WEGO Health: Miss Congeniality & Hilarious Health Activist

Day 30

Chris Dean

Virgo. Pocket Duck Expert. WEGO Heath Activist.

I heard about Chris Dean’s blog, Life Your Way! in June of 2012.  Since that time, I  try to read her blog every day.  It is truly where “Health and Humor Meet in a Head-on Collision”.  I am supporting her nomination as Miss Congeniality and I nominated her for Hilarious Health Activist.  I am encouraging  you to go HERE and vote for her confirmation, or HERE to nominate her.

Okay, now I know that you are no minion and need proof.  (I love that about you by the way!)  So you can read more about me going on and on about her, or you can just skip to the end and go HERE and read her blog posts.  I encourage you to do both, but I understand there is your time to consider.  I’ll be brief but I won’t be offended if you head right off to Chris’ blog.

Chris writes openly and candidly.  She is brave in her sharing and appears not to be afraid to admit her short comings.  In fact, she will point them out to her readers and make them laugh with her.  She has no agenda.  Sure, all bloggers have a small urge inside them for total world domination; and Chris has told me herself, “It takes a special kind of crazy to be a blogger.”

When I read Chris’ work, I feel I am reading the words of someone who enjoys writing.  I feel like she does it because it’s fun and it helps her cope with the craziness that comes with being diagnosed, misdiagnosed, re-diagnosed, etc…

Chris posts every day, whether there it’s NHPBM or not.  She doesn’t write  about life at her pity party, she invites you to join the party on her blog.  Her life, like everyone else, is not perfect.  She poses great questions about her health and health topics and brings to light facts about her condition and the conditions of others.  She uses humor to teach and it is her talent.  I always feel better after reading her posts.  I have learned about things like; birding, alternative methods of yoga- and Joe My Zod, have you seen her artwork?!!  (Ah, WEGO, consider this my suggestion for an art category next year!)

Chris calls her art therapeutic for her, but to those like me who admire it, it is a gift of expression.  When I look at her art, I FEEL something.  It is a representation of her feelings and thoughts, and her art makes me get a feel about what she’s feeling.  And I look at many and think: I feel like that too.  I can’t put it into words, but I can show you some of the things I feel with her art work.

I could go on, but honestly, experience it for yourself if you haven’t already.  Read her words, see her pictures.  Everyone has their own reactions to art and words.  I know that if you take the time to check out her blog; you will laugh, you will learn, and I hope you too find something she has created that explains something you can’t describe in words.

Chris’ Blog: LIFE YOUR WAY!

Facebook: Invisibly Ill (show some love with a like)

Follow her on Twitter @Pixiecd13

And don’t forget to nominate her!

Dating While Chronically Ill Is Not A Crime

Day 27 of NHPBM

I Bet You Didn’t Know…

Being single and 40 is no picnic.  Remember when you were married or in a committed relationship and you used to chuckle about your single friends using online dating sites?  How’s that Humble Pie taste now, fellow Bitches?

My slice of humble pie tastes like lentils.  Sure, it’s healthy, but until I got the recipe right, it tasted like crap.

What?  Online dating is good for me?  After conducting what I can only describe as “research”, the answer is, yes.

Now, I’m not suggesting you ask dates to doctors appointments.  There comes a time (hopefully) during a chronic illness when things slow down, stabilize and we’re ready to be social creatures again.  Don’t loose faith, it can happen.  It happened to me and I should have been dead years ago.

When I was newly single in 2009, I had completely lost my confidence and self esteem and I was feeling miserable.  My ex-husband suggested I try online dating. I thought: If he could be successful, how hard could it be?   Ignorance is bliss and I am glad I did try it.  I learned something from every person I have met.  If I had to do it over again, I would do it again to gain the knowledge and self confidence I now have because of it.

I encourage anyone considering online dating to try it.  Everyone’s experience is different, but for me my biggest lesson was: I don’t have to settle for anything or anyone. And, if you let them, people will show you exactly who they are without getting naked first.  For me, it was the spirit of research that kept me going.   My efforts were rewarded with good old fashioned learnin’.

