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.