13. To explain the whole weired asthma thing I have to go back to where it all began.
12. I started smoking when I was 15. I never really had asthma prior tot this. Almost immediately after I started smoking, I got repeated bouts of bronchitis that one day, didn't go away. I was diagnosed with asthma. Over the next few years, as I idiotically continued to smoke, my asthma worsened. In my 30s, I became "chemically sensitive". I could no longer walk into used book stores because of the powdery mold, or walk down the soap isle at grocery stores. Anything would trigger an attack. When I had a small fire at home I wound up in the ED.
11. In 1995, I asked the physicians assistant at my school for a handicapped sticker because I was so breathless walking to my car. He refused, much to his credit, and told me i needed to move more, not less. I told him i couldn't exercise; i have asthma. He begged me, "you are going to develop emphysema. There is an enormous amount of damage already. It will damage your heart. Please stop."
10. A week later, after an asthma attack that nearly resulted in another 911 call, I finally did. I didn't use patches or pills or gum, just the reminder of that day, November 5th, 1995, when I found myself holding an albuterol inhaler in one hand and a pack Benson & Hedges lights in the other. Idiot.
9. The first thing I noticed after I quit was that my children stopped coughing at night. I had assumed that children just coughed at night.
8. Eventually, the worst of the cravings subsided, and asthma became manageable, but the damage lingered. In 2002 things were so bad my doctor prescribed advaire, which changed my life. I could sleep at night, exercise, almost never needed my inhaler. I was still sensitive, however, and after I took up running, I would occasionally stop running at the end of a workout and cough and gag for quite some time after. Baboo worried and fretted.
7. Now, from time to time, I would run out of advaire. I usually took my daily puffs in the dark, so I often did not see the little counter in the disk telling me how many doses were left. A day or so after it was empty, my chest would start to tighten, and I would notice that I couldn't breathe lying down, and I would look over at my little purple disk, and see the big red 0 in the window. Yikes. Then I'd order another one from walgreens. Such was life.
6. was sensitive. I accepted it. It was my own fault. My asthma was triggered by mold, mildew, dust, all kinds of pollen...the worst was grass and pine...and chemical fumes. Walking through clouds of smokers entering a "no smoking" building...I had to hold my breath. This past winter was very dry, and especially troublesome.
5. It was my favourite excuse, my last, best, excuse, for not training. I would point to any known trigger and say, "i can't work out today because...
- The junipers are pollenating
- It just rained.
- It's really cold and dry out.
- The grasses are pollenating.
- I just walked by a guy whom was smoking.
- The wind has been blowing, and the air is full of dust.
4. Then in March of this year, something odd happened. I ran out of advaire....and nothing happened. My chest did not tighten. I slept normally. I waited. Stuff bloomed and pollenated and...nothing. Thick smoke drifted in from Arizona, causing problems all over the city, air warnings, and still...Still nothing. I traveled to smoggy cities...no wheezing. I traveled to wet, green places, and breathed deeply I walked down isles full of scented detergents, drove past road crews spray oil on roads, Still nothing.
3. googled; I could find nothing about asthma spontaneously getting better. There were a lot of frightening hits about it suddenly getting worse, howeve. I asked a psychiatrist, at work. Hmm, she said. She had never heard of asthma just 'getting better'. Maybe, she said, there was some psychological component...it's in the DSM as being a medial problem complicated by emotional factors.
2. So I'm cautious, so fat it's only been about three months. But if this continues, and I don't know that it will, I don't know how to explain it, except that maybe it was smoke damage and not really asthma. I smoked for 15 years, and it's been 15 years since I quit.
1. will keep running, and I guess I'll have to run more, because I may have lost my best, last, excuse.