This week I met with the pulmonary hypertension specialist who reviewed the exercise test I had done way back in June. Practically a distant memory, that, since the summer has been a very hot/humid one and I have had a viral infection for the past few weeks, both of which have taken quite a toll on my exercise tolerance. I'm in far worse shape now than I was when I had the testing done. Sisyphus has nothing on me; time to start rehabbing yet again and pushing that boulder back up the hill.
The test results were similar to the two previous ones in 2010 and 2011. My exercise tolerance is impaired, not just by the damage to my lungs, but also by my cardiovascualr system. Basically, my heart's ventricles don't contract properly while at exercise and the pressure in my pulmonary artery rises above normal. The combination of these things is what causes my need for supplemental oxygen when I exert myself.
My doctor asked if I'm happy with how I'm doing. I had to answer yes, but also asked if there was anything else we could try. There is an inhaled drug that would need to be nebulized three times a day which might have more effect; however, there were no guarantees. After weighing the time that would be necessary to add three additional treatments to my current 5, I decided that it wouldn't be worth going down that road until it's necessary. The oral medication is working well enough; sure, I'd like to be able to exercise without oxygen, but if the trade-off is more nebs, I'll pass.
The doctor did mention that I had put forth a great effort during the test, which was affirming. Never let it be said that I didn't try my hardest, whether at an exercise test, being compliant with my treatments, or working hard to rehabilitate myself. At least there's that!