Friday, August 22, 2008

my health issues

I've been saying I would do this for some time, and never got around to it. I just want to go over real quick a few things that I've been going through.

Most people know I have asthma. I never had it as a child. I developed it as an adult. About ten or eleven years ago, I was sick with what I thought was a cold. I couldn't breathe real well and felt like I had an elephant sitting on my chest. The pressure I felt in my chest, made me feel like my insides were going to explode or implode as the case may be. I went to the hospital because I couldn't stand it anymore. While I was there, I had a dozen chest x-rays. They re-checked my thyroid (I have hyper thyroidism as well, which I can explain later). And determined I had bronchitis. The brochitis was so bad, I had developed adult onset asthma. I spent three days in the hospital on oxygen.

Afterwards, I went about my business, never realizing that the asthma I had from the bronchitis was permanent. I had problems breathing doing normal activities. I would get these coughing spells that made my chest hurt. I went back to the doctor to find out why I was feeling this way. I found out I had COPD (chronic obstruction pulmonary disease). Most people get this from years of smoking. I have never smoked a day in my life. I did however have a father who smoked and Rich smokes. I never thought I could get anything just from being around people who smoked. Sure enough from the secondhand smoke and chronic bronchitis, I developed copd.

If you ever get close enough (which I know most you never will), to listen to me breathe, you will be able to hear me wheezing even during normal activities. I am usually short of breath and can't breathe after doing strenuous work. COPD and asthma are very serious, as there is no cure. Once your lungs are damaged, they can't be fixed. I can't even blow up a balloon without becoming breathless.

My symptons are worse during the winter months, the cold air and the risks of getting bronchitis or the flu makes everything worse. Then there is the coughing.

On top of all that, I also have the allergy problems. Being around the cat, mold and other allergy triggers amplifies everything. I have to take Advair, Singulair and Albuterol inhaler. I also have a nebulizer machine to help regulate everything. There are good days and bad ones. Sometimes the anxiety of not being able to breathe, causes panic attacks. And if there are things going on that I feel are out of my control, I can really work myself up.

Its a terrible way to live. And it can be scary sometimes. Rich hasn't stopped smoking, but he does do it away from me, often in another room or outside. We have air purifers through out the house and have to get our heating/air ducts cleaned regularly. I can't be near large amounts of mold or cigarette smoke. And the cat, well I'm fine if I'm not anywhere near it. There are sometimes like last night where the cat will jump around in front of me, and I'll get the itchy, watery eyes and anxiety that follows.

I'm not sure why I'm telling everyone all of this. Maybe because I want people to be a little more considerate (like Rich) around people who have asthma or allergies and not smoke in front of them. Maybe its because last night's cat thing scared me a bit, maybe its because I would like people to think happy thoughts or say a prayer or two for me. I don't know, but it makes me feel a little better getting it all out there, so next I'm flipping out in a post about the damn cat, you'll know why.
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