So, The Adventure Began

After posting what I thought was a confident and stellar profile, I was flattered by all the responses, winks and messages.  Looking back, I can see now my profile was screaming, “Fresh Meat.”

After lots of dates and a few adventures, I will talk about some interesting characters I met, learned from and awarded nicknames.  

After a few dates, one guy added to his profile, “50 Shades of Grey is my life story.”   He is  forever known as 50 Shades.  Had I not met him, I would have never known how truly awful the book was because I looked it up on Wikipedia where it gave away the plot.  I am forever grateful to him because I will never have to read it to know what a true piece of shit story that is.  Doesn’t anyone just watch porn?    No one should be subjected to such a lame plot and cheesy dialogue without background music.  Bow-chica-bow-now really would add something to the story.  Thank you, 50 Shades.  You have saved me so much time.

I would be remiss not to mention I have been asked if I would participate in ‘panty hose spanking’.  It’s exactly what you think it is.  DON’T Google it.  You cannot un-see it.  Well, unless you are into that.   I don’t want to judge, it’s just not my thing.

One guy I dated exchanged my crappy couches and $100 for his super nice sectional.  I love this couch.  I have learned I love the shape, but will eventually get the same model in leather instead of microfiber.   Again, a valuable learning experience.  Things had to end  after he called my mother “sexy pants”.  He is affectionately referred to as, “Couch Guy”.

I met one guy for an Angels game.  He was a season ticket holder, and we had great seats.  In the 7th inning, I don’t even remember how we got to the topic- but here’s how the conversation started:  He said, “You know what I hate about Anaheim?  Mexicans.”

Yes, he did say that while sitting in Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California.

Now, my first instinct was to pour my beer on his head and leave, but he said it loud enough for those around us to hear and it didn’t seem to bother him.  The inner research psychologist kicked in, and my curiosity was peaked.  So, I placed my elbows on the arm rest in his direction, rested my chin in my hands in classic Jon Steward fashion.  Wide-eyed, smiling  and in my best Jon Stewart voice said, “Dooo go on!”

I let him continue until I could no longer stand it.  I put my hand up to interrupt him and said, “You do know my last name is Vasquez, right?”  And then, he went for the Asshat Racisit-Trifecta:

1. I know, but I’m not talking about you.
2. I have Mexican friends.
3. I have dated a Mexican.

The date didn’t totally suck, I mentioned it we had great seats…

I learned from him to put Caucasian as my race.  It has helped me filter out the bigots like nothing else.  I look white and it’s a great way to know what people really think sometimes.    For the record, I have no idea what I would be considered racially.  I like to skip the question, just like my Aunt Carmen.  To paraphrase her, “We’re human.  Who gives a shit?”  She is one brilliant woman.

Dating While Chronically Ill Is Not a Crime

At first, I thought I needed to disclose my health in my profile, like some warning label.  I did and I got lots of prayers, offers to be brought to church, but no dates.  It’s a bad idea. A chronic illness is not a death sentence and we certainly do not need to come with a warning.  More and more of us with scleroderma and sarcoidosis are surviving, adapting and overcoming.  Just because we need to maintain our health with meds or were are disfigured from the damage, does not mean we are supposed to stay home.  People take high blood pressure meds, cholesterol controlling meds and God only knows what kind of graveyard they’re tending in their closets at home.   We all have something to deal with and it’s just life.  I know it’s not the same, but in the big picture, we are all going to die of something

 And yes, I have experienced a lunch date where the conversation turned in, “Sooo, can your hands be fixed?”  

Poor guy couldn’t take his eyes off my hands.  When I dropped him off, I’m not sure he flung open the door and ran because he was really late, or I had just frightened the shit out of him.  I’ll never know and I don’t  care.

