Tuesday, October 26, 2010

'Roid Rave

I took 2 days off from exercise, stretched a lot, tried to eat more protein, and still had a rough run today. Don't get me wrong, my knees felt a lot better and my quads are getting there, but I was still so slow.  Yet I chalked the run up as a success because I finished, and went about my day. I kept repeating a line from the Desiderata in my head: "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter. For always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself." My running is my running. My training plan is my training plan. Keep chugging away, and it'll be okay. (I'm glad we're training "together," Emily G., but your workouts completely intimidate me and here I am getting slower instead of faster!)

But as I ran errands, I noticed that my throat was still pretty constricted. I have asthma, so it takes time to breathe normally after a run- but never several hours. I went up to the hospital to get my Tuesday allergy shot and went ahead and told the nurse there. I had noticed my asthma getting worse in Chicago, but when I still felt cruddy after we arrived back in KC, I just assumed I was fighting a cold this past week. DUH, I should know better!

I'm very compliant with my asthma meds and I've been stable for a year now. I almost never even need my "rescue" inhaler, let alone further treatment. But when my family was in Egypt a few years ago, the pollution was so bad that I spent New Year's Eve on a Nile Cruise hacking up a lung. I think it took 2 1/2 weeks of Prednisone to finally breathe normally after that. Chicago wasn't nearly that bad, but it was still noticeably harder to breathe when we were walking through downtown at rush hour.

Anyway, I always have to exhale into a peak flow meter before my allergy shot. I usually measure about 520 but today it was only 410 (78% of my "norm"). Most doctors wait until peak flow deteriorates to 70% or below to treat, but I told them that when I wait until the symptoms reach my chest and I start coughing a lot, it takes several courses of steroids to fix it. Thankfully, they took my word for it and I obtained my first Prednisone prescription of 2010. I think it's been about a year since I took the last round, which is impressive for me.

I have a love-hate relationship with 'roids (as Ross loves to call them). They shoot my blood sugar sky-high and they weaken my bones (I've taken so much Prednisone in the last decade that I have osteopenia). But oh, I love being about to breathe again. I sleep better, run better, heck even talk better when the inflammation goes down. I'm starting to get hoarse and cough more tonight. I'm SO glad I took my first tablet this afternoon. Hopefully I'll avoid the worst of the attack.

Today I'm so thankful that I have medical care, and that my problems are easy enough to treat with an old (and therefore inexpensive) medication. And I'm especially grateful that most of the time, I can breathe so well I forget I have asthma!

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