When I first started seeing my acupuncturist, I suffered from being in a very damp house (it sat over a spring). Then I moved to a better one. Then I moved into halls where, for whatever reason, it is very dry. I meant to put some bowls of water out after I returned from hospital at Christmas, but got distracted (duh) and forgot. When my lung function dropped badly in February, I remembered THEN tested the humidity. It was reading 33-35 using the (free) meter I was borrowing. Before it must have been below that. The ideal is 50 but I would be happy with 40.
With that knowledge we could start changing up the herbs. The kidney generate heat, sending it upwards; the lungs cool the energy down, sending it back to the kidneys; just like those convection drawings from Physics classes. Unfortunately, when it produces too much heat (or the lung don't cool enough), you get a furnace which is what was happening to me. I have continued to take rehydrators but mainly we have been focussed on cooling the heat in the kidneys. Now it's cooled down a lot, I am on no.30, a variation on no.14. Since the problem is one of deficiency, it cools the kidneys and tonifies them, with a bit of phlegm clearance for good measure. (There was also a 29, a focussed cooling of the kidneys and lungs.)
The end result of all this has been slow. I have been tired for much of the year and at several points needed to take days of work to recuperate. But there has been a gradual improvement; most noticeable when I remember to take all my herbs and do good physio. With tiredness from CF and tiredness from a crazy workload (or even just creeping stress from knowledge of the same), I haven't always remembered and that's sent me back a bit a few times. Similarly, I have neglected exercise - I did some Tai Chi on Sunday and realised how much more I needed to do.
There have been moments when a friend's reference to a "demanding job which you are unable to quit" really hit home. Luckily I got over them.
The crunch here is the hospital appointment next week. Have I done enough to improve my lung function? I have no idea but I'm not optimistic. If I haven't, what then? IVs? I don't have a rampant infection. My phlegm is still thick and dry, but my diabetes only goes demanding when my diaphragm gets tight. Maybe some oral antibiotics would be enough. Fingers crossed.