And yes, having a medical condition was a deal breaker for one guy.  At least that’s what he told me.  He was Mormon, so he may not have wanted to admit he was looking for someone who would be willing to convert.  The truth is, whether you have a chronic condition or not, you will meet people you would not want to see again and sometimes, it hurts.  Be thankful for the learning experience and you will recover and be stronger for it.

A Happy Ending

Happy endings are for fairy tales, but every now and then, I meet a nice guy.  It’s all about odds.  The more you get out or talk to someone else, the odds are higher you will meet someone who does not have their picture in the dictionary under the word, “douchebag”.  My best date was was with a guy who bugged me until I met him for coffee.  I did not mention a word about my health before meeting him.  When we did meet, I offered my goofy hand out to shake and it was not even

an issue.  Not to mention, he was much cuter in person than in his picture.  We later ended up in a bar- well lit mind you, and had a great time. Yes, the nice guys are rare, but that’s kind of the point.  So, if you’re ready and a little freaked out about online dating, get out there.  Be safe, watch for red flags, try panty hose spanking- if that’s what you’re into, but most of all, have fun.  If it’s not fun, step away from the computer and give yourself some “me” time.  It’s not required to find someone and it certainly should not be a “job”.  There are no guarantees, there may be disappointment, but like anything worth having it does take a little work.  Keep it fun & stay safe out there!

Dental Tips for Scleroderma & Why I Love Working With Students

Day 21 of Wego Health’s NHPBM Bonus Prompt: Raise Awareness

Scleroderma

&

Dental Health

 

I have not been able to keep up with the 30 day 30 in 30 for Wego Health for a few reasons, but one is I recently had some dental surgery.  Last monday, I underwent a Connective Tissue/Gum Graft.  This is my third.  Yes, you read that correctly.  So for those of you doing dental searches on dental issues with scleroderma, those graphic pictures are more likely not to be your fate.

But before we get to prevention, lets talk about how I got to the point where I needed to have my gum tissue replaced.  (It’s my blog and everything revolves around me, remember?  Or so I would like to believe.  Shh-This is my ego trip, so strap yourself in and just enjoy the ride while I make my point.)  If I know so much about prevention, how did I let things get to a point where I needed dental surgery?

Often, less immediate life threatening issues like dental care, are put on the back burner while things like breathing and blood circulation are addressed.  While addressing other issues, my gums were effected.  Raynaud’s Phenomenon, the cause of my poor circulation, is not limited to fingers and toes.  More attention is paid to those areas because they are the most severely effected, but again, Raynuad’s can happen anywhere there’s muscle tissue around a blood vessel.  (Scleroderma- such a giver!)

One symptom I often ignored during Raynaud’s attacks was numb tongue.  I thought it was stress, and stress is a contributing factor, but it was symptom of another problem:  Dental involvement in scleroderma.  I could feel the blood being restricted in my tongue, so I knew to take measures to bring blood back to it by moving my tongue around and warming my body.  What was going on that I could not feel, was blood flow restriction to my gums.

Most people don’t connect digestion with dental care, but it is becoming more known that digestion begins the moment we see or smell food. ( I’ll spare you an explanation, but if you need it, here it is at Kidshealth.org)  

 

Scleroderma is different for everyone, but we share similar symptoms.  Here is what happened to me:

Long before I had symptoms of scleroderma, I was very consistent about the care of my teeth.   Braces not only cultivated deep seeding hate of my orthodontist and create such a vivid memory of tooth pain that every time I hear the word orthodontist, I can still feel the pain of  metal bands being hammered into my mouth; it taught me I want to keep my teeth in my head and intact.  Which was lucky for me.  My own gum recession in scleroderma started in 1994, but I did not need my first frenectomy until 1999.    Luckily, in 1999 I met the first periodontist that taught me safe, preventive brushing that stimulated blood circulation that helped me keep my gum tissue intact.

