to Nancy & Al, my Aunt Mar, my Dad, Mandi W, and Melissa V for all donating in honor of my birthday and it truly was my BEST birthday EVER...not b/c we went skiing or went to see Monster Jam(that was pretty cool seeing the big trucks up close tho;)...it was the $440 donated by you guys that is going to help save my son's life some day!!!!!!

So PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TODAY EVERY SECOND COUNTS...click this link http://www.cff.org/Great_Strides/LilChrisChris6765

Thanks for being so patient with me in our decision on Pulmozyme and keep praying for a CURE!
M
PS. His throat culture results was Staph Areus sensitive to Oxycillin(MSSA) his usual, so YEA FOR NO NEW BAD BACTERIAS!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!

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