Sunday, August 8, 2010

Relapse

I'm frustrated and disappointed that my month-long streak of good health has ended -- at least for a little while. I have pain in my skin all over. It hurts more when even the slightest thing chafes against it. My doctor told me once that this is viral neuropathy. Basically the virus inflames the nerves. It's harmless, really, just uncomfortable.

I am also having another asthma flare-up! Seriously, this is the fourth one since November. Why? The last one was over a month ago and lasted for over a month. What will this one be like? I have so many questions. I mean, my asthma never completely got better after my last flare. I think I was compelled to go for runs and walks to prove to myself that I was better and to try to prevent the asthma from worsening. Obviously that didn't work. What WILL work?

A couple of weeks ago my pharmacist, at my mom's request, submitted a prescription request to my doctor, showing him that I'd been on Advair 500 mcg, the maximum dosage about seven years ago. For those of you without asthma, Advair is a controller inhaler, meaning I take it every day, regardless of how I'm feeling, to reduce and prevent asthma symptoms -- at least to minimize their severity. It doesn't ease asthma symptoms while they are happening. I have a rescue inhaler for that.

During my last flare up, I used a 250 mcg Advair inhaler twice a day my mom had leftover from a cold. I improved a lot, so I decided to only use my 500 mcg that the doctor prescribed once a day. Now I think I'll start using it twice a day, as per my doctor's prescription.

I feel so defeated. Just a few months ago I was still taking Flovent, a controller inhaler for milder asthma. Now I'll be taking two puffs daily of the maximum dosage of Advair. I'm wondering how I would be feeling if I wasn't taking Advair, or if I wasn't on any controller inhaler at all. I don't think it would be dangerous. I don't get full blown attacks. I never feel like I can't breathe. Unlike last time, I'm not having chest pain and I can speak full sentences without coughing or taking a breath. I'm hoping it won't get worse. So far I'm just wheezing, coughing up mucous and feeling winded.

I'm not only disappointed that I'm feeling sick again, but that my active life, the one I wrote about so happily in this blog regularly for over a month, will end. I will keep the animal sitting jobs I've committed too for this week, but I won't be going out with friends or for walks until I improve. That's for sure. I don't want to go anywhere. I just want to sleep. I definitely don't want to dress up.

I don't want to make anyone think I'm depressed. I'm actually pretty happy, especially considering how I'm feeling; I'm just dreading the loneliness, boredom, doctors appointments and feeling ill constantly. I've been thinking about stuff to do. I really should start reading novels again, buy a video game for my Nintendo DS, maybe learn to knit? I'll definitely be sleeping a lot. Tomorrow I'll clean my room and change my bedsheets. Maybe I will ask my mom will help me. I must minimize dust which can definitely aggravate asthma.

12 comments :

  1. Cyber hugs coming your way - feel better soon!

    Jane

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  2. (((Ashley)))) Take gentle care of you.

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  3. I will be praying for you.

    Have you considered maybe something in your home is setting off your asthma: carpet or mold? My daughter has asthma but only uses it when she needs it which isn't every day.

    Sorry you are going through this.

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  4. Paws crossed here for you!
    Take care
    Kisses and hugs
    Lorenza

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  5. Take care of yourself Ashley. Hope you feel better soon.

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  6. I hope you knock it out, feel better, and get back on track!

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  7. Jane and Jayne -- For sure! Thanks!

    Journaling Woman - Thanks. I'm pretty sure my asthma is viral or something related to my year long illness, but 5 years ago we ripped up most of the carpet just in case. No mold.

    Lorenza, Denise, Jason - Thank you!

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  8. Ashley,

    My chronic asthma has grown worse through the years. Like for you, Advair 500/50 helps. Recently my doctor suggested that there was some connection between post nasal drip and asthma symptoms, so he advised that I flush out my sinuses twice daily with saline solution squirted up my nose. This has been a big help for me. Best wishes!

    Perry

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  9. Perry - Thank you for your insight! I've had post nasal drip for years. Actually about seven years ago I started having breathing issues that actually turned out not to be my asthma, just post nasal drip from recurring sinus infections. I haven't had sinus problems since high school, yet I still get the drip. It's odd.

    The drip has given me the breathing discomfort many times since then. My allergist suggested my sinuses might be leaking, so I think I will go to see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor.

    In the meantime, I think your sinus rinse idea is great regardless if the post nasal drip has affected my recent asthma flare ups. Anyway, my asthma is in remission! The 500 mcg twice a day of Advair finally kicked in!

    I'm glad Advair and the sinus rinse have helped you. Thanks so much for visiting me here! Welcome! You are so nice.

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  10. Oh you poor thing! I used to have asthma so I know how it feels. Having shortness of breath is the scariest thing ever, I used to think I was just going to die on the spot. I hope you get better soon!

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  11. I don't know much about your health issues, but have you ever tried taking Gluten out of your diet? A lot of allergies and chronic health problems are related to food allergies.

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  12. Folding - Welcome! Thanks for coming. I have Dandy Walker Syndrome (Basically a cerebellum malformation that gives me balance problems and fatigue) and I also have Post-Viral Syndrome that likely has made the DWS symptoms worse, but we're not sure. So the balance and fatigue isn't allergy related, BUT I am going to see my allergist to find out if I'm allergic to something new or more allergic than before... Maybe that would explain why I've had so many asthma flare-ups this year. Thanks for the thought!

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