So, I Guess We'll Go With Asthma.

I finally caved and went to my new family doctor today over my crazy exercise induced allergies that are so bizarre and I couldn't figure out.  I did tons of internet research, so did my husband, and we found a lot of people with the same thing who couldn't find an answer.

He came in and I was just embarrassed to be there AGAIN.  Obviously we both know I'm healthy - I was just there for a physical and had blood work and I couldn't possibly be more healthy as far as those things are concerned. 

I had told him on a previous visit for some reason, I don't know why, about my issues with coughing in the past, how it was diagnosed as cough variant asthma and I'd had to drop out of school and all that drama.  That time was much worse than this time.  But I let him know I wasn't convinced it was asthma, perhaps I'd just had bronchitis for a very long time.  He told me it was asthma, but I remember thinking, how in the heck do you know?  All you know is what I've just told you, and if I'm not sure it is, how can you be so sure?

So...I went into a lot more detail about my exercise induced allergies, how I've had cold-like symptoms  since the 8k Shamrock Shuffle and no medication has worked, how I hadn't been running or training before the race because I didn't want to run and be sick for the rest of the day, knowing nothing helps.

I actually had no hope, I didn't think there was anything he would do or could do.  It was just a step to take, something to try, but I would end up leaving upset and frustrated.  Hasn't anyone else ever felt like that?  I absolutely *loathe* going to the doctor, so for me to even BE at the doctor, there has to be a pretty damned good reason, so whenever I leave without a glimmer of a resolution, I am beyond upset, I'll sit in the car and cry, but that's what I expected today.

He got pretty serious for a minute and told me I had asthma, I needed to believe it, and it was caused by allergies, like being induced by exercise, and I needed to treat it daily.  He said there were no blood tests he could show me to prove to me that I have it, but I do, and last time he had almost prescribed steroids for me, and then he turned around to his computer like he was going to prescribe steroids!

I said no - no - no - don't those make you gain weight?  I'm sure I sounded a bit hysterical.  I've been down that road already with the allergist/pulmonologist and he knows that, I had told him I took those before.  It wasn't necessarily a bad experience, it's just that I hear the word "steroid" and I don't want anything to do with it. He said yes, and then listed off about five or six other horrible side effects and I thought there must be another way.  So he actually did think of something else.

He prescribed the same daily medication for asthma and allergies that I took when I had to drop out of school last year.  I was thinking "Why didn't I think of that?", but I don't know what really fixed it - the steroids for the bronchitis or the medication for allergies and asthma?  Or both?

So we'll see, I start taking it again tonight, ugh.  Back to Singular, Symbicort, Allegra at night and ProAir as needed for asthma and allergies, and too many to list for bipolar.  I don't EVEN know what to do when I stay overnight at the hospital.  They are going to ask me "Do you need to take any medication at night?"  Where in the frick do I start??  

I really hope this works, I want to get back to an active lifestyle and not be afraid to run and exercise, IF that is what I choose to do. : )  If I don't, fine, but at least I want the choice!  If you can NOT do it, that makes you really, really want to!

But asthma - it reminds me so much of a psychiatric disorder.  No one can PROVE to me that I'm bipolar.  There's no test I can take, and if I compare myself to other people that I have seen in movies or what I've always thought to be bipolar, no, I will not believe I am bipolar.

That's how I feel about asthma.  Do you know what I think of when someone says asthma?  There's a scene in some movie where the wife can't breathe because she's upset and she's grabbing an inhaler and it's out of mist and not opening her airway, she's panicked and freaking out, thrashing about with her appendages, but someone took the time to empty it ahead of time.  I think she's able to find a couple of them in the kitchen while she can't breathe - all of them are empty.  Somehow she doesn't die, but I can't remember how.

That's not me, that's not how I feel, so why is it hard for doctors to understand that's it's hard for me to believe I have asthma?  Yes, I get the sense they get frustrated with me that I don't just automatically believe every word that comes out of their mouths to be true, that I question it, and even when they think they've explained it to me, maybe what they've learned in their textbooks so they believe it, that doesn't mean I believe it.    

Maybe over analyzing, questioning, and not always believing your doctor comes from being a longtime psychiatric patient?  You're told SO many things, psychiatrists will PROMISE you a medication will not have a side effect and you find it does while you're taking it and read on the internet that it commonly has that side effect, or they tell you that you feel a certain way because "bipolars are known to feel..." whatever?  For me, I trusted a psychiatrist month after month after month of telling her how horrible I felt, how depressed, my husband even went with me to try to get through to her how bad it was, and all she did was keep increasing the one medication I was taking - Topamax.  One medication.  Just increase, that's it, month after month while getting worse, no improvement.

So really?  Just believe a doctor because they "say so"?  Riiiight.  I've done that before and ended up in a psychiatric ward and out of work for six weeks when I SHOULD have gone to another doctor! 

I really like my family doctor right now, I think he's awesome, but I will be honest with any doctor I have.  If I have questions or I don't agree with something, I'm going to be honest.  Okay, right now I will trust him that I have asthma.  Maybe it's not the "movie" type asthma that I have pictured in my head, but I finally believed I was bipolar after being diagnosed enough times, maybe that's just what it takes with diseases you can't prove to certain people that don't have symptoms 100% of the time, I don't know.


jenji said...

Ah, yes.

The asthma scene from The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Annabella Sciorra has the attack.

Hopefully this med will help your issue. If it doesn't it would seem that's proof that it's not allergies. When the remedy fails to give you relief I'd say , most of the time, you probably don't have that disease.

But what do I know.


KansasSunflower said...

I was racking my brain trying to think of the name of that movie! Thanks, Jenji! I could only see the lady with the blonde hair in my mind (and of course the woman who had asthma), I'm amazed you knew what movie I was talking about by my description! : ) Yes, time will tell what I really do have, if indeed I have anything. Sometimes I wonder if everything is all in my head - perhaps I'm a big baby and a hypochondriac - and I should just throw all the medication away!

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