Percussion vest

Posted by gj53 @gj53, Oct 10, 2019

Does anyone have any experience with a percussion vest? I could not tolerate an albuterol nebulizer so this is the next step he has recommended. However, the co-payment is pretty hefty and would like to have some feedback before investing in this. I did have a bad cough that is improved, however, am unable to produce any sputum and he said this will loosen the secretions in my chest. Thanks so much.

Hi @thumperguy …Love your thought process on the Microbiome Gut/Lung connection. I am also doing what makes good sense to me in order to take charge of my health. I've been fermenting homemade sauerkraut for an 'explosion' of probiotics for my gut (about 3 months now) and have my fingers crossed for a "natural conversion". Hope the same for you!! Kate

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@thumperguy

gj, I was dx'd with Bronchiectasis 8 -10 years ago following sudden onset of episodic retching coughing triggered especially when in a reclining or recumbent posture, although they also occurred at other times seemingly without "provocation." It was primarily just a nuisance until it began to result in acute bronchitis attacks a couple of times annually. My doc Rx'd Cipro which always seemed to clear up the bronchitis. At some point though my doc referred me on to a pulmonologist who thought I also had MAC but was unable to achieve lab confirmation of the Dx. So for a few years I just rocked along doing the Cipro thing a couple of times each year.

As years passed the bronchitis flare ups became more frequent and a bit more resistant to treatment. I also moved on to a different pulmonologist who was able to obtain a Respirtec percussion vest (aka, THUMPER). By that time I was old enough to have Medicare coverage and believe it or not, Medicare paid for the thing. I've been using it two years, twice daily for half-hour sessions along with a sodium chloride nebulizer. I've always been a bit puzzled that I have never enjoyed any irrefutable evidence that it really does any good. I do bring up mucous but it's not at all correlated in time with the Thumper sessions, in fact I have no memory of ever producing increased mucous immediately following (or during) a thumping session. Similarly, I have no evidence that the nebulizer is helpful. My hope has been that I would enjoy a decreased frequency of bronchitis flare-ups but frankly they've continued pretty reliably to occur twice a year; troublingly more difficult to resolve as time as passed.

Though I have no evidence that it's helped, I'm afraid to stop, fearing that maybe it is helping and stopping might result in an irreversible set-back.

Initially I worried that being tethered to the contraption twice a day reduced my "usable" day to 23 hours. However, I soon began to use the time to read and have probably expanded my intellectual horizon a bit in the process, despite the somewhat tortuous task of reading bouncing words.

BTW, On a recent CT scan the pulmonologist reported that my MAC condition has actually improved without treatment. I sorta jokingly said, "I must be doing something right." Truth is I may be. For year or so I've been fermenting my own Kimchi and eating a few ounces daily. Recently I read that there exist a "gut/lung axis" suggesting a healthy gut my have a salutary impact on the lungs. And fermented foods are supposed to be faves of our gut microbes. So always in the market for a silver bullet healthwise, I promptly concluded that my Kimchi is curing MAC. Hope this lengthy post doesn't violate a forum maximum rule. Don

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Thank you so much for this information! It is encouraging to hear about your MAC improving without the treatment. So far I still feel pretty well with this and the treatment sounds somewhat dubious so have not started antibiotics yet. I have found out so much information from all these posts. Head back to the doc on Dec. 3rd and have lots of new questions for him. I am still pursuing getting through all the red tape to obtain my vest. Now it seems it will be covered but they are still looking into it. Fingers crossed.

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@ethanmcconkey

Hi @thumperguy and welcome to Connect. That must be frustrating you haven't felt you had success with your percussion vest. That is great that despite your hesitation you have found value in the time while wearing it to read.

You mentioned fear in stopping your use of the vest. Have you brought this up to your doctor? What do they think?

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Thanks for the "Welcome" Ethan. Well I just don't know whether I'm having success or not. Your question may nudge me to bring it up with the doc next time I see him. I just know that I don't bring up impressive amounts of mucous and when I do it seems unrelated in time to use of the Thumper. I suspect that, comparing my experience with that of other "sufferers," I probably have a relatively mild case of bronchiecstasis.

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@alleycatkate

Hi @thumperguy …Love your thought process on the Microbiome Gut/Lung connection. I am also doing what makes good sense to me in order to take charge of my health. I've been fermenting homemade sauerkraut for an 'explosion' of probiotics for my gut (about 3 months now) and have my fingers crossed for a "natural conversion". Hope the same for you!! Kate

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Hey, ACK tell me your fermenting "procedure."

