Hi there, nice to meet everyone. I wish I wasn't having to join the team, but with my asthma recently going out of control, I could definitely use the support. With being a runner, I especially am longing to get this under control - I haven't ran in 3 weeks and I miss it terribly!
A bit of history: I was diagnosed with adult-onset asthma in 2004 when I had a severe asthma attack - so bad that I barely made it from my bathroom to bedroom without collapsing - and that was my first attack. Between 2004 and 2006, my asthma was seriously out of control. I had bronchitis 8 months out of 12. I was taking Advair 250/50, Singulair, and using a generic CFC Albuterol rescue inhaler. At times, we dabbled with oral albuterol as part of my maintenance plan. I used a nebulizer to give myself breathing treatments, sometimes back-to-back. When it would flare badly, I lived on antibiotics (penicillin-based), Prednisone, and Spiriva.
Then I moved and it all went away. I was able to stop almost all of the meds - I just carried a rescue inhaler and took OTC allergy meds.
I thought I'd kicked it.
Fast forward to 3 weeks ago. I was training for an upcoming 5k and I run on a bike path/trail that is lined with trees. I've always used my inhaler before I ran, and I carry it with me. Saturday's run, I coughed a bit afterwards and seemed to have some lung congestion. Monday's run, I coughed more and had more congestion. Strange: I'd never had an asthma attack after a run, ever. Then the wheezing started to trickle in. By Thursday, I was running a fever and my chest felt heavy. I knew those symptoms - hello bronchitis.
At my initial visit, my peak flow was at 40% and my pulse-ox was 93. Of course, that meant a breathing treatment. We discussed my asthma and I got a renewed prescription for ProAir HFA (add me to the list of people who miss the CFC-released Albuterol), along with a 5-day (60-40-50-30-20-10) taper of Prednisone and a Z-pack. At my follow-up, I reported less lung congestion and coughing, but my peak flow was only at 80% - so I got another 5-day taper of Prednisone (30-20-20-20-10). I felt great for about 3 days after finishing that taper.
But this past Thursday, I had a new symptom - my lungs were crackling, especially when I coughed. My mucus started to change color again, and a low-grade temperature sneaked in. Friday, I went back to the doctor's and saw a different doctor in the practice who said, "Clearly, your asthma isn't under control and since this sounds like it was triggered by pollen during your runs, I'd say your allergies aren't controlled, either." She also thought I needed a dirtier antibiotic - Z-packs won't fix it for me, and she thought I needed a longer, slower-tapering course of Prednisone (60-60-60, 40-40-40, 20-20-20, 10-10-10).
And I'm back on the cocktail.
I sadly welcomed Advair back into my medicine cabinet - starting at 100/50 in hopes that a low dose will work. The doctor said I can try using Claritin, if I take it daily instead of as-needed - but really recommended I give Zyrtec a try instead. However, if OTC allergy meds aren't doing it, she's written a script of Singular for me. And I still have the ProAir HFA.
I confess: I'm worried about the side-effects of the steroids - I know they make me puffy. I cite them as the cause of my weight-gain between 2004 & 2006. I'm especially worried because I'm getting married on July 10th and DON'T want the puffiness for the wedding. I'm less worried about the black box warning on the Advair - as I understand it, the risk is in taking Salmeterol as a stand-alone, so that is off-set by having the fluticasone in it. But mostly, I hate the fact that I'm back on maintenance meds - I don't like dumping all this crap in my body.
However, I also want to get back to running - I miss how it makes me feel. I swear, with the exception of those last 2 runs, that my lungs always feel BETTER afterwards - like I have increased pulmonary function. And I love the endorphins and the serotonin boost that it gives me.
I just hope that the meds don't run counter-productive to my weight loss goals. Ugh.
| Pounds lost: 7.0