Sucks to your ass-mar

Sucks to my ass-mar, indeed.

So, as you all know, I’ve been whining about shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing for the last six weeks or so.  It’s been worst when I’ve been in the cold, when I’ve been exercising, and early in the morning, and instead of getting better it’s been getting worse.   I has bad asthma as a child, but I haven’t had any symptoms since approximately 2000, so I was perplexed.

After waiting two weeks, I was finally able to get in to the doctor for an appointment.  Luckily, the doctor’s office was really nice and I didn’t even have time to check my Google reader on my phone before they called me in!

I explained to the doctor what had been going on, including that I had some serious fitness goals and that I’d been experiencing a severe decrease in performance ability.  She was really sweet and understanding, and listened to my lungs.  After stethoscoping me for about 30 seconds, she said, “Yup, you have uncontrolled asthma.  No doubt about it.”

Then I asked her the foremost question on my mind:  why? Why had it been gone for nine years but decide to come back?  She asked if anything had changed, and I told her we’d moved to the area in May so it was my first fall here.  (As a child, I was regularly in the ER for severe asthma attacks in the fall.)  She told me that basically, my body probably built immunities to my old climate and became less and less affected by it over time, but that the climate here is a lot different elevation-wise, allergen-wise, moisture-wise, and temperature-wise, and all those things probably explain why I’m suddenly having trouble again.

So, she wrote me two prescriptions, for Advair, a preventive medication, and Albuterol, a “rescue inhaler” that I’ll have to take with me when I exercise now.

asthma 001

She gave me a sample of the Advair to last me until my mail-order prescription comes in.

Honestly, I struggled with this a lot this afternoon.  I always thought I was “cured” or had “outgrown” my asthma.  I thought it was one of the things I’d beaten for good with my weight loss…but apparently not.  When I was a kid with asthma, I couldn’t even run one mile without wanting to die.  I avoided physical activity like the plague because it was so painful and scary to feel like I was being choked, and I knew I’d fail before I even started because of the simple fact that my lungs were weaker than everyone else’s.

And now I want to run a half marathon?  I must be crazy.  I want so badly to believe that I’m different than that wheezy chubby seven-year-old, but maybe I’m not as far removed as I thought I was.

I will do this, though.  I have something to prove, and I’m going to fight for it.   I’m going to be on top of my medications, and I’m going to go back to the doctor and be proactive if they’re not helping me enough. My mantra through this is going to be something along the lines of “let this be a challenge, not an excuse.”  I know in the long run, that when I cross that finish line, it will be even sweeter because I will have beaten one more thing working against me.

Any readers out there with asthma?  Words of advice?

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3 Responses

  1. *hug* I had sports induced asthma as a kid and outgrew it so I have no words of wisdom. Just that you can do ANYTHING that you put your mind to! 😉

  2. To be honest, I don’t know the first thing about asthma, but I DO know that you can still do that half marathon!! Your training and goals may have to change, but in the end 13.1 miles is still 13.1 miles no matter how you get there. Did your doc have any advice on how to go about running with the asthma? In any hopes, maybe you’ll acclimatize to your new area sooner rather than later 🙂

  3. My hubbie has asthma and still gets the occasional exercise-induced attacks. We discovered it not long afetr he started running. He takes a preventative, and carries his other inhaler when he runs. He’s done a 100-mile bike race, a 1:26 half marathon and a 5:18 half ironman. Asthma is no barrier to achievement in running!

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