Young Lungs


On Monday, I had the much anticipated (not really) pulmonary function test. Since I’ve had this test before and I knew what to expect, I wasn’t really worried about it. There wasn’t really anything I could do even if I was worried about it, so worrying would have been a complete waste of time.

I got there early and got to hear the nurse who performs test explain to an old man (who seemed to be a little distant cognitively) and his wife why she couldn’t perform the test the way that the doctor wanted it done because a doctor wasn’t supervising the test. Apparently, he needed some special technique done or something. Anyway, they were having to reschedule their appointments. I figured that I probably wouldn’t have to be rescheduled because, as far as I knew, there were no extra tricks or techniques expected for my test.

When I got called back, my dad offered to go with me. It was sweet of him to do that, but it really wasn’t necessary. Of course, of all the tests and appointments that he’s gone to with me, including sitting through my being stuck for the mega-dose iron infusion, I’m pretty sure that this is one of the only ones that his stomach could have handled. Still, I didn’t need moral support for this one, so I felt safe going back on my own.

The nurse did the whole pre-test questionnaire, which was the only part of the test where I became pretty unnerved. She asked the standard “Do you smoke now? Have you ever smoked?” questions that I have always received a very emphatic “no” from me. She decided, based on that response, that I had never taken any sort of lung treatments/medicines. Though I was sitting away from the screen, I was able to read the questions over her shoulder and I pointed out to her that I had used inhalers many times in my life. She asked if I’d used them that day, and I said no. She was basically said that that was all that mattered. And, while I know that that’s true for the results part, I have to wonder if maybe the past history (including last month) of inhaler use and various drugs to help me breathe is something that might help with the complete interpretation of the results. She didn’t change the answers, so that perturbed me. (If it had been, “Have you used the drugs in the past x number of hours?”, then I might not have felt so annoyed by the “Never” response. I would have preferred that she go with the more appropriate “Yes, but not in the past 12-24 hours.”)

I also felt a little shocked by not having to use nose clips. That had always been part of the tests I’d done in the past, but it didn’t appear to be a part of this test. Either that or the nurse screwed it up.

Anyway, I did the test twice, because you have to do it at least twice for them to consider it official. The first time I did pretty well, but not as well as I did the second time. I not only proved that my lungs were feeling pretty good, I managed to score a lung age of 25. That made me feel pretty good since my 29th (*shudder*) birthday is in less than 2 weeks.

I felt a bit off after the test. Mainly I was just dizzy, which happens, for me at least, with this test.


About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.