Wednesday I have a pulmonary follow up visit at the UCSF chest clinic. What makes this appointment different, other than the fact that I will be breaking in a new Pulmonary fellow, is that we will be discussing some future treatments options, including bronchial Thermoplasty and Endobronchial Valve therapy (EBV) . At the present time, both of these procedures are still considered investigational,but both are in the process of seeking FDA approval . The latter (EBV), has never been done on an asthmatic, but because I have severe air -trapping, similar to that seen in emphysemic patients, it might be an option. I’ll go into more details about these specific treatments options in a future post.
I’m also requesting a referral to be seen at the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania . World renowned Pulmonologist and severe asthma researcher, Sally Wenzel who’s part of the SARP team, has agreed to take me on as a patient. Dr Wenzel takes care of some of the most severe asthmatics on the planet and has done some fascinating research in the field. While she may not have much new to offer to my current care plan, there’s a lot that she and her team might be able to learn from me as a research subject, which might then get me in the door for future experimental therapies.
Don’t get me wrong, I have some of the best Pulmonologists in the world taking care of me right here, right now, in San Francisco, but UCSF doesn’t really specialize in the treatment and/or research of the more severe forms of this disease. If you have severe asthma that doesn’t respond to conventional therapies, I think it’s crucial that you seek out alternative treatment options, even if they’re considered risky. Never settle for the status quo. If it turns out that nothing more can be done for me, that’s fine , but at least I’ll know I gave it my best shot…..right?