Tweet, Tweet... Cough, Cough?
Yes, as fictional as it sounds – it is a thing.
And Wendy's day, as I soon discovered, just happened to be... her 60th birthday!
(OK so I was a year off).
|Breathe happily at home|
with an Oxygen Concentrator
(not to be confused with R2D2 from Star Wars)
It also means you can manage your condition at home for a lot longer, rather than being imprisoned on a hospital bed.
But today her girlfriends had insisted on giving her a proper birthday lunch – it was her 60th after all. Which meant poor Wendy had been stressing for days about what they would think. Seeing her suddenly change from mischievious outgoing Wendy into this mere shell of a woman...unable to walk even small distances without a sit-down and having to lug ‘this dam oxygen’ around all the time (Wendy had a portable mini tank to take if she left the house).
Facts about chronic Bird Fancier’s Lung:
- Also known as Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis or Allergic Alveolitis
- Is a disease of the lungs involving inflammation to the smaller airways (Alveoli)
- Develops from sensitivity to inhaling dust from the feathers, serum and droppings of birds such as pigeons and budgies, over a long period of time
- Symptoms are: breathlessness, dry non-productive cough, increased audible wheeze, weight loss
- Difficult to diagnose as symptoms, although distinct, are similar to Asthma.
- Long-term exposure can result in progressive and irreversible Pulmonary Fibrosis ie:scar tissue replacing original inflammation tissue (this was unfortunately Wendy’s stage)
- Treatment involves removing the exposure (yes, getting rid of the bloody pigeons!) and drug treatment with Cortisteroids. At the chronic stage Oxygen therapy is not so much for relief, but rather to hopefully prolong life
And that although they might be a bit surprised to start with... if they loved her, then they wouldn’t care what state her -or her lungs- were in.
“Well the cats really going to be out of the bag when they see me try and blow out 60 candles... or should that be the BIRD!!”
It's all your fault Percy Pigeon