My mom got dx with Pulmonary Fibrosis 5 yrs ago. Besides a chronic cough, she has not experienced remarkable symptoms. Her pulmonologist visits thru this January have not revealed any significant changes or concerns. Her O2 sats were 95% in Jan.
She went on vacation to florida the beginning of March for 3 weeks. She played shuffleboard for hours and went on long walks, no acute SOB.
Immediately following the airplane ride (3 1/2 hours), she started feeling significantly short of breath (immediately).
She called the pulmonologist who did not see her, but put her on antibiotics and a steroid and gave her a rescue inhaler. All did nothing.
2 weeks later she insisted on seeing the pulmonologist. The NP took her 02 sats and she was in the low 80's upon exertion. She can't walk up the stairs on her own.
She was started on home 02 and scheduled for a right heart cath to confirm a suspected diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension. According to the NP, she was hopeful that the PH would be confirmed and a medication could be started to improve the dyspnea.
Today was the heart cath--no pulmonary hypertension, no problems with either side of the heart.
What do I need to be looking for? The cardiologist asked if they worked her up for a Pulmonary embolism, and I am sure they did not. Should I be insisting on that?
What could be causing the SOB and low oxygen levels? Could pulmonary fibrosis progress so rapidly , or is there some acute issue at work that needs to be worked up in the hospital. Should I send her to the ER?
ALso, she was only diagnosed with PF after a bronchoscopy, an open lung biopsy was never done.