I’ve just hauled a basket full of laundry from the laundry room up to our 3rd floor apartment, and, as I walked through the door, I realized the difference I felt in comparison to just four days ago.
Let me take you back a little ways back… About a month ago.
As my readers know, I’ve shared that I’ve been struggling with Anxiety attacks and finding a way to live with it. I’ve been taking my medicine like I should, and was supplimented with some other medicine to help when the attacks do occur.
It was just two weeks ago, I noticed something else was going on. I was feeling anxious, out of breath, and even coughing after making a few flights of stairs. I was feeling tired quite often, and I didn’t feel like I had the energy to do things I needed to. At first, I thought, “It’s just the side effects of depression or the medication.” Then as the pollen levels began to increase for the trees in the area, my allergies began to flare up bad. I knew I was allergic to some trees, as I was back when I was living in Virginia, and I had thought, being back in the West, where I was relatively familiar with, my allergies would be dramatically less. I began coughing more. Breathing seemed harder. My eyes were burning, and it was getting to be too much. I did take allergy meds to deal with those symptoms, but I noticed the coughing wasn’t going away.
It was then I realized, “I need to see an allergy doctor.”
This last Friday I was in the allergy office with a wonderful interpreter. The office was very familiar with working with deaf patients and were very flexible and adapting to my needs. I shared of my concerns and how I wanted to see what can be done to help eleviate some of the symptoms I was dealing with. When I shared about the coughing and how my regular doctor perscribed me an inhaler to see if it would help when I run. I even shared that it did dramatically decrease my coughing after I ran when I used it.
The nurse raised an eyebrow and said, “I think we should do a breathing test on you and see what’s going on.”
I breathed into a machine to blow out some virtual candles on a cake and that was exhausting! I almost felt faint from trying to push my lungs to exhert as much air out of me.
Then came the dreaded scratch tests… I had not been on any allergy meds for a week, so I was already miserable from enduring the tree pollen filled air whenever I went outside. After 76 scratches on my back and arms, it revealed I was allergic to dust mites, two kinds of local trees, and several kinds of grass. “Go figure.” I thought.
I was given some Albuterol to inhale, and the nurse explained, “In about 5 minutes, we’re going to have you do the breathing machine again. We will see if the Albuterol improves your breathing.”
If you’re not familiar with Albuterol, it makes you a little jittery after taking it. My daughter is Asthmatic and hates the way it makes her feel even though it does help her breathe better.
After I did the breathing test, which felt much more comfortable than the first time, the nurse left the room to print out the results. When she came back, there was a look of confirmed surprise. “Your breathing was greatly improved after you had the Albuterol!” She showed me the results, and it was my turn to be surprised.
When I left the office with some new perscriptions to treat my newly discovered Asthma condition, I began to think about how I struggled with Anixety attacks and the fact there were many times I felt like I couldn’t breathe fully. I just thought it was a part of the Anixety. Could it had been Asthma the whole time?
“Not being able to breathe can make anyone anxious.” My mom shared with me.
It could be both.
Today, I can breathe and have energy to do what I need to do. That’s a good place to be. I haven’t had an Anxiety Attack yet, but I’m armed and ready to check if it’s an Asthma Attack instead. Plus, I can run without being afraid of having a coughing fit after I push myself hard. That a really good thing, too, right?
Can I get an Amen?