What is frustrating about my asthma is that I feel worse than I look. Seriously! I feel like I can't get a full, deep breath in, and I can feel that I have air trapping when I exhale, but I don't look short of breath at all. The only way the people around me know I'm short of breath is because I tell them, and I think that deep down my wife probably wonders if I'm making it all up. But she loves me and so she trusts that I'm telling the truth.
That's the delimma I have with my asthma. I was actually having a really good summer asthma wise, until about a week and a half ago when I was rummaging through boxes in my basement. Since then I've felt this way. I currently have no allergy symptoms and no signs of a cold. It feels, to me, like pure asthma. I've used up a ton of ventolin, via both the inhaler and nebulizer route. I've gone through at least 2 full inhalers, and who knows how many Albuterol nebulizer treatments.
The treatments help open me up and make me feel better, although in the end I still don't feel perfectly opened up. Still, my regular routine of life has not bee effected. Although, considering I've been pumping so much ventolin into my system, I've been extremely anxious lately, as might be expected. This is probably exacerbated by the fact I've been getting up several times in the night to puff on my inhaler. Or, worse, to take continuous breathing treatments in the morning hoping to catch my breath so I can get back to sleep. But usually, after taking this action, I'm so wired I can't sleep.
So I'm working tonight, and I'm walking around doing my work, when I feel tight. Well, I've been mildly short of breath all night and all day yesterday, but at the moment I was feeling worse. So I went back to the department to give myself a breathing treatment, when I decided to run myself through the whole gammut of tests.
I did a pre and post peak flow:
- pre: 750 (maxed device out)
- Post: 750: (maxed device out)
- Pre Duoneb breathing treatment
- FVC: 4.42 or 85% predicted
- FEV1: 3.64 or 88% predicted
- FEV1/FVC: 82
- FEF25-75: 3.66 or 96% predicted
- FEF Max: 10.09 or 103% predicted
- Post Duoneb breathing treatment
- FVC: 4.42 or +3
- FEV1: 3.90 or +7
- FEV1/FVC: 86
- FEF 25-75: 4.64 or +27
- FEF Max: 11.20 or +7
Still, this is frustrating for me, because I feel like I have air trapping. I feel like I don't feel normal, so I started myself on a prednisone pack today, yet I really don't fee significantly better after doing that. What stinks is I was hoping doing this PFT would help me decide what the next course of action is for me to do if these steroids don't kick in soon. I actually was thinking of going to the ER after work, and I was hoping these tests results would ease my mind a bit. But not so.
It could be all in my head, I suppose. However, as I take a deep breath, and feel that something is in there. And as I exhale, my exhalation is prolonged and wheezy. Welp, tis the life of being a hardluck asthmatic. Yet as you can see here, none of these tests match how I feel. That peak flow meter is about useless to me.
Now, one more thing I want to add. You might find this awkward, and I sometimes wonder if any other asthmatics have had the same thing happen. Once all my kids are up, and things are situated around the house, I go into the basement and do my workout. Yes, I even run on the treadmill (or wog, or whatever you call it. But at least I do it).
Even yesterday morning, after getting out of bed and telling my wife "I'm still having trouble breathing," I said, "And I'm going into the basement to run on the treadmill." She said, "How can you run on the treadmill if you can't breath." I said, "Life must go on."
My point there was that for some reason my asthma doesn't seem to get worse when I'm running on the treadmill. Why that is I have no clue. But I'm going to take advantage of it, because I know from my experience if I let myself get out of shape, I get dyspneic from being overweight, and then everything gets nasty. So if I can, I work out. And I have. But I do a light workout as opposed to a vigourous one when I'm like this. It goes along with the asthma experts who insist that you should always exercise even when you have hardluck asthma, or no matter how bad your asthma is.
So I started a medtol pack after much delay, mainly because it's normal for me to dilly dally, to hymm and haw, and to come up with excuses not to do anything. Asthma can be so awkward at times. My asthma is awkward. It's a conundrum. It'a a major riddle. I yearn to see if any of my asthma friends have ever experienced anything like this: where your asthma does not match your appearance, and all your tests are normal, even better than normal (such as your PFTs). Thoughts?