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CF, Exercising and Viagra?!?!

**Disclaimer - I am obviously not a doctor and this is my interpretation of the studies I am participating in**

I have been selected to participate in the latest, greatest CF Study being done at my local hospital's research department - woohoo!  I love being a guinea pig : )

Of course it is studying CF, but also how CF affects aspects of our lives like exercising, and what can be done to help us.  Based on the previous studies I participated in, it proved that CF doesn't just affect our lungs and pancreas...but it affects our vascular functions as well, like blood vessels.  So this study is testing to see if improving blood vessel function will help to increase exercise capacity in those of us with CF.  Pretty cool if you as me!!  So, where does the Viagra come in?  Well, Viagra helps dilate the blood vessels.

To answer what you may be wondering...yes, I am going to be taking Viagra (well, the generic form - sildenafil citrate).

I started 2 weeks ago and had some preliminary tests done...bone density, lung functions, then rode the stationary bike.  I went to the lab on Tuesday of this week where they did some ultrasounds of an artery in my arm, took blood and performed lung functions.  I was then given a drug (either a placebo or the actual sildenafil citrate) and sent to relax about 45 minutes.  Then, I came back and had my artery ultrasounded (not sure if that is correct grammar) again and rode the stationary bike for my max capacity test.  Dr. Harris tried to get some more blood, but my veins would not cooperate...I have some nice bruises to prove it :)

Here I am on the bike!
I go back in 2 weeks and will do the same process again and get the drug or placebo (opposite of what I had this week).  I didn't feel anything this week, so I'm guessing I had the placebo...we shall see!!

After my next visit, I will be given a 4 week supply of the drug to see if the extended use makes a difference.  I'll keep ya posted!

The Augusta Chronicle did a write up of the study - check it out here!

Side note - the CF Foundation gave a large sum of money to support this study!  So, thank you to those that supported CF Stinks fundraising efforts this year as we helped make this happen.  Without donations to the CF Foundation, these cool studies wouldn't happen...so thank you again :)

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