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Keep Calm and Breathe!

Keep Calm and Breathe!

Well, it happened. A minor asthma setback. No not an asthma attack. Last Friday, I visited my asthma doctor for a checkup and thought it would be routine. But I was wrong.

Recently, I’ve been using my rescue inhaler more for asthma. Even my running has been more labored. I didn’t really think anything of it, thought it was just seasonal asthma. Having allergies in the summer, my asthma flares up with exposure to allergens like dust, mold, pollen, etc. But the frequency of use of the Proair rescue inhaler raised concern by my doctor and so she had me take a breathing test with a new machine I had never seen, sort of like an asthma sensor that resembled a high-tech video game. I was instructed to breathe into it and keep the “cloud puff” in the blue box in front/center while standing in front of a mirror to watch. This was complicated because you had to breathe into the device with a certain speed and pace in order to do it correctly. After one failed attempt to do this correctly, the second try, I got the hang of it and kept the cloud puff in the blue box on the face of the device. It’s a rectangular/cylindrical machine, sort of like a high-tech peak flow meter.

So the doctor ran the numbers and realized my lungs were inflamed, lung inflammation more than normal. So she started me on new medication: Flovent to help restore my lungs to normal. We don’t know how long that will take. Hopefully within weeks my breathing should be closer to normal. Doctor asked me to take this medicine until 3 month supply runs out. Then I have to return in December for my third trip to see her this year. I hate having to take more medicine but I know it’s for my own good. Also taking some prescribed nighttime asthma medicine that is working.

So my usually mild asthma symptoms occasionally flare up into this moderate range but short of chronic. But obviously my doctor knows what she is doing and I know the medicine works. I told her about my lengthy running streak but decided not to tell the doctor about the upcoming 50k when she told me about the inflammation and need for more aggressive treatment.

So starting Friday, I powered down my running slightly and have been running slower to allow some rest and recovery from asthma symptoms. Maybe “when in doubt, rest it out” is really what I need to do. I will never take my breathing for granted with what I have been through fighting this disease since 1979. But I will fight back with all my might. As John Paul Jones put it: “I have not yet begun to fight!”

More determined than ever to crush asthma, Running Groove Shark