Better Days

I got really sick toward the end of last year.  Coughing, hard of breath, and just generally feeling pretty bad.  After seeing the doctor a few times he started me on Dulera, an asthma medication.  Since that time I have been feeling great.  In fact, I haven’t had a rescue inhaler for about a month now.  Honestly, I can’t remember a time in my life breathing this well.  The medication has brought real change to my life.

One of the biggest changes is previously I had a constant reliance on some kind of inhaler.  I relied on Primatene Mist for a long time because it was easily available without a prescription.  It wasn’t exactly a treatment and most doctors recommended something else, but I always seemed to fall back on it once my prescription inhaler ran out.  They had to take the medication off the market at the end of last year because its delivery mechanism contained CFCs which has been banned by the US government.  This happened at the same time that I got sick during the winter so I was forced to take a hard look at my health which has been declining for years.  My doctor prescribed an albuterol inhalter and another inhaled treatment.  I was going there the prescription inhaler as fast as my insurance would allow me to refill it.  The rescue inhaler is generally only supposed to be use occasionally and I was hitting it several times a day.  I could not get one to last a month.  When I ran out and could not refill it things got ugly.  I would take antihistamines just to keep going.  It wasn’t good and I felt horrible.  I went back to the doctor and we decided to try the Dulera.  Things changed almost instantly.

I first noticed that I didn’t need the rescue inhaler as much.  When the one I had ran out, I didn’t refill it.  I worried about it but I decided to see how long I could go as a sort of challenge.  This was around 4 weeks ago and I still don’t own an inhaler.  My first really big test came last weekend when we went on a hike.  I knew it was downhill to our destination but, of course, that means it is uphill on the way back.  When we started back I had a temporary freak out.  I was really nervous about getting short of breath.  We started up out of the park and I soon quit worrying.  I still got winded but it never passed the point of being from being from out of shape and into a serious medical event. When we finished the hike I was surprised and happy that I didn’t have a problem.  It was a sign of good things to come.

I have been to the YMCA every day for the last 4 days.  I have done 30 minutes on the treadmill using an interval hill program.  I have pushed myself harder every day and I have yet to have what I would call an “attack”.  I know it is early but right now I am doing well and hopefully, finally, on my way to better health.  I don’t think I realized how much the breathing issues have affected me mentally but I certainly used it as a crutch and an excuse.  I have a short term goal but that is a discussion for another time.  For now it is enough that I am not tied to an inhaler anymore and I am ready to chase of few things that I thought were out of reach for me.

It’s really a wonderful thing to feel good again.

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