Friday, April 19, 2013

Hello. Do you have asthma?

Like how my pharmacist numbered all the inhalers for me?

I only went to work once this week - Wednesday. The rest of the week has been a mix of work from home and sick days.

I was officially diagnosed with asthma when I was 12 but have suffered with symptoms since I was six. I remember my mom, with a cigarette in her hand no less, asking the doctor why I was having trouble breathing when I caught a cold and would bark like a seal when I coughed. This would have been 1981 when everyone smoked - doctors included.

It wasn't until years later, when I was in the seventh grade and after a rigorous game of volleyball during gym class, I collapsed to the floor wheezing, my eyes watering, and feeling like someone was sitting on my chest, that a visit to the doctor (the same doctor when I was five) proved I had a problem. My parents had stopped smoking by then but the damage had been done. They don't like it that I blame them and their smoking (in the house, during dinner) but I have to understand that the dangers surrounding second-hand smoke weren't well known back then. I really should be blaming our family doctor. He was old school. His late diagnosis of my asthma was medically malicious as he's lucky I didn't die before I got help. Right? But I'm not bitter.

Anyhoo... yesterday I made my way to my doctor because I was convinced I had bronchitis (we asthmatics are very good at self-diagnosis). He agreed and put together a rescue plan for me and introduced me to two inhalers I haven't tried before: Ipratropium Bromide (Atrovent) and Ciclesonide (Alvesco). These two inhalers along with my old stand-by of Salbutamol (Ventolin) are to be taken all at once in the morning, with Atrovent and Ventolin taken three more times throughout the day, and then all three again at night. I was told to take all three when I got home, despite it being the middle of the day, and then take them all again when I went to bed.

Around 10:30 last night, as I drifted off to sleep, I experienced a spasm in my chest that felt almost like a seizure of the diaphragm. It felt like I was coughing on the inside. I called TeleHealth. The nurse said it was probably a side effect of all the inhalers and to only to go to the hospital if I felt tightness in the chest. It took four hours for the spasms to subside and I finally fell asleep at 3 a.m., but is this normal? The sensation was a first for me. I wasn't scared, just annoyed. I've put a call in to the doctor and pharmacist.

The good news is the coughing has gone from every five minutes to a fit once an hour. I've never been on Ciclesonide before. I'm looking to hear from others using this drug. Share please!


Squiggles said...

I am lucky I have escaped this, but at least 3 people in my family have it and one of those is hospitalized at least once a year because of an attack. That is also the same one that can no longer take Salbutamol because it isn't strong enough.

Not too certain what she takes now, though I know she does have some side effects from one of her inhalers.

Take it easy and personally, I wouldn't trust the telehealth people. They are not there in person to witness the side-effects and only go on what you are saying.

Anonymous said...

What does this have to do with commuting or the GO train???

C.J. Smith said...

Do you have asthma?

Anonymous said...

This made me think of you CJ

Unknown said...

She owns the site, and she is posting so we her users, are aware in case she is away suddenly... are you so selfish that you don't care about other people?

C.J. Smith said...

Awesome tattoo. Word.