Now, here’s the part that is uncertain: Scleroderma is a progressive disease.  These progressions can happen slowly or in the blink of an eye.  In my case, it progressed slowly, but one of the gingiva in my teeth seemed to recede overnight.  It probably didn’t, it just felt like it because there is so much to keep an eye out for in a progressive disease, I can only equate it to playing bingo with 20 cards.  Before you know it, Bingo!  -It’s time for a procedure to fix it.  Good times.

The frenectomies and prevention helped, but the inevitable came.  I had my first gum graft in 2001.  The Veteran’s Administration covered my surgery by a periodontist in private practice.  (I love my socialist health care.)  The same doctor who had been doing my frenectomies and teaching me about prevention (also covered by the VA) did a wonderful job harvesting connective tissue from my upper pallet and attaching the tissue.  It was a success and the site is still thriving today.  The second one I had was at the VA hospital.  All VA hospitals are teaching facilities and there was a periodontist on his internship there.  He too did an excellent job.  This third one was sent out.  The periodontist at the VA this time wanted the dental school to work on it.  He felt they could better accommodate me.

Now, you may be thinking, “Dental STUDENTS for oral surgery that may have difficulty healing?!!  Are you high, Karen?” The answer to both questions: Yes.  And not as far as you know.

First of all, students are a joy to work with.  They have fresh, open minds.  They want to find solutions, not just because they have to be highly competitive, they also care and most important: they are not afraid to ask questions of the patient or those who are teaching them.  Everything they do has to be approved by a teaching physician.  With medical students we get the best of both worlds:  Inquisitive minds and years of experience from their teachers.  And it is not an uncommon experience to teach something about a rare disease to the overseeing physician with years of experience.  Most of them WANT to learn, but there is always the exception.

There was this time a doctor was convinced I had gout during a hospital stay.  He was a podiatrist who had a group of students he was trying to show that I was nuts and had no idea what I was talking about.  I may be nuts, but I new what I was talking about.  I requested to see a rheumatologist in front of his students.  After taking my request, he made some comment to his students that it would be a waste of the group’s time, but he had to humor me because I requested a second opinion.

The on-call rheumatologist came in to see me.  He agreed I had an infection that was probably a MRSA flare, which had been clearly documented in my medical history.  An hour later, he stopped by with the rhueumatolgy department head, who knew me as an outpatient.  He concurred with me and the rheumatologist on-call.  I was taken off of the podiatry service and a rheumatologist was now overseeing my case.  It’s a common glitch in hospital care.  If you have a heart attack, you see a cardiologist.  If you have a swelling in your foot, you see a podiatrist.  My  experience has been that they address the feet separately, instead of as part of a whole.  This is changing by the way, but apparently the podiatrist overseeing my case did not get the memo.

The next morning, the podiatrist came back with his gaggle of students.  Unfortuanly for him, it appeared he did not see that my chart had been updated.  As the students donned their protective gloves and masks which is protocol for patients with MRSA, a student read from my chart that my diagnosis was not gout, but cellulitis and most likely MRSA.  The resident was quiet, so I asked if he had any questions for me about scleroderma.  (Okay, that was kind of an ego trip, but I did warn you.)

Back to my latest dental adventure:  I have no problem working with dental students.  Honestly, I work with students  whenever I can.  I met the doctor who would be doing the procedure at my first appointment at the dental school.  She is a graduate student and I think she and the others I met will make great practitioners, because they are already great practitioners as students.

What’s really cool about students is that they have to evaluate everything with a full exam.  They have x-rays and records to go from, but they do not just jump in, they take their time.  My doctor did a wonderful job on intake.  She had questions for me and the resident who was overseeing her work.  And because I am 42 now and have the jaded perspective of age, some of these students I just see are adorable- which I hate to say because I don’t want to discredit their professionalism with their adorableness- it’s the exact opposite.   It’s their youth, enthusiasm and natural curiosity that inspires me.   Not only do I feel encouraged to go forward to the procedure, I feel inspired to learn from them; share what I know with others in early stages of scleroderma, and other diseases that effect gum health.   The brushing techniques I have learned, I teach my son.  I remind him that pretty teeth are of no use if they wont stay in your head, so take care of your gums.  This last procedure, hasn’t exactly stopped him from prying Legos with his teeth, but the seed has been planted and I catch him stopping himself.  Yes, these students not only teach me about gum health, they are teaching me ways to scare the hell out of my kid so he continues to have healthy gums.  Winning!

