Friday, August 10, 2012
Facing My Fears...
In the first post I mentioned my early struggles with running itching and breathing. At the time I thought I had asthma and my Mom took me to the doctor. The doctor did a peak flow test said I did not have asthma and told me that I should just refrain from running all together. Mental note watch what others speak over you. Don't allow is to be the path for which you should travel.
Anyway, fast forward over a decade later after the BWC. I seriously couldn't breath it felt as though I couldn't get enough air into my lungs. A few days later I went on a neighborhood run; my cheat felt tight and heavy, my throat was itching, my chin was itching I was miserable and was beginning to really wonder if running was for me.
I went online and did some research and came across information about Exercise Induce Asthma. I was talking to my girlfriend who said it was straight asthma none the less I scheduled an appointment with my doctor for the following day (appointments online have to love modern technology). I went in and discussed the issue of my having issues breathing and he did a full on peak flow...had me hooked up to the laptop and everything. Turned out I had the lung capacity of a 53 year old, yet I'm only 35. :( He said it was mild asthma and immediately I went into a panic mode and it just wasn't negative thoughts this was full on fear.
Why fear? My granmother had asthma (she later developed COPD), My mother has asthma, my oldest son has asthma, and my daughter's God mother had asthma. I have seen asthma literally debilitate and take from me the people that I love. I've seen my mother and my child struggle for air. I lost my granmother a few months ago mainly due to her respiratory issues and I lost my daughter's God mother (my right hand) to asthma. So the fact that I had to battle it for myself brought about a fear in me due to the reality that I can die from this. God is good and I have good friends. My best friend reminded me that there are advancements in asthma medication and if I stay on top of it I will be ok.
I got an expensive ass inhaler and the money I spent on it was nothing compared to being able to breathe. Armed with my inhaler that was to be taken before and if needed after a work out I ran and ran and ran. I thought I found a cure in an albuterol inhaler, NOT! LOL! I did not realize I had to be mindful of air quality and allergens. So the day prior to the fourth of July I went out for a late afternoon run and was in urgent care two days later. I could not breathe the inhaler was not working, my chest hurt and I was miserable. The urgent care doctor sat me down for five days, it was originally a week but my gift of persuasion got it down to five day. Yep! No working out, not even in the gym, steroids, and albuterol three times a day. Wow, just wow.
I was antsy and concerned that I would begin to lose the muscle mass that I had worked so hard to gain. I was afraid that I would not perform as well as I have been when I get back to running. Once again I had to stop it and think about it in a different perspective; if I'm not breathing then I'm dead, if I'm dead then running really doesn't much matter.
I sucked it up and actually went through the treatment and waited six days opposed to the five before I got back out there. Oh boy when I got back out there I felt so much better but still had some struggles. Ended up having to take a daily steroid inhaler to prevent the attacks and still use my regular inhaler prior to work outs or in an emergency.
My outlook on this? It's not the end of the world and it's being managed. I'm cautious about the weather and I check the air quality prior to going out but I'm am still living, I can breathe, I can still run and watch my children grow. I'm so blessed.