Hi my name is Casey Brennan. I am 27 years old and I have PCD. My lungs collapsed when I was 24 hours old. I was air lifted from Elliston hospital and spent 2 weeks in neonatal intensive care. Lucky for me the Dr had mum and dad doing chest physio from 2 weeks old and mum and dad kept it up even though I wasn't diagnosed. All mum and dad new was it wasn't CF!! I was not properly diagnosed until my youngest brother Cain was born, I was 5. My childhood was in and out of hospital approx every 6 weeks. However thanks to my parents I lived a relatively normal life. I have played tennis, basketball & netball from a young age. I have just recently played my first game of netball in 12 months, 14 weeks post partum. We were always kept active, jumping on the trampoline at home was the best physio. At school the RDNS nurses would come to do Chest physio every day. They would get us to play on the playground equipment, so long as we did our pats or pep. It was all about keeping active with lots of 'huffs and coughs'.
Mum and dad have always been very open with us about the fact that I would probably have trouble falling pregnant. 4 years ago my husband and I started trying for a baby, at first not too seriously but that all changed very quickly once we realised nothing was happening. We had a miscarriage from a natural pregnancy. After that we took the next step and consulted with a fertility clinic. Through this clinic we did 3 cycles of IVF, 2 of which did not take at all and 1 which resulted in a miscarriage and d&c. After the last failed attempt, we made the decision to transfer to another doctor and clinic in Adelaide. We went through extensive testing and the result showed that I have a low egg count & am what they would call a 'bad receptor'. My body was basically that of a woman in their late 30's. With the information we did our 4th cycle, this time we did not even get enough eggs fertilised to do a transfer. After our next follow ups, they basically threw everything they had at us - I was on very high doses of stimulant hormones, human growth hormone to help the quality of the eggs, aspirin to help prevent miscarriage & transferred 2 embryos to help increase our chances - the works. And it worked!!! It was longest wait of my life, and hearing that heartbeat for the first time made all he heartache (and $$) worth it. Thankfully Mum and dad had the foresight and set up an account from early on to help financially - what a relief and a massive help that was!! My pregnancy was very straight forward and my husband and I are now the completely smitten parents of a beautiful little girl Chloe. Throughout my pregnancy I was lucky enough to avoid getting sick and I tried my hardest to stay well. I also was lucky enough that she wasn't sitting terribly high and towards the end dropped, so my lung capacity was fine. My Mums fear was that I'd carry high and I wouldn't be able to breathe properly.
I always have a chesty cough and am constantly blowing my nose. I still have grommets at 27. My lungs feel better 'wet' rather than 'dry'. I hate feeling like its tight and as though I cannot move the mucus. Humidity is the devil and I tend to feel like I'm drowning in that kind of weather. I have not been admitted to hospital for nearly 6 years & I self manage at home with Ventolin, physio & antibiotics as needed. As I was wanting to get pregnant I did everything that I could naturally to stay off of antibiotics. I now go quite long lengths of time without being on medication, unlike when I was young and it was a continuous rotation of different strengths. My brother and I have never lived a life where we have felt different from everyone else. Mum and dad did everything they could to live a completely normal life (sports, family holidays, camping etc) we just happened to have a chesty cough and hospital visits. I can still remember mum asking me if my cough worries me, my response was "if people don't like it then that is their problem, not mine". I am so very lucky to have found a husband that is happy to do chest physio when I am sick!
Life is pretty fantastic.
Back to Our Stories
I am so very lucky to have found a husband that is happy to do chest physio when I am sick! Life is pretty fantastic.Casey Brennan