Patricia’s SmartVest Story
As a teen, Patricia suffered severe allergies while living on a crop farm in the Midwest. “Just mowing grass gave me fits. We had several acres of corn that contributed, too,” she said, which led to sinus infections and pneumonia, and eventually caused scarring in her lungs.
Although she later moved to Florida, the residual effects of having severe allergies lingered. Before she got diagnosed with bronchiectasis, “…it was so gradual I didn’t even realize it was happening. I got to the point where I was so tired,” said Patricia. “I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. My condition just kept us from going anywhere and doing anything fun.” Things she enjoys most in life, like flower gardening and helping care for her five-year old grandson were getting more and more difficult.
“My condition just kept us from going anywhere and doing anything fun.”
Finally, her allergist sent her to a pulmonologist who officially diagnosed her. She’d been on different allergy medication, and nasal sprays depending on her current symptoms. The last couple of years she was developing more and more phlegm, causing her to move on to inhalers. She’d had multiple bronchoscopies, and they found two different bacteria in her lungs.
Enter the SmartVest Airway Clearance System. Her pulmonologist showed her literature on the SmartVest and explained how high frequency chest wall oscillation works. “I’d never heard of it. He told me that people with cystic fibrosis use it and it helps loosen phlegm,” she said.
Today, her husband can barely keep up with her.
Now she uses her SmartVest religiously. “Before I got it [SmartVest], I just didn’t think I had much life left,” Patricia said. “I’m afraid not to use it!” In fact, she travels with her SmartVest on planes and long trips so she doesn’t miss a treatment.
Today, her husband can barely keep up with her and says she might want to slow down. Patricia is back in her garden tending to her flowers, going to the beach, and scrapbooking. But, the greatest thing about her restored quality of life is spending precious time with her grandson.