Sunday, April 04, 2010

Relax, it's just Asthma...

I finally got my followup from the pulmonologist, and then I promptly left town and started running at a pace too frantic for blogging. (Metaphorically, alas!) So, I apologize for leaving you all on that cliff where I thought I had emphysema, or something.

I have exercise-induced asthma, and that is all. I don't have "regular" asthma, at least not when I'm on my preventive inhaler. There is this lab test they do that's intended to test that. And the description sounds worse than it is: they give you an inhaled irritant and then wait to see if you blow up. Sound like fun? Yeah, I kinda had myself worked into a tizzy over it, honestly. Because asphyxiation, even if it's only partial asphyxiation, is about as far from fun as you can get without crossing over into near-death experiences. Perhaps because it feels so very much like a near-death experience.

Anyway, the test wasn't bad. It's called a methacholine challenge, for those of you who may ever find yourselves facing it. And they don't actually try to trigger an asthma attack with their inhaled irritant. They take careful measurements of your lung capacity throughout, and if you start reacting to the irritant, they give you a rescue inhaler and stop the test immediately. Also, if you find yourself doing this test? Take a book. There are stretches of 2-5 minutes where you just have to sit there and wait, and your technician has stuff to do while that's happening, so they may be unable to chat with you.

So, with that said, I'm taking another triathlon class this spring. It starts tomorrow. At 6 AM!!! The triathlon I'm taking on at the end of the class is a lot shorter than the one I tried last time. In fact, the swim is about half the distance I made before my asthma attack during my first attempt at a tri. I figured that wouldn't be much of a challenge, but it would also not be very intimidating. I want to have a good experience with this one, and if it goes well, I'll try taking on longer sprints later in the season.


Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Ugh, sounds like NOT fun! Although t does beat emphysema, as I understand it. Good to know about the test. My daughter has had some "restricted airway" treatments, which from what I can understand is asthma with less frequency. Good luck with the triathalon and class!

John Balla marah said...

Hi Guy,

Thank you very much for your information about asthma. My daughter seems to be suffering from it from time to time. She however gets treatment for it at the local hospital in our community. Wish you well in your endeavoures