Sunday, July 27, 2014

Setbacks

I realize that as runners, we will all experience some type of setback every now and then.  So often, runners will experience overuse injuries, sore muscles, tendinitis, and oh so much more, I'm sure.  I have been so lucky to not experience any major setback since I began running three years ago.  However, lately I have been really struggling with my breathing.  I stopped running a little bit over the past school year.  Yes, I admit I slacked off significantly.  However, when I bounced back and began running again, I was unable to get a good breath in while I was running.  My chest felt tight, and I had to "yawn" to get a deep breath, which wasn't really a yawn but rather it was more of a gasp for air.
Post run hot mess....
typical!
This began my adventure to find a diagnosis.  The doctors tried me out on some different medications for some different conditions.  After taking various medication for about six months with no relief related to my breathing and chest pain/tightness that after many visits and follow-ups, my doctor finally decided to try a PFT, which is a pulmonary function test, to see if there was any obstruction in my lungs.

That test was conclusive.  
I have asthma.





Despite my breathing issues, we both got new shoes!
I was very relieved to get this diagnosis, but I was also a little bummed.  Asthma means you can't breathe, and if you can't breathe, you can't run, right?!?!?!  Well, fortunately since I have been running with no issues previously and the onset of my asthma symptoms was so sudden, my doctor referred me to an allergist to do some tests.  Just this past Friday, I had my appointment with the allergist.  After tons of pricks and pokes of shots, he determined that I am highly, highly allergic to some very ordinary, everyday things, including dust mites and tons of different kinds of pollen.  Apparently, this season's pollen counts were higher than they have been, so the fact that I'm so highly allergic to most trees, weeds, and grass, caused me to develop allergic asthma.  Allergic asthma?  So my allergies got so bad they gave me asthma?  Whaaaaat?  Anyway, because this is allergic asthma, there are things I can try to hopefully reduce asthma symptoms or even maybe get rid of it altogether!  Allergy shots can lessen the effect that the allergens have on me, since I can't really avoid pollen and stuff while running, and dust mites are everywhere.  Yeah, I can do things to reduce my contact with these allergens, but I can't get rid of them all.  So allergy shots are worth a try.  Most allergy shots are given in a determined interval of time, like twice a week for the first round, then once a week, then up to once a month!  However, this process can take years.  Wah wah!  But wait- there's more!  My doctor then told me about a process called rush immunotherapy.  This type of immunotherapy is like the allergy shots, but (obviously) rushed.  So instead of getting shots over a lengthy period of time, I can get a lot in one day, every half hour.  So, that's exactly what I'm going to do!


So that's that, then.  For now, anyway.  I'm trying to work through it right now, back from square one, or at least it feels like it.  For the past three months now, I have been on two daily asthma medicines, and I also have a rescue inhaler for when I'm running.  I have been working through it, and I've been running a little slower than I used to, but I've been running nonetheless.  In fact, just yesterday, I did 7 miles!  Very very slowly, but I did it!  Hopefully after my immunotherapy will help... we'll see!

I really love this verse... it gives me motivation and hope!

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