Monday, July 9, 2012

Finally, Some Answers!

My long time readers may remember about two years ago, I got a really bad case of pneumonia.  I was bedridden for about 3 weeks.  It was the worst sickness I ever had.  And it scarred my lungs pretty bad.  Running again, was really tough after that and I had to strengthen my lungs.... it took literally MONTHS to get my lungs back to the way they were before the sickness.  Then, about a year later, I got a chest cold, and I was certain the the pneumonia was coming back.  I felt nearly the same, I couldn't breath, and I was miserable!  But when I went to the doctor, they took an x-ray and there was no pneumonia!  I didn't get it, I literally could NOT breath and the doctors were sitting there rolling their eyes at me like I was making it up.  They told me to come back in a week if it was still bothering me.  It was, so finally I convinced them to give me an antibiotic and it cleared me right up.  Since then, it has happened to me 2 more times.  And both times the doctors treated me like I was just trying to get meds... hello!  Who WANTS to be on antibiotics!?  It's not like I am asking for anything addicting!

This last week I got it again.  Yep, part of that "curse" I was telling you about.  Not only did I get this chest cold that quickly started to suffocate me, but I got strep throat on top of that!  Which, I thought, was just as well, because now I could get an antibiotic without all the fuss if I claimed the sore throat first.

Last night, I was feeling pretty good, though, maybe I had been wrong.... but then at 5 am this morning, I woke up gasping for breath, I could not breath for the life of me... I seriously thought I was going to die.  I knew that I needed to get to the doctor's right away, first thing.

So I dropped Sam off at summer school (yeah, you read that right!  Sammy has summer school for 2 whole weeks starting today!!! Yippy!), and then I took the other two with me to the insta-care.  I was praying the whole time that I wouldn't get a jerky doctor.  I know I need to get a regular one, I just haven't felt like I needed one.

So in we went and once again I started to plead my case.  I was going to only tell him about the sore throat, but I had this feeling I needed to tell him about my breathing issues.  When I was done, he didn't even hesitate:

"Let me guess, you had this first bout of pneumonia not long after you first started running." He said to me.  I thought back and realized he was right... how did he know that?

"Yes," I said.

"And then every time you get a chest cold, you feel like you have it again, but it doesn't show up in the x-ray?"  Right again.  "And I bet it takes you a long time to work your lungs back up when you run, and you probably deal a lot with side cramping too.  Am I right?"

"Dead on!" I was getting excited, he knew what was wrong with me!!

"You have asthma." He told me.  "Exercised induced, I would guess.  You have probably always had it, it just didn't really affect you until you started running a couple years ago.  You probably hated running as a kid because your lungs burned right?"  Yes!! "And when you got chest colds, you probably had coughs that would last a month or two."  It was like he was looking into the crystal ball of my life!!  Turns out this asthma makes my chest colds extra bad, that's why I keep feeling like I have pneumonia, but it isn't showing up in x-rays and I don't cough anything up.

"Yeah, sounds like you have Exercised Induced Asthma.  I will prescribe to you an inhaler, but you need to get a regular doctor that can help you manage it better. Also, keep up the running, it really is the best thing you can do for it."  I knew that... it seemed like the more I ran the better my lungs felt, but I just always thought my sicknesses made them out of shape.  So I started doing all these breathing exercises, and I actually count my breaths and keep a rhythm when I am running.  Apparently, I had been treating my Asthma LONG before I even knew I had it.

Now, most people would be all, "Well, Asthma, that's a bummer...."  But to me, I am REALLY happy to have some answers!!  Now, I can treat it.  Doctor's will listen to me more because I can tell them what I have AND now that I have an inhaler to use before I exercise, my running time is going to improve BIG TIME!

So, I may be sitting here sick as a dog, but I have a smile on my face.  KNOWING has really risen my spirits and hopefully I will kick this soon so I can get back to my runs.

-Cat

3 comments:

Heidi said...

Yea!! I'm so excited for you to have some answers! Glad you listened and told the dr about it. I can't wait to hear how your running has improved with having an inhaler. :)

Truxton and Megan said...

Thats no fun! I have the exact same thing its a pain in the butt sometimes. Im glad you are doing better.

Mrs. D said...

I feel the same way!! Its scary not knowing but once i found out I had asthma (athletically induced) you feel empowered! Good luck with the running!!