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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got back from the dr. I went in because I had an asthma attack while biking last weekend. I figured she would just give me an inhaler and tell me to use it if I felt bad while exercising, or maybe before exercising. Little did I know, it's not quite that simple.<br><br>
She had me blow as hard as I could into this peak flow meter, I'm thinking, whatever, I only have problems exercising so this won't tell her anything. So I blow into the thing and blowing out hard made me cough. She says, "hmm, that's a common symptom of asthma" She looks at my numbers and the best is 380, she says someone my age and height should be about 480 to 500. She goes, "we need to get you on a 'regimen'" I looked up her chart online and even a 70 year old woman should have a peak flow of about 400, wow! I asked her why I never had problems before, she said it may have to do with the abysmal air quality in Houston, that makes sense.<br><br>
So I have to take singulair, and asthmanex everyday and measure my peak flow 2 or 3 times everyday hopefully it will go up over time. I have to go back in a month to "evaluate how the regimen is working" She also gave me a proventil inhaler to keep with me when exercising.<br><br>
So for those of you who have asthma or know someone who does, is all that pretty typical? It seems like a lot of stuff to me (way more than I expected anyway), but at the moment I don't think I'm in any position to question it, besides I trust her and I have been really happy with her as a Dr. so I'll just do what she says and see how things go til the next appointment.<br><br>
Thanks to everyone who told me to lay low til I could get in to the Dr. I'm sure it was the smart thing to do. I'm going for a run now <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">, and don't worry, I have the inhaler with me <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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Heather - I'm on asthmanex once a day right now as well as allegraD - I was doing the inhaler twice a day, but my symptoms have really lessened over the last couple of weeks. I think that's a pretty standard regimen as the immediate goal is to get your asthma under control. During the 'off' allergy season for me, I don't take anything - but I always have an albuterol handy.<br><br>
I know it seems like a lot right now, but listen to your dr. - as I said in a previous post, the ones who are in the most danger are those of us with 'moderate' or seasonal asthma, as we think we're safe from severe asthma attacks. Often time it's the moderate sufferers who risk the most by not being prepared for when the severe attacks happen.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Heather, I'm glad you went to the doctor. It sounds like she has you on a good plan. I was very ill last February. My doctor didn't take me seriously. I would call her office and they would blow me off. I kept telling them I couldn't breathe. I went to urgent care and my peak flow was 150.<img alt="icon_scratch.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_scratch.gif"> I was admitted to the hospital and was there for 2 weeks. It was a nightmare. I missed 4 months of work. I couldn't breathe.<br>
I've never had asthma and they still don't think I have asthma but for some reason, my lungs went into a spasm similiar to an asthma attack. And after going into a spasm, they wouldn't relax. Plus I had pneumonia, which complicated everything.<br>
I still have my peak flow meter and nebulizer. I occasionally check my peak flow. As long as I'm at 400, I'm happy.<img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br>
Take care of yourself.
 

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Heather, I'm glad you at least got confirmation that it is asthma, and you have a way to deal with it now. Do you have some more motivation to get out of Houston now? JK!! Austin has terrible allergies, so you might be worse here as far as that goes. I take Allegra-D and Nasonex just to control my allergies, but I usually end up with a sinus infection or bronchitis every fall. UGH! Our whole family deals with it, but I don't know anyone in Austin who doesn't. No asthma, though.<br><br>
So, did your dr. say you can go back to normal training or do you have to wait to see what your results are?
 

