asthma · Colorado · running

Running with Asthma

Right after Christmas this year I started getting a really sore throat and everything went downhill from there.  It started with a sore throat and it quickly moved in to my lungs.  I was coughing and hacking non stop annoying everyone around me.  Around mid January I finally went to the doctor and was diagnosed with bronchitis.  I was given antibiotics and an inhaler and sent home to rest.  By the end of January I wasn’t feeling any better and had to return to the doctor.  Again they told me I had bronchitis and was given a heavier dose of antibiotics and was told to continue the inhaler.  By mid February I found myself in urgent care on a Saturday because my primary doctor was afraid I had pneumonia.  I had xrays and a full examine and was told I did not have pneumonia but I still had bronchitis and to top it off I had asthma.  Asthma?!  I was given another round of antibiotics and some strong cough medicine and sent home again.  This time, after two months, I started feeling better.  I slowly felt myself getting my life back and I was so excited.

At the beginning of March I had a half marathon schedule which I downgraded to a 5k but was still determined that I was going to run.  I had actually run a 5k in January while I had the bronchitis and that was horrible (I would not advise anyone to do that)!  My 5k in March was rough but I was still feeling better than the last couple of months but I started wheezing about a mile in to the race.  I could still run but I could feel and hear the wheezing and it was definitely not something I had experienced before.  Shortly after the race I went back to my doctor for my final check-up and was told that because of the bronchitis and the scarring in my lungs I now have exercise induced asthma.

IMG_2751I figured that this would be short term and I would be back to myself in no time and be asthma free.  I used my inhaler before longer runs and was feeling better.  Then summer came.  The heat and humidity seem to be my asthma triggers.  I was told that it was cold weather that usually wreaked havoc with asthma! I would warm up and within minutes of running I could feel the wheezing starting again.  In all honesty I keep forgetting my inhaler and have had trouble getting in to the routine of using it regularly but I can definitely feel the difference when I use it and when I don’t.

The weirdest thing is going through 34 years of my life without asthma and suddenly having it.  If I have had to deal with an inhaler since I was little maybe it would be easier to deal with but I have found it to be very discouraging.  At a recent boot camp we were running steps and I had to stop because I couldn’t breathe.  I knew I could still physically run the stairs but my lungs were failing me and I had to stop and step to the side to catch my breath.  This was the first truly terrifying moment I had with my asthma.  I have been proud of myself from not letting this be my excuse for not continuing to run and exercise.  I just need to work on managing it better.

If you live with asthma do you have any suggestions on how to cope with it?

One thought on “Running with Asthma

  1. Make sure you warm up really well before excercise and don’t ignore it, take your inhaler when you need to. Yoga actually really helped my asthma when it was really bad and I’m always told swimming is good but I’m a very weak swimmer so can’t confirm! I hope you can find a way to cope xo

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