Monday, 7 June 2010

Asthma..argh? Week One

Hello, my name's Diane. I'm 42 years old. I have asthma. You didn't know that? Well, join the club, because I didn't either until two weeks ago! ;)

I've never been the sporty type but started NEWO exercising about a year and a half ago. Really 'grown-up' exercising. Strength training and running on a regular basis. Loved the extra energy and the whole Jedi mindtrick benefits that only exercise can give you. Not to mention the snowball effects of being able to fit more into my day, eating better, sleeping better...just like the Flylady programme, you get the picture!  :)

But when I was out running with my sweetie friends V, H and C, at the beginning of the year I felt that I wasn't improving. In fact, the runs were getting more and more difficult. Even going up and down the stairs with the laundry basket at home had me out of breath. My nose was running constantly - must be pollen, right? My DS10 has birch, grass and cat allergies - so maybe I have the same? So one AP Wednesday (Wednesdays are 'anti-procrastination' days here in Flylady land) I decided to pick up the phone and ask the doctor for a referral to the allergy doc. I've been buying anti-histamines over the counter but it seems nonsense to be taking them when I don't know exactly what I'm allergic to...

The allergy doctor tests me and it turns up a blank. Huh? Nothing at all? But what about that one there, number 12 - I've got a big red mark on my arm? Um, that would be the 'control' substance, tee-hee!


Anyway, the doc wants me back in for more extensive testing the next day. So I cycle down to the clinic (five minutes away), walk up the (one) flight of stairs and sit in the waiting room. Gosh, is it so hot today? I'm trying not to pant. For goodness sake, I weigh 52 kilos (114 lbs) and I ran 3k in the park this morning - I'm in great shape! He must have missed something!

Today I have lung tests. A basic Peak Flow first. I blow as hard as I can. Blech - feel a bit faint!

Then he makes me sit with a peg on my nose and breathe in substance 'A'. When that's over, I get to sit for a couple of minutes while he types on his computer. I start coughing - more a tickle than a cough. Wow, what was that stuff? Suddenly I'm aware that I'm sitting completely quiet. I can't hear myself. At. All. I can't remember the last time I felt like this. It's such a weird sensation that I have to share my thoughts with the doctor. If it wasn't so clichéd, I'd say I had a 'deep sense of inner peace'! [feel free to do your own 'OM!' yoga chant here...] I breathe into the Peak Flow machine again. Which starts me coughing a little, but even I can see that the needle on the machine jumped way higher than before.

Time to put the peg back on my nose and breathe in substance 'B' for two minutes. And sit for another two minutes. The doctor types away on his computer. Ugh, this is 'orrible! Feel like I'm having some kind of attack. My heart is pounding in my little birdie breast. Breathe into the Peak Flow machine again. The needle jumps. A pathetic little jump. And I'm feeling dreadful! What on earth was in that bottle?

The doctor explains. The first substance was pure histamine. Which opened up my lungs and helped me to breathe and feel 'normal' again. The second substance took the histamine out of my body and took me right back to how I felt when I turned up at the allergy clinic. Took me back to how I've felt as long as I can remember. Mindblowing isn't the word...


The tests have spoken, there's no doubt, I have asthma. And I was elated - it was fantastic to find out that I wasn't imagining things, I'm not 'getting old' or 'out of shape', there is something wrong. And - fingers crossed - it can be fixed! A brown inhaler morning and evening, a blue inhaler for a quick puff before I run, cycle or start my Flylady WHB...

Join me again next Monday to see what happens next?

Have a marvelous Monday! :)

8 comments:

JoAnna said...

Hope the inhalers continue to provide some relief! You're brave to make it through the allergy testing - that doesn't look fun!

Sheryl said...

We are well aware of asthma in our house. Both daughter's have exercised induced asthma. When my oldest ran cross country she ran with in her inhaler in hand. When both would swim, their inhaler was waiting for them pool side at the end of the race. You just learn to live with it and don't let it pull you down.

I'm glad you found out what was wrong, now you can adapt and keep on living :)

Elisa said...

I have cold weather exertion induced asthma. That means anytime it's cold and damp outside (spring, autumn, winter) and I happen to go out and do something like walk too long/too far or carry the baby upstairs to our apartment or carry something sort of heavy home from the store...I can't breathe!

For a short time I lived on a hill and just walking the kids down the hill to the bus stop and back up to the house almost did me in. I had one attack so bad that I had to call a friend to talk to me til it went away. I was loud and it lasted much longer than anything I've experienced before or since.

I'm glad you know what's wrong! Sometimes knowing the problem seems to make up for HAVING one in the first place! :)

Keep writing. I like reading!

emma said...

Hi Diane

Great post! It was so good that you got it sorted early and have started to feel better. I know how asthma 'can' get of hand without proper treatment. YDD only symptom was a cough, I had no idea it was asthma. She is a lot better than she used to be though. I hope you continue to feel better.
xoxo

Monika:) said...

Great post Diane! Thanks so much for sharing your story and your attitude is,as per usual,awesome and inspiring.
<3 and Hugs, Monika

DIANE, DENMARK said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments, girls! :)

I'm making the asthma updates a weekly post - will be interesting (at least for me!) to see if and how things change over the next few weeks...maybe I'll still be able to run 10k this year after all? :P

Leslie aka "MissusSmartyPants" said...

Thanks for sharing Diane.

Sorry to hear about the asthma...but at least you know what is finally wrong and how good you CAN feel! It will sure make running easier.

BTW, I LOVE your shoes in your picture...I know you are showing bumps on your arm, but I couldn't help but notice!!!! :)

Stay stylish girl!

DIANE, DENMARK said...

Tee-hee, Leslie, trust you to spot my metallic gladiator flat sandals! They actually got a blogpost of their own...
http://dianedenmark.blogspot.com/2010/04/pamper-monday-best-foot-forward.html
Hope to 'speak' to you soon! xo