When I was a kid, about 3 or 4, I ended up in an oxygen tent at the local hospital and almost died. I had a severe asthma attack that came out of nowhere, kicked my ass, and then seemingly disappeared, or at least that’s the way I remember it. I never had an inhaler and I would go for two or three mile runs when I was in high school. Anyway, for years I went along blissfully ignorant of my situation. I mean, I knew I had asthma when I was a KID and all that, but that was YEEEEAAARS ago and I don’t have to worry about it now, right?
Well, part of the reason, I will guess, that it wasn’t bothering me was because for most of the last 20 some years I’ve been living at sea level or not much higher than that. Lots of oxygen down there and it made it easy for me to run, work out and generally get along in life. Now though, I am in New Mexico at an altitude of 5,653 feet. About 5,603 feet higher than I have been used to for quite a while. When we first moved back here I got Bronchitis, a wonderful inflammation of the lungs that makes you hack up mucus and generally feel like you are trying to breath through a straw. So, since I now had insurance (first time in about 4 years) I went to the doctor and after poking, prodding, and having me blow into machines they gave me antibiotics and a rescue inhaler.
A rescue inhaler??
Yep, one of the tests they did measured my blood oxygen. I was sitting around 87% – normal is 95% or higher. And so with that they zeroed in on my old asthma and my allergies as a possible cause. Well, I figured the reason I couldn’t breath MUST be because of allergies. I was allergic to the whole state when I was a kid so I was sure that was still the case.
So, off I went to seen an allergist and during my visit the poked me with needles to see what I was allergic to and also did a couple of tests to see how my lungs were working out and the results were not as good as I hoped. My lungs are working at about 57% of what they should be doing, which explains why my workouts have sucked, my running has been even more atrocious than even I expected. Yep, I just don’t get enough air up here.
Plus, New Mexico hates me. I am allergic to almost everything that grows here; Tumbleweeds, Cottonwood Trees, weeds in general, dogs (my parents have dogs), and even Ash – I’m allergic to a tree that I want to make into a freaking BOW for craps sake!!! The only bright point there is it seems I am also allergic to soybeans. Yep, guess there are no more tofu burgers in my future, or soy milk, or anything but real milk and real meat!
So, the solution is that I am now on Symbicort and that seems to be helping. Also, workout is now going to be much more consistent plus, I am going to walk to and from work as much as possible until I am back to a point where running is again feasible. From there I plan to get in the best shape I have ever been; I plan to be back to running three miles a day and benching 260; I plan to be able to do a day of heavy work and feel good, not worn out.
I may have asthma, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to have me.