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I'm not sure you can diagnose asthma without actually having a pulmonary function test. <img alt="dontknow.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/dontknow.gif"> I'm not saying you aren't having breathing issues, because I'm sure you are, but I'm saying is a diagnosis requires a little more than a puff on a PFM.<br><br>
I have had asthma for most of my adult life. I have been hospitalized more times than I can count for weeks at a time because of it. As an adult I have learned to deal with it in my own way, like carrying an inhaler in my wetsuit sleeve and using during an IM swim.<br><br>
On a good day I blow a 560-590, on a bad day I blow 200 if I'm lucky.<br><br>
Ask your doc for a PFT (Pulmonary function test) just to make sure your not having a seasonal allergy, or it's not something worse than asthma.<br><br>
Good luck<br><br>
CS
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know! just one more reason to not stay in Houston! I can train normally, just have to keep the inhaler on me. She suggested I use the PFM if I feel out of breath working out too, that way I can see if/how much my PF is going down. seems smart since I'm not sure how to feel and recognize the signs. I assumed everyone was always out of breath when they exercised, hopefully I can learn the difference between just getting tired and when my lungs aren't working quite right.<br><br>
I definitely have allergies, but they aren't the typical spring pollen allergies. Mine usually get better on the really high pollen count days. and they get bad when it gets colder. Talked with the Dr. about that yesterday too, she said it sounds like I may be allergic to mold and not pollen. but since the flonase keeps it under pretty good control, just keep using it.<br><br>
Heidi-- I have every intention of doing exactly what she says, that attack on the bike was scary and I don't mind taking stuff (even if it is tons of stuff) to make sure it doesn't happen again. and at least I know what to do now if it does happen again. I can see why people with mild or moderate issues are at the most risk, I was totally unprepared for something like that when it happened, now I'm prepared, so that's definitely a good thing!<br><br>
kimber-- wow! that's really scary! so if it isn't asthma, what is it?? It sounds like you're doing better now, but take care of yourself!<br><br>
ok Sheldon, what's a pulmonary function test? I know very little about asthma (although a lot more than I did last week), but I assumed if you had breathing troubles, it was asthma, is asthma more specific than that? does it matter if I actually have asthma or something else if the stuff she gave me works? Obviously if the stuff she gave me doesn't work well then it's a different story. I'm going back in a month so I can talk with her about a pulmonary function test and hopefully, we'll see how well the medicines are working by then too.<br>
You put your inhaler in your wetsuit? I assumed it wouldn't work if it got wet?
 

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I too am happy that you went and saw your dr. I've had asthma all of my life and it's definitely not something to mess with. Like CS, I've been hospitalized more times than I can count.<br>
Take it easy while you are getting a little more control over this!
 

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<span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I’m 47 years old now but I was hospitalized and diagnosed with asthma when I was in 1st grade. In the late 60s asthma was treated strictly as an allergy…yet somewhat hereditary. I was given skin tests to find out what things triggered my attacks. Treatment for a child (me anyway) meant going to the doctor’s office three times a week for injections of some steroidal medication. By the time I was in 5th grade I was allowed to start taking an oral medication (still a steroidal narcotic drug) as needed…but at least twice daily. I started playing sports and had to rely on that medication in order to be active. In h.s. my docs took me off that drug and put me on something non-narcotic. It didn’t work as well, but I remained active. This was when I started running track and cross country. Shortly after h.s. I decided to join the Navy. I told recruiter that I was asthmatic. They said “Sorry, we can’t take you.” But, I convinced them it’d never come up again and it didn’t. By that time I didn’t need the meds much but I had to stop taking any asthma meds then and there. I spent 20 years in the Navy. Occasionally I’ll feel the affects of an asthmatic attack but I feel like being physically active throughout my life has really helped me learn to live with it. That’s my advice. Cautiously remain active and learn to live with it. Good luck.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Dan</span></span>
 

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Yes, I put the inhaler in my sleeve. It wore a huge hole in my skin, but I had it with me. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
The PFT is a simple test. They hook you up to a machine and you breathe. They give you medicine and you breathe again. Asthma is the inability to exhale, although it feels like you can't get air in. Other breathing problems involve getting air in, transport of O2 to the tissue from the lungs and tons of other stuff.<br><br>
If the medicine is working great, but they are steriods. Even though they are proven safe and they are local by inhaling them, it's always better to use as little drugs as possible. it is possible that once the episode is over, you own't need daily steriod use. That you will have to take up with your physician. I do not take daily medication. (My docs want me to, I just don't do it.)<br><br>
Good luck. Oxygen, sweet oxygen.<br><br>
CS
 

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CS....<br><br>
Hmm....<br><br>
Inability to exhale? Wow. I never knew that. The one time I had an EI attack, It hurt like hell to breathe in, and that's where the wheeze was.<br><br>
When I sprint hard, that's where the wheeze is, as well.<br><br>
Why is that?
 

