Asthma: Just Part Of My Life With Churg Strauss Syndrome
I'm kind of hesitant to even talk about this subject here on Hub Pages, as I already talk about my life with Churg Strauss on my personal blog...but I feel at this point in my life the more places where I share what I live with on the net the more awareness I spread about this vascular condition.
Back in May and June of 2008 I found myself in a local hospital twice. The first time I was in the hospital for a week, and the second time I was in for a month with a condition that I had never heard of before. But I digress and my story actually begins at least twenty years before my eventual hospital stays in 08.
I need to go back at least twenty years to a lung biopsy and a diagnosis of the condition called Sarcoidosis or Sarcoid.
Below is a small description of Sarcoidosis...
" Sarcoidosis is a disease that results from a specific type of inflammation of tissues of the body. It can appear in almost any body organ, but it starts most often in the lungs or lymph nodes."
After this diagnosis that came about due to my having a severe chest cold and having taken a subsequent chest x-ray, I was introduced to my first aerosol inhaler...Proventil, a form of Albuterol.
Now, flash forward to the year 2005...on my birthday in July I was diagnosed with another step up the Asthma food chain so to speak...Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD for short and just what is COPD...
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. It makes it difficult to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD:
- Chronic bronchitis, defined by a long-term cough with mucus
- Emphysema, defined by destruction of the lungs over time
I have the " Chronic Bronchitis " version, but by now I'm sure that you're wondering just where Churg Strauss comes into this and just how it is related to my asthma condition? Let me explain a bit further...by focusing on my disease Churg Strauss Syndrome.
So now we are back to 2008 and it's the middle of May. I've been in the hospital for about two weeks now, I have a Pic Line in my right arm because frankly the veins on my hands and arms were totally exhausted from the constant drawing of blood for testing. On a Tuesday morning, a biopsy was done on my kidney and this sample was sent away and the test results were that I had a disease called Churg Strauss Syndrome...I had never heard of it before this moment.
Churg Strauss Syndrome is as defined below...
Churg-Strauss Syndrome (CSS) is a systemic vasculitis. This disease was first described in 1951 by Dr. Jacob Churg and Dr. Lotte Strauss as a syndrome consisting of “asthma, eosinophilia [an excessive number of eosinophils in the blood], fever, and accompanying vasculitis of various organ systems”. CSS shares many of the clinical and pathological features of polyarteritis nodosa (“PAN”, another type of vasculitis). Churg and Strauss discovered that the presence of granulomas as well as the abundance of eosinophils distinguished this disease from PAN. Another name for Churg-Strauss Syndrome is Allergic granulomatosis.
And one of the main symptoms of having Churg Strauss Syndrome ( or CSS for short ) is...you guessed it...my friend Asthma.
So what do I have to do in order to continue to live with CSS and my asthma?
I take several different prescribed medications on a daily basis including the following...
The advair and albuterol are for direct control of my copd.
The coumadin is a blood thinner that was prescribed for me last year.
The immuran and prednisone both help me deal with my CSS, a condition which by the way there is no cure for.
Well, that's it for this hub page and honestly I'm not sure about a companion to this page...I'll have to think this one out.
My name is Lew Newmark, and I live everyday with Churg Strauss Syndrome a disease I'd never heard of until I was diagnosed with it. A disease that at least for the moment has no cure and my asthma is just one of many things that is associated with this disease.