About three weeks ago our town woke up to smoke filled skies. Visibility was very low, you couldn't see the mountains and really, it was just gross. Apparently, there was something going on with the weather (I don't remember exactly what), but it made the smoke from the California fires, fires in other states and fires in Colorado, all settle into our valley. Nasty.
I had a difficult time breathing, my throat burning and my nose running. I asked Bill if he felt that way, and when he didn't, I thought I was getting a cold. The air in our town cleared up over Labor Day weekend when the wind blew it away (for lack of a better explanation) and the skies were bright and pretty again. My lungs and body were still suffering though.
For weeks I coughed and coughed. It was annoying and it just wouldn't let up. Over the weekend I had to take Logan to the Doctor because he's been coughing too and Sunday morning he woke up crying hysterically because his ear hurt. Another ear infection for the poor kid. At his appointment, the Doctor listened to his lungs and said that we should keep an eye on his breathing because it sounded like he had asthma (something I've been talking to our regular Pediatrician about for a little while). The Doctor asked about our family history and asthma - which is all over the place (again, we passed on crappy genetics). Logan will probably have to have asthma treatments in the next year or so if it doesn't get worse now. And every time he gets sick, it will trigger his asthma. Grrrreeeeaaaat.
And then it hit me. All of this coughing I've been doing? It wasn't a cold. It was asthma. I was diagnosed way back in high school but never kept up with an inhaler. It wasn't bad enough. But with the smoke, the pollen and all of the crud in our air - I was struggling. That night I had a massive coughing fit for half an hour that made me get out of bed so I didn't wake up Bill. That's when I did a google search on asthma and decided that I needed to go to the Doctor for myself.
The next day I could hardly breath. Evey time I talked or even attempted a conversation, I began coughing and struggling to catch my breath. It was getting worse. I haven't been seen by a Doctor other than my OB in YEARS, so I had to find a General Practitioner and now. It wasn't an emergency, but it was bad enough to be very concerned. I got a recommendation from one of the moms in MOMS Club and made an appointment to be seen in a few short hours.
After being hooked up to a nebulizer, I was prescribed three different medications - One rescue inhaler to use every 4 hours or when I can't breath, another inhaler to use twice a day and Singulair to take at night. The good news is that I only have to take these medications for a month and not the rest of my life. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to where I was before the air quality changed and my lung health spiraled out of control. The bonus from the visit was that the Doctor asked for my business card so she could send one of her patients to me for a personal training evaluation (this made me laugh. And cough).
So, with inhalers in hand - I'm on my way to better breathing and not suffocating in front of my kids.