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As CS says the PFT is how I was diagnosed as <b>not</b> having asthma. My problem is O2 transfer in the lungs, although for many years I was considered asthmatic because I had breathing problems.<br><br>
It is worth a follow-up with a pulmonologist if you don't feel the meds help or have other issues.
 

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It's very easy to see this when you are doing the PFT (and if you're not doing well....) - for mine, they make you blow out all of the little candles on the screen while they yell 'blow blow blow' <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> Makes ya good and light-headed <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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LL....<br>
I can get that light-headed feeling by doing back extenstions on the "roman chair" bendy over machine at the gym.<br><br>
lol<br><br>
That's what I GET to do when my trainer thinks I've earned it.....I love that head rush sort of feeling. When I'm in trouble......(*sigh*).....lunges and pushups. Lots of those lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
CS-- so when I go back I'll talk with her about the PFT, I think she plans to lower/eliminate the meds over time. I'm supposed to take a certain amt of the asmanex for 2 weeks then less. at one point she said "you won't need to take all these medications forever, but right now we just need to get it under control" Would she have the machine for the PFT at her office?? probably not huh? guess I'd have to go to a specialist for that?<br><br>
Stitcher I'm going to try to explain how it works, but I am nowhere near an expert on asthma, so CS please see if I'm understanding this right. (Stitcher, you're a teacher too right? I swear the best way to learn something is to try to teach it to someone else.) So when you breathe in the alveoli in your lungs fill with air, the capillaries take oxygen from the air and send it to the rest of your body. The waste carbon dioxide then enters the alveoli so that you can breathe it out. If you don't exhale fully some of the carbon dioxide stays in the alveoli and when you breathe in you can't take in as much oxygenated air; so you aren't exhaling fully which is causing you to not take in enough oxygen. Am I right Coach??<br><br>
I know when I had the attack as I was gasping and wheezing like crazy, I was thinking "What the...??? I'm breathing like crazy how am I not getting any air???" I was really confused since I was breathing and felt like I was suffocating, very weird. But I guess it makes sense if I wasn't exhaling completely the oxygen wasn't getting to my alveoli where it could be used.
 

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Right on.<br><br>
It's an odd, horrible sensation. The worst thing you can do is freak out. You have to stay really calm and be very thoughtful of every breath. Your not gonna be able to beat it, so you have to make the best of what you can. Slow shallow breaths.<br><br>
The wheezing comes from the mucus, which is another battle all together. You can't cough out the mucus because you don't have the power (Exhalation force), so it accumulates in your throat causing the wheezing. That builds up and the breathing gets worse because it's obstructed, and then trip to the ER. Solumedrol injections every few hours and breathing treatments every 3-4. What fun!<br><br>
CS
 

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Ohhhhhhhhh..<br><br>
(Yes, the best way to know you've learned is to teach it!).<br><br>
So.....<br>
forcing yourself to relax in part helps because it allows the spasmed alveoli to relax enough to let go of the CO2?<br><br>
then, once you relax, you can get enough O2 to build enough force to hack up the mucus?<br><br>
That's IF you don't need meds to help.<br><br>
Cause mine is completely controllable by removing the load from my lungs. I only get it with VERY hard efforts, usually at the end of races. Once I quit running, and walk around, and repeat, "suck, BLOW, suck, BLOW....etc." I quit wheezing. Generally within 90-120 seconds of the end of the effort.
 

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Not asthma, though I have an inhaler... Was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis (COPD) though which is related. All the encouragement I need to exercise the rest of my life though. If I start taking days off, I will start coughing up phlegm constantly and have a hard time breathing. And my lung output will go down. Then when I go back, I'll cough up even more phlegm for a while until it goes away again. Right now, I actually don't have diminished air flow from it anymore. (No, I never smoked. But both my parents did, around us kids, and we had very poor air quality in our house) Haven't had to use medications for a while now.
 
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