Saturday, February 25, 2012


A couple springs ago, I laid awake all night in the midst of what seemed like an asthma attack.  I couldn’t stop coughing, I was wheezing, and breathing was overall very difficult.  I went online and talked to one of my close friends who happened to be in med school at the time (she is now a doctor).  She thought it was probably an asthma attack and I should probably go to a doctor.  Well, I ignored her advice.  Last spring, I started having similar attacks several nights a week.  I decided if I take a daily Claritin, it reduces the intensity and frequency of the attacks.  Never saw a doctor.   

Yesterday, I went outside to run along the Hudson River.  Within a few minutes, I noticed that my back started to itch, which is usually a precursor to an asthma attack.  A couple minutes later, my chest started to feel very tight and I was short of breath - but not the same as when I’m running and tired.  I decided not to chance it and walked for the rest of my allotted “exercise time”.  When I got home, I called my doctor and today I finally went.  

The doctor did some test to see how hard I breathe, which apparently I did not do so well.  She had me try it several times and I felt like I was trying my hardest and not getting very far.  She gave me an inhaler and a referral to a pulmonologist to get some other more scientific test done.  So I guess I’ll go do that...

I have to use the inhaler whenever I feel an attack as well as 15 minutes before exercising.  I’m interested to see if this makes a difference in my running - I feel like I’ve been trying so hard and not getting very far, so maybe this is why.  On the other hand, maybe I just make very slow progress and this won’t make that much of a difference.  Guess we’ll see the next time I exercise.

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