Saturday, January 15, 2011

Are You Kidding Me?

So this is a rather unexpected experience for me.

2 months ago, before Thanksgiving, I got sick. I thought it might be a sinus infection, but the Dr. thought it seemed just a viral cold. Just as he predicted it cleared up shortly after my visit... except for the cough. It's not uncommon for my coughs to linger for several weeks, so I suffered on. And waited. And waited. 4 weeks later I was getting extremely irritated and SO tired because it was keeping me from sleeping. I survived Christmas with it and finally saw my Dr. again for my next OB visit the following week. In my discussion with him of my symptoms he suggested I might try Asher's inhaler when my coughing starts. I said, "oh yeah, some times I do start to wheeze from the coughing." He replied that that made sense.

I went home wondering what this all meant, but I started using the inhaler to treat my coughs and it works! I also started noticing when my breathing gets a little heavier and sure enough, the coughing inevitably follows. I've been asking so many questions since that visit though. Does this mean that I have asthma? Like, will I always have it, or is it just related to this virus? If it is asthma, what's with all this mucus I'm coughing up? And since I've been needing the inhaler at least once a day, every day, WILL THIS EVER GO AWAY?

Just this morning after waking up to a bad coughing spasm, I jumped right on the computer for some research. It sounds like I'm a perfect match for Adult Onset Asthma. It's apparently somewhat common to develop asthma as a result of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy, as well as from a virus (how Asher got his), and if you already have even seasonal allergies. I learned that a symptom of asthma is the production of extra mucus, which I didn't know. (Why didn't Asher tell me?)

I didn't even know that adults could just develop asthma like that. I find this all very disappointing actually. Since I've had "attacks" every day for 2 months now, can I expect to ever live the way I used to again? This cough has seriously gotten very old. Very. Old. It also surprises me because to my knowledge no one in my family has had asthma before. I always assumed inheritance was the biggest (if not only) way to get asthma.

Also in my research I started thinking about exercise-induced asthma. The thought has always crossed my mind because jogging and similar exercise always makes my chest feel tight and my breathing difficult. But then, isn't that the case for everyone? Reading about it though has made me suspect that perhaps there is something to my wonderings all these years. Especially since there's a strong link between even that type of asthma and allergies, which I've had since childhood.

Anyway, obviously I'll be confirming stuff with my Dr. at my next visit, but based on what he told me at my last visit and my research, I guess I'm now an asthma sufferer. :-(

1 comment:

Bonnie-Jean: Our Army Life said...

I've had exercise/allergy induced asthma since I was in middle school. When I got pregnant with AJ, it was the first time I didn't suffer from any symptoms. Hormones are weird like that. Anyway, I found that I only really have problems with it, if I'm places like Oregon where I have the most allergies and if I'm trying to exercise. Here in Hawaii, I hardly ever have an allergy attack and I haven't had to use an inhaler since I got here, more than a year ago. It's nice to be able to run here, and actually breathe normally. I know you're not moving any time soon, but perhaps after you give birth, it'll die down a little. Good luck! :)