So, back to my procedure.  I did not eat anything but a protein shake for my procedure at 1pm.  I have Barratt’s esophagus, reflux from hell and my epiglottis has been on hiatus since the 90’s, so preparing to be in a reclined position is of utmost importance.  My only regret: when the doctor asked me if I would like to use the bathroom before the procedure began, I should have said yes.  The lesson: When anyone asks if I need to go, I make a trip whether I need to or not because they know something I don’t regarding how long I will not be able to get up.

I was in the chair for the procedure for over three hours.  My doctor (and I will be referring to students as doctors because they deserve the respect- no matter how adorable.) My doctor made sure I felt no pain.  She could tell by my body language and eventually just by looking at my eyes when I needed more anesthetic.  This procedure is done while awake.

I have heard many people say things like, “I could never do that.” or ” I would just let my teeth fall out.”  My reply:  Yes you can.  And no you won’t.  You have to do this things.  We all have to do things that seem unbearable, chronic illness or not.  I use meditation and deep breathing.  I actually fell asleep while my doctor was cutting open my pallet.  At first, I felt like a steak, but once I made a fun of it in my head, I reminded myself she has probably practiced on many cuts of meat.  She had a steady hand and I could see in her eyes that she was watching every move she made, and looking at my eyes to see my reactions as if she watched my face for clues that would indicate pain or discomfort.  Her steadiness was unencumbered by rushing to the next patient.  She took the time to adjust to working with a scleroderma patient with a small mouth, Raynaud’s and healing issues.  And really, I have been a lab rat more than once to more seasoned professionals than I can count.  The great thing about students, is that they don’t second guess.  They can’t, because someone checks everything.

Long story short: The procedure went off without a hitch.  I drove myself home, parked myself on the couch with my dogs and slept with a little help from Captain Vicodin.  I was sore, but believe it not I was not in much pain.  The next day I woke up and didn’t need anything for pain because I rested the next two days.  I rinsed all week and the following monday, I had my stitches removed by another doctor, because the doctor who did the surgery went home for Thanksgiving.  To be quite honest, had it not been thanksgiving week I would have waited to see her when she returned because I wanted her to see her work.  But the doctor who did see me did an excellent job and even put up with me panicking the next day.

I freaked out the next day.  My skin grafts had always been in a place where I could not see the wound.   So, I woke up, took a peek at my gums and freaked out. It looked like it was coming apart.  I called the school and they fit me right in for an appointment.  The same doctor saw me and an instructor checked it just as was done the day before.  They were so cool about it.  It went something like this:

“Karen how many times did you check it?”

“Not much…” I replied.

“Stop checking it.  It’s healing fine.  Parts are going to fall off. ”

There was more to that conversation, but you get the point.  I overreacted.  Luckily, I did, because on the way home, it felt like the graft totally came off.  I left it alone, then later, a foreign object feeling forced me to check it.  There was a clump of tissue that came off, stitches and all.  This revealed connective tissue adhering to my gum line nicely. Relieved, I settled in for the Colbert Report, but had to turn it off because I laughed so hard, I could feel my gums tug.  No comedy for me.

For more information about Scleroderma and dental issues please check out these links.  And when you do get to work with a medical student, for corn’s sake, don’t call them adorable!

Coming soon: Prevention tips.

Go to these links for more information.

The Scleroderma Research Foundation: Dental Problems 

What is a Frenectomy?

The Digestive System

Raynaud’s and Dental Issues

Connective tissue grafts

Scleroderma.org

 

Taking Viagra Four Times a Day Is Not THAT Weird!

