Monday, April 2, 2012

Just Breathe

It's back...or maybe it never left. Trouble with my lungs again. Last week I headed back into the doctor. My allergies were horrible and so I thought maybe, just maybe, it felt like I was breathing through a cheese cloth because of them. It certainly couldn't be helping the situation.

I went into the doctor last Thursday. If you haven't read my posts from before, you may not realize that last November, I suffered form pneumonia. I have never had any trouble breathing before. I grew up suffering from horrible spring allergies, which would swell my eyes shut, but never had trouble breathing. I played sports my entire life and still, no trouble breathing. The doctor, she asked me questions like, "Is it only when you exercise?" No. "Is it worse when it is hot out?" No. "Could it be just anxiety?" No. (Although my life has been rather stressful lately.) She heard my lungs only weeks ago, and she was the one who described them as "wheezy." I said to her, "Look, I realize that I can do more with my breathing like this than most can do on a normal day. I ran 2.5 miles yesterday feeling like this, but this is not normal. I have only had this since last November when I got pneumonia. Do I think it is worse because of my allergies? Yes. But, I feel like this on days, like today, when my allergies seem to be fine." I described that it feels like I always need to get a deep breath. Even when I am able to get that deep breath, minutes later it is back to that same feeling.

Anyone that knows me even remotely well, knows how healthy I am. I work out 5-6 days a week. I eat very "clean." I have never smoked a day in my life. Even with my lungs feeling like this, I still work out. I also let myself rest more now since the problems with my breathing. I take vitamins. I drink water. I rarely drink alcohol. There, you see? I am pretty dang healthy.

Anyway, back to the doctor... I was then given a breathing test called a spirometry test. Basically I had to breathe really hard into a tube that was connected to a machine for six seconds, three times. Problem was that I couldn't do it for six seconds. I almost passed out on the first attempt as well. The nurse held onto me the next two rounds and I got it done...barely. Then, as the results were printing, I was given a breathing treatment. This was given to me in hopes that it would open up my lungs and give me some immediate relief. Afterwards I felt dizzy and jittery, which they said was normal. Although eventually, when those side effects wore off, I felt better for the night. Before I could leave the doctor's office, I also had to get a large steroid shot in my backside. This was to alleviate the allergy symptoms. This, of all things, has been a wonder drug. I have not had problems with them since! The next day, I had to have a chest x-ray.

She came back in the room to show me the results of my breathing test. I guess I can use the "top part" of my lungs really well. That is why I was able to blow out a lot of air right away. But then, the lower part of my lungs are failing me. Those small bronchioles aren't working. I honestly don't know why...yet. That is why I am heading back to the doctor tomorrow. She told me that if I wasn't feeling 100% better on Monday, which is today, that I needed to come back in. She reassured me that she had a plan. That she wasn't throwing a shot and an inhaler at me and sending me on my way. Well, it is Monday and things are not better. In fact, I feel worse. I still can't breathe well, plus now I am having chest or lung pain and sometimes there is a tingling sensation in my hands. Tomorrow, I will also get the results of my chest x-ray. A nurse over the phone said that they looked normal, but I want to hear it from my doctor. They sure as heck don't feel normal.

At least I know that there is a plan. That helps take some of the scariness away. I know that she will take care of me and that this will be figured out.   will continue to live my healthy lifestyle and rest more, as that seems to be what my body is asking for.


  1. HI Molly,

    Did you ever end up reaching a verdict on your lungs? Was there anything that could be diagnosed?

    1. Well, it was just a really bad case of pneumonia. I wasn't released by the Pulmonogist as being 100% until May the next year. I check out just fine these days. Lungs are great.