Saturday, March 05, 2011

I had a Goofus Asthmatic moment

So I was too busy and too burned out and too lazy to refill my prescriptions last week, and they ran out just before the weekend. Well, too lazy probably fits in there best, because I worked last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and the pharmacy sits next to our department. And the pharmacist is a fellow big-time Detroit Tiger fan and I spent an hour talking with him on Tuesday. So, I guess you can say lazy is the best way to word it.

Rather, you could probably put this in Goofus Asthmatic category. I went the entire weekend without my inhaled steroid. So when I woke up last Saturday night with an itchy neck and a chest that seemed to be burning, recollections of my the days when I truly was a Hardluck Asthmatic ran through my head.

Actually, the feeling was similar to when I used to be dependent on Theophylline, and I'd forget to take that medicine. Yet I was no longer on Theophylline. So I shouldn't feel like this. Yet the Theophylline worked to relax my lungs, the same thing the Advair was supposed to be doing. Yet I had no Advair in my system, and no Advair in my medicine cabinet.

So was I screwed? These thought rushed through my mind in the dark as I lie there in bed. I wasn't terribly short of breath, yet just uncomfortable enough where I didn't think I'd fall back asleep if I didn't do something. I hopped out of bed, and quietly tip-toed to the bathroom. I opened the cabinet. The bottle of Singulair had some pills left in it. Thankfully that hadn't run out too.

I couldn't remember when I took one last, yet I remember reading somewhere that Singulair was proven in one study to help with acute asthma too. So I popped one of those.

Oh, and did I mention that all the Ventolin inhalers I had lying around my room were empty. If there was a full one somewhere around I wasn't aware of it. I'm sure I'll find one in a pair of pants when I do the laundry, or under the bed when I clean. Yet right now I didn't have access to a full one.

So I went back to bed. I still didn't feel the best. So I hopped out of bed again, turned on the bathroom light just so I'd have enough light in the room to see what I was doing, and I reached up onto the top shelf of the closet.

The box with my nebulizer was right where I left it. Back when I was a Hardluck Asthmatic the machine would never make it to a box, yet those were days of old. Now it was used only for a backup system, which was mainly when I lost my inhalers, or, as was the case this night, was too lazy to get new ones.

I dragged the nebulizer to the living room and puffed on it for about two minutes, then shut if off. That's all it took. I went to bed, fell fast asleep. The Singulair must have worked, because I didn't have a repeat of the burning and itching. Yet without the corticosteroid in my lungs, the inflammation was agitated just enough so that I needed a hit of my inhaler at least once every four hours or so the rest of the weekend.

On Monday, just before I got my new Advair, I did a PFT on myself. I was surprised that my pre-treatment FEV1 was 85%, and my post FEV1 was 93%. That's pretty good.

Once I took that first hit of Advair it was like I was cured again. I didn't need my Ventolin again until just before I went to bed. Since that day I've only needed it twice a day, just as before I had my Goofus Asthmatic moment.

So I think I'm correct in thinking that Advair was, after all, still in my system. I think it takes about two weeks until it's totally out of your lungs. And that's probably why my asthma didn't get as bad as it could have.

I guess I just wrote about this episode so that the rest of you asthmatics know that even the best of us, even asthma experts, have our Goofus Asthmatic moments. The ironic thing about me writing this today is I just changed my banner to read: The Gallant Asthmatic. This is a true testament, though, that there really is no such thing as a true gallant asthmatic.

We are all normal in that way. Have you ever had a Goofus Moment you'd like to admit to?

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