 

November 2, 2012

Please enjoy this  slice of my life, with blue sprinkles…

What most people know about Viagra, makes it sound weird  that woman would need to take Viagra four times a day, but after this post you will be able to explain why and hopefully make a comment about this post.  I want good and bad here.  Did you find it helpful?  Will you think of Viagra differently?   -because you know I will have to moderate a ton of “Viagra spam”.  (For the love of corn, comment! Please and thank you.)

I have scleroderma and sarcoidosis.  Let’s call scleroderma my “Anchor Disease”.  It was my first diagnosis and it has the most severe symptoms for me.  (That’s not an actually term, I just made it up, but it sounds nice and for our purposes here, I think Anchor Disease  works.) So, it all started with Raynaud’s, a symptom of many autoimmune diseases and can exist on it’s own, then it is upgraded to Raynaud’s Disease.  Raynaud’s is a symptom of scleroderma and part of the acronym CREST.  (How can one not love Raynuad’s.  Such versatility!)

So what is Raynaud’s?  It’s a sympathetic nervous system overreaction to temperature change.   When the body becomes cold, it slows the blood flow to extremities to keep the body’s core warm. With Raynaud’s, the nerves that signal muscle tissue around blood vessels overreact and rather than gently slow blood flow with a mild contraction, it chokes the vessels shut and can cut blood flow causing fingers and toes to fall off.  Seriously, I lost the tip of my thumb in 1996 because the artery to my thumb was completely shut and blood was flowing retrograde to the tip.  Oh and that’s not the punchline:  I had ovarian cysts that decided to pop all at once.  It was great times once morphene was on board, and not before specialists were brought in to rule out that the blood vessels to my colon, were not in a Raynaud’s spasm.  So, not only can Raynauds cause lost of fingers and toes, it can happen anywhere there is a blood vessel surrounded by muscle tissue that’s connected to nerve tissue.

How does Viagra or lesser known as (Sildenanafil) help in the treatment of Raynaud’s?  First, allow me to answer the question I am always asked: No, Viagra has no effect on my sexual performance.  Viagra, or Sildenafil, was designed to treat Pulmonary Hypertension in newborns.  Then, the BIG side effect was discovered and which overshadowed the versatility and life saving benefits of Sildenanafil.  This of course, a big break through to help men have a healthy sex life, but created a big headache for me and I’m sure many others, but it’s my blog and I can only speak for myself.  It gave me such a headache, my hair hurt.

You see, in 2005, I had a nasty ulcer on my left thumb that would not heal.  I was not yet on Sildenafil, I was still using niphedepine.  The artery in my thumb was in such a spasm, I started having flashbacks of 1996, when I lost the tip of my thumb. I did not want this to happen to my left thumb.  My doctors at the VA had already made sure I had a resource at UCLA and under the care of Dr. Furst.   The rheumatologists at the VA Hospital recommended I make the the trip to LA about  this issue.  They encouraged me to find a treatment they could learn from and use.  At the time, I had golden insurance.  I live over 100 miles from UCLA and even though the VA is only forty miles away, they did not yet have a treatment protocol for such severe Raynaud’s, so while preparing for my trek to UCLA, Dr. Furst, my rheumatologist  at UCLA advised by phone I double my dose of niphedepine to see if it works.  It didn’t, and crated a headache that felt like my head was hit with a hammer.  So, off to UCLA I went.

Under the treatment supervision of my favorite pulmonologist, Dr Ross, I was prescribed a medication that opened every blood vessel in my body.  I had to stay in the hospital during this treatment because of the high risk of my blood pressure dropping and my heart stopping.

From this, the medical team developed a treatment protocol to use Rovatio, to prevent the damage that had been done to my thumb for future patients.  Rovatio is low dose  Viagra.  There was no problem receiving it in the hospital, but once I got home, getting Viagra prescribed for anything other than erectile disfunction was nearly impossible.  Nearly.

