Greg Howard

Hi my name is Greg and have recently gone through the experience of having a aspergilloma .The good news is my story is a success story . Im a 38 year old Australian male

10 years ago while working in PNG I picked up TB , I was treated in Australia in the QLD health system. Although I was treated and cured I remember the doctors at the time explaining that the scar tissue in the upper lobes of my lungs could latter in life cause a few problems .

This time last year that “later in life” the doctors talked about tuned to fruition . I was at work and started coughing up blood enough to cover my hands I was rushed to hospital where they monitored me an thats where the hole process started . I was introduced to the various specialist and it was determined that surgery though generally the end result was to be avoided due to the difficulty and risk of the operation.I had a bronckosopy which didn’t really identify much other then identify allot of blood and scar tissue which was stuck to the chest cavity. It was determined that though probably wouldn work they would try the antifungils first so I was given sporonox and sent home .

Within weeks I was back windsurfing and things where looking very positive thinking the drugs where doing there job , the doctor gave me clearance to travel where I was to join my wife in California for Xmas, During this trip I was skiing in Tahoe and giving it all I felt great . However On the flight home I could taste blood again.

A week later i was back in hospital coughing up blood about a cup full every night the doctor told me I had to stop windsurfing and booked me to See the surgeon , I had been on the antifungals for about 5 months now and it was now time to have surgery . The surgeon made it quiet clear that i was going to be in for a tough and painful time .

The surgery took 6 hours and i lost a lot of blood I remember waking and being aware of concerned people discussing transfusion if the bleeding didnt stop. Fortunately it did had within hours i was sitting up and drinking coffee . I had eight tubes coming of me and an epidural i could stand up in the shower although it needed two nurses to move and hold all the tubes .

10 days later I wad out of hospital and 7 Weeks later i was back at work . I never really had an issue with pain because of the drugs they give you, but the drugs themselves are pretty nasty , I was on oxycontin and developed a dependency do not go off this drug overnight I had really bad sickness similar to hat you see in documentarys about heroin addicts.

I was jogging about 6 weeks after the surgery and had my first windsurf about 2 month after . The doctor no longer wants to see me and if it wasnt for the massive scar and numb left chest i dont feel any different .

One of the strange things I found was that i never really felt sick and would generally only cough blood when I would go to bed . It as very tough 7 months and the hole surgery recovery was horribly and long but there are others doing a lot tougher.
Greg HowardAustralia
November 2011

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