Breathe Easy – Bravelets

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Breathe Easy

Posted on March 13 2015

I believe I was 12 or 13 ... When I was first referred to a specialist and diagnosed with asthma. I didn't give it much thought back then, it didn't affect me.

I'm 30 now and I feel like my life has flipped in the wrong direction, with regard to my health.
In January 2014, I was once again referred to several doctors for ongoing and continuous sinus infections. I landed myself in the waiting room of the allergy & asthma clinic towards the end of January, after not being there for almost 6 years. I completed 3 rounds of allergy testing, concludes I'm allergic to what feels like every tree here in Oregon, cats and dogs (which I already knew), and a few other new things. At that time, my Dr told me my asthma was pretty bad but didn't officially label it. He had some treatment ideas for me that we'd attempt over the year and we had my breathing tests to compare to over the year as well.

I immediately started taking Allegra everyday, year round for my allergies. He put me on Dulera and Asthmanex, which are a steroid inhaler. As well as Singulair, daily.

We teased the thought of allergy shots again (I stopped those when I was pregnant) or beginning Xoilair shots. After several appts and research, I began the Xoilair shots in September every two weeks. I also had a come to Jesus meeting with myself ... I need to stop feeling sorry for myself, I will not get any better or feel any better by sitting on the couch! So I began walking and running some. I then had this wild idea of running my first 5k Shamrock run in March 2015! I know that I need to take care of myself and listen to what my body is trying to tell me. I have little, to no immune system so if I catch a cold - I am guaranteed to begin having breathing issues, which in most cases means a 14-day burst of prednisone. I have to really think about what I do and where I go ... I cannot be around people smoking, in a house with furry animals and around people who have too much perfume on.

After four months of the shots, I got in to see the dr for a follow up. Test the old breathers, bring him up to date, etc. Turns out, my breathing tests did not show any improvements from the first tests back in January. At that time, he put a final label on it as "Severe Persistent Asthma". It was really happening, I remember sitting in my car in a daze. Why me?! I was also preparing for my first Fight for Air Stair Climb for the American Lung Association in Portland that same weekend, so he put me on prednisone for 12 days. (Sad face!) I go back to see him in a month, to decide what we will do with me going forward.

A year ago when the dr told me that my asthma was pretty bad ... it was an eye opener for me. I knew I was struggling, but I did not know the severity of it. It was like a dream gone bad! And I wont lie, I had a very difficult time accepting it whole heartedly. I still have bad days and I still have days I sit and tell myself, "I have a disease ... a scary chronic (and could-be deadly) disease!" But I also have my good days!
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