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@alleycatkate

Hi @thumperguy …Love your thought process on the Microbiome Gut/Lung connection. I am also doing what makes good sense to me in order to take charge of my health. I've been fermenting homemade sauerkraut for an 'explosion' of probiotics for my gut (about 3 months now) and have my fingers crossed for a "natural conversion". Hope the same for you!! Kate

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@thumperguy …Hi Don….I just happened upon your post to ACK asking for my recipe for fermenting sauerkraut. Just a mention that if you write @alleycatkate before your post it will direct the post to the person. I also noticed your interest in T. Colin Campbell, etc. The China Study is my bible. haha. So…here is the recipe that takes the Fear out of Fermenting…I like it as it has pictures and even I cannot screw it up!
https://therealfoodrds.com/how-to-make-sauerkraut/
Any other Silver Bullets in your arsenal?
Kate aka ACK

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@gj53

Is the hypertonic saline an over the counter purchase? Would I need a script from the doc for this?
Thanks so much…..

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@gj53 Hello. Yes, you do need a prescription for the vials of saline. Studies show that it not only helps to clean out your lungs, but it can also inhibit bacterial growths.

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THank you! I was worried constant inhalation of saline might make it moist and increase problems. That is good to know.

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@alleycatkate

@thumperguy …Hi Don….I just happened upon your post to ACK asking for my recipe for fermenting sauerkraut. Just a mention that if you write @alleycatkate before your post it will direct the post to the person. I also noticed your interest in T. Colin Campbell, etc. The China Study is my bible. haha. So…here is the recipe that takes the Fear out of Fermenting…I like it as it has pictures and even I cannot screw it up!
https://therealfoodrds.com/how-to-make-sauerkraut/
Any other Silver Bullets in your arsenal?
Kate aka ACK

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At 80 I spend what is likely an inordinate amount of time trying to stay fit and healthy. Believing that walking is to fitness what compost is to a garden, I “Mallwalk” 3 x weekly, do a resistance routine also 3 x weekly. Also generally begin the day with a bit of Iyngar “tinctured” Yoga. Exclusively low-fat, whole-food, plant-based way-of-eating since 2007. Wrote a blog-like piece on plant-based nutrition for several years until I ran out of material to write about.
Thanks for the kraut info. Enuf for now. Don

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@esssbeee

I have the Hill-Rom vest. I strongly suggest you try any vest for at least a month before purchasing one. For me, it was minimally effective and a bother to use. What has really worked as an airway clearance for me is 3% hypertonic saline via nebulizer. It is inexpensive, relatively fast and easy to use. I use it twice a day and it really does a wonderful job of bringing up mucus. Best wishes!

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My doc Rx’d 30 minute “vest” sessions twice daily. Been at it now for over two years. I’m curious about how scrupulously you and others whao use a vest follow a regimen?

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@thumperguy

My doc Rx’d 30 minute “vest” sessions twice daily. Been at it now for over two years. I’m curious about how scrupulously you and others whao use a vest follow a regimen?

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This is a similar program for me, along with nebulizing albuterol and 7% saline solution. I’ve been at it about 7 months. I am pretty conscientious but I get tired of doing it all the time. I try to fill my time with fun things to do to pass the time and this helps. The addition of the vest has been very beneficial for helping to clear mucus as I couldn’t do it without the vest program.

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@migizii

This is a similar program for me, along with nebulizing albuterol and 7% saline solution. I’ve been at it about 7 months. I am pretty conscientious but I get tired of doing it all the time. I try to fill my time with fun things to do to pass the time and this helps. The addition of the vest has been very beneficial for helping to clear mucus as I couldn’t do it without the vest program.

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Migizii it seems to me you're doin' it right and getting results. When I first started using the device I just kinda went at it like, as I'm prone to say, "a Boy Scout," meaning dutifully complying with the prescribed schedule. I guess that has paid off. The single time I decided to not take it with me on 4-day trip I promptly had a bronchitis flare-up. Made a believer of me. Don't know if it was simply coincidence, but I'm loath to risk it by experimenting with another "vacation." Let me ask you, when you mention it clearing mucus does that happen during or soon after the treatment session In my case I do bring up mucus but it is entirely unrelated in time with the treatment session. I've always just assumed that the periodic coughing and spitting episodes wouldn't be as productive absent the use of the vest. The goofy thing is though, that I had coughing and spitting episodes before ever getting the vest. Go figure. Lots of puzzling questions crop up with this ailment.

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@thumperguy Hi there! Welcome to our group. I have read your posts and am wondering if your dr ever did a sputem test to see what exactly is growing in your lungs. Reason I ask is; I went for yrs going on and off Z-packs (azithromycin) and all that did was put off my real diagnosis of bronchiectasis with mac infection.

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