Friday, July 13, 2012

Fat Butt Friday: Minor Setbacks

This week has been a little crazy for me.  First I had the chest cold from hell.  Then I found out it was probably because I had exercise-induced asthma.  Then yesterday, when I got in to see a doctor about getting some tests done and seeing what I could do to get it under control so I could keep running, I found out that I don't have exercise-induced asthma.  I have asthma.  I felt like such an idiot.  How could I have gone 30 something years and never knew I had asthma.  Well, first off, I don't know anyone with it.  I had nothing to compare myself and my symptoms too.

I grew up thinking that asthma was for sissy-weak people.  I mean, come on, it's that way in the movies right?  The sniveling little brother or dorky neighbor is always taking a puff of his inhaler when he gets stressed out and has panic attacks.  I am so not like that.  From the movies, I also gathered that asthma was mostly a mental thing.  Take one of my all time favorite 80's classics: The Goonies.  The main kid had asthma, I can't remember his name... maybe I need to find my copy and watch it again.  Anyway, he was all scared and prone to attacks throughout the movie.  Until the end, where he finds his courage and discovers he doesn't need his inhaler anymore.  Maybe it wasn't exactly like that, but as a kid, well, that was the impression that I got about asthma.  Well, this week, after doing my research and taking to doctors, I found out that most of that stuff isn't true.

As I sat and talked to my doctor, he explained to me and pointed out to me the signs I have had all my life.  One time, I went hiking with my friends, and we barely went far at all but it was up hill.  My legs felt fine but I was winded and started coughing and it hurt really bad.  I was humiliated.  I thought, I am so fat and out of shape, this is so embarrassing.  They must think I am a total cow!

Then it was disheartening to watch those shows of the morbidly obese people trying to lose weight and I notice that I get WAY more winded than they do!  What's up with that?  I seriously thought that I was just really, really out of shape.

But, I wasn't about to let weak, out-of-shape lungs get in the way of meeting my goals.  And I worked really hard to get my lungs in shape so I could run well.  But then when these stupid colds came along I felt like I was dying and when I got back to running, it was like I had to start all over again!  Frustrating to the extreme!

Now when the doctor told me I had more than exercised induced asthma, I panicked a little.  Then he told me I had asthma.  Luckily, even though I had gone untreated for 30 years, I had been treating it in my own way by being active, doing deep breathing, and other things to strengthen my lungs.  But he was really concerned about the attacks I was having at night and in the mornings and told me that I may have gone untreated in the past, but I can't do that anymore.  So now, and for the rest of my life, I have to have 2 inhalers.  One for when I work out and if I have any random attacks, and one that I have to take every morning and night that will help me to breath better and feel normal.  Well, I don't know what "normal" is supposed to feel like, but I look forward to finding out.

I was a little depressed about the whole thing.  Mainly, it was pride, I think.  I was really glad that there was an explanation for all my problems, but at the same time, I never want to fall into a trap where I use it as an excuse not to make my goals and work harder.  The doctor said that my running will improve, that I will be able to go faster and for longer and I REALLY look forward to that because I refuse to let this beat me.

I do have to wait a couple days until I can start running again.  But I am really looking forward to see what I can REALLY do.


Personal Updates

Weight after I had baby: 254
Weight before I started running a couple months ago: 231
Weight when Ben left: 220
Weight last check in: 210
Weight this morning: 208

Here's to a happy active week!!

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Ana said...

Having a father who struggled with asthma (including a period where he was confined to a chair in our living room, both day and night, and using a breathing treatment machine for several weeks), I'm kind of horrified that your take on asthma is what people who haven't been around the disease think of it... It's a very serious disease, and it can kill. I'm glad you were finally diagnosed and getting the help you need!

Cat said...

Ana -- see this is why things like this happen to me. So I can educate myself, learn about things and how they really are, and then because I have such a big mouth, I tell everyone else. I have been taught over and over again not to be judgmental about things that I don't understand. Sometimes, I don't even realize I am being that way....

I feel bad that I felt that way. But like I said, I wasn't very familiar with the disease, and was going by what Hollywood says.

Thank you for sharing that story about your dad. I hope this post and it's comments help people like me understand asthma a little better.