Top Ten Reasons you need to come to the clinic

10. Bugs.  Any patient at any time may acquire a new, problematic and/or highly resistant bacteria in their lungs.  If detected and treated early on, we are often successful in clearing this bacteria; if left undetected and untreated for a prolonged period of time, the bacteria can become entrenched and no longer possible to eradicate.  Therefore, getting a sputum culture at least quarterly is crucial to prevent more rapid lung damage and decline.

9. Liver.  Keeping your liver healthy is as essential as keeping your lungs healthy.  In some cases, your liver can get irritated by CF, but it isn’t good at letting you know.  If we don’t check your liver by testing your blood on a regular basis, bad things may be happening and you (and we) would not know about it.

8. Jumping on pulmonary exacerbations.  Every time you have a pulmonary exacerbation, it leaves evidence on your lungs.  Think of the squealing tire when you peel out on asphalt, leaving tire tracks on the road.  The exacerbation is those squealing tires, and the asphalt is your lungs.  Some exacerbations are obvious, because you feel awful; some come on very subtly, and are not as easily noticed.  But every exacerbation leaves a mark, and we want to detect and treat these early to make these marks / scarring as small and rare as possible!

9. Weighing in.  Did you know that weight (more specifically, body mass index [BMI]) is related to lung function and lung health?  Better weight (BMI) means better lung function!  We want to help you have a healthy weight.  And even if your weight is already very good, things can happen with pancreatic enzymes, and we need to make sure you’re on the right dose and a reliable brand.

6.  That nagging pain.   Bone and joint pain are frequently seen in adolescents and adults with CF.  Come tell us where it hurts and we’ll see what we can do to treat it.  We want you to feel healthy and strong, so that you can live an active and productive life.

5. Slow down the lung damage.  The average CF patient’s FEV1 declines 2.5% per year after age 10.  And this decline can be faster in some cases.  We want to slow this decline down–way down.  Respiratory failure is the leading cause of death for CF adults.  Quarterly PFT’s and sputum cultures, promptly treating CF exacerbations, and ensuring that you are on the best, newest, and recommended protective medications help us keep your lungs as healthy as possible.

4.  You’ve got questions.  We can help find the answers.  We can help with health insurance questions / problems, health insurance portability issues, and disability questions to name just a few.  If we don’t know the answer to your question, we’ll find it.  And we’ll help you find the resources to do battle with insurance companies and provide counseling and paperwork for disability or family medical leave.  And this is only the tip of the iceberg…we can help with everything from preventative care to family planning to educational guidance!

3. Diabetes.  Unfortunately, the older you get, the more likely it is that you’ll develop CF-related diabetes.  40% of adults with CF will develop CF-related diabetes.  Seeing us quarterly means we can diagnose it and start treating it before it gets you down.  Delayed diagnosis will get you down, literally, in terms of weight (BMI) and lung function.  Prompt diagnosis means better health and better outcome, for the long-term.

2. Research.  We have numerous research trials in which we are able to enroll our patients.  Whether you participate in research studies, though, is entirely up to you.  Even if you decide that research isn’t your thing, the fruits of this research will likely be your thing–a major advance that will help you feel better and be healthier!  But the only way we can know if you would be a candidate for a new treatment is if we see you and can discuss this with you.  We want to offer you the most innovative, modern, and promising medical care for CF that exists.

1. Frankly, we want to see you wrinkled and grey.   The median life span of a CF adult right now is 41–though many patients live much longer!  We’d sure like you to grow old and wrinkled!  We’d like to have the oldest and healthiest CF adult in the world right here in Idaho.  And the bottom line is:  we like you.   We really, really like you.  That’s what keeps us engaged in this battle against CF with you, right at your side!