I tried getting Viagra through my regular insurance first and eventually succeeded. But first, they required all kinds of information from my doctors.  Each insurance representative I spoke with, had no medical background, but was armed to the teeeth with clerical skills and they met my inquiries with laughter.  Eventually, my rheumatologist and pulmonologist produced enough research material to support prescribing the six dollar a dose pill to keep my blood flowing.

What did I do during weeks of waiting?  I relied on the kindness of my local practitioners.  I was given samples.  This was when pharmaceutical companies handed out samples like Pezz.  Oh and by the way, pharmaceutical reps had THE best quality pen covered with their logos and featured drug names.   Seriously, they wrote smoothly and I would always ask a rep for pens when I saw one.  I still ask when I see them, but I’m usually denied.   Back then, pharmaceutical companies had righteous swag, but I digress.

The laughter didn’t stop after getting approval for insurance companies to cover Viagra for me.  I would get asked stupid questions from well-meaning pharmacy assistants and of course my favorite, “What are YOU doing with Viagra?” said loud enough for other patients to hear was always a treat.  Often, I wanted to answer, “Yes, I need Viagra to keep up with my whoring ways.” But my son would be present and I had to take the high road and at least teach him to be nonjudgemental and not let him see the stupidity of others rub off on his mom.

Then, something magical happened. Our business went bankrupt, I lost my insurance and I was back into the Veteran’s Healthcare system.  My Rheumatologist at the VA had no problem getting Viagra approved.  There were a few hiccups.  We had to explain that I could not cut the dosage because it had to be exact.  The VA and many insurance companies classify Viagra as a “recreational drug”, which I think is bogus.  Having a healthy sex life is part of the big picture of overall health, but I’ll save that for my “soapbox post”.

So now, thanks to some traveling, time on the phone and a little kicking down the doors of stereotypes, I enjoy 50mg of Viagra, four times daily.  It keeps my fingers, toes and parts unknown intact and helps me breathe easier.  “Free to live a life of religious fulfillment”.  (Did you really think I would get through this piece about Viagra WITHOUT a quote and clip from Airplane!?)

There was also an additional unexpected side effect.  No, it had nothing to do with my sex drive.  It had to do with my lungs.  I notice it more now because my disease is progressive and it’s progressively effecting my lungs.  If I skip a does of Viagra (sometimes I forget when it’s warm) it is actually harder to breathe.  That’s right, Viagra helps my lungs breathe easier AND I recently found out from Dr Furst why that is:  Lung tissue reacts to Viagra the same way tissue  in the penis reacts to Viagra.  I was unable to find reliable research info to back this up this morning, but I did get the information direct from Dr. Furst, of UCLA’s Rheumatology department.  (I see him next week, so I will get the correct research information in print.  The search for the info will make your head explode.  If you do find a source backing it up, please, please post the link in comments!  I never like to discuss a research find without data to back it up in my posts, but it is a know obstacle when researching anything remotely related to Viagra, it;s best to just visit a medical library in person.)

So, I hope you enjoyed that slice of weird, courtesy of scleroderma.  Consider yourself enlightened of the clinical benefitTell your friends!

Links

Scleroderma Research Foundation

UCLA Rheumatology: http://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?id=453&action=detail&limit_department=15&limit_division=1094&CFID=70251248&CFTOKEN=63458303

UCLA Pulmonology: http://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?id=453&action=detail&limit_department=22&limit_division=1119&CFID=70251248&CFTOKEN=63458303

Oral Sildenafil in Infants With Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn: A Pilot Randomized Blinded Study: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/117/4/1077.short

Background of Pulmonary Hypertension in Neonates and treatment http://www.nichd.nih.gov/cochrane/shah10/shah10.htm#BACKGROUND

Rovatio vs Viagra http://www.ismp.org/newsletters/acutecare/articles/20090129.asp

What is Revatio: http://www.revatio.com

Scleroderma In Depth Report by New York Times http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/scleroderma/print.html