just when i thought i had it figured out . . . expecting the unexpected.

I intended to write a post on Friday to wrap-up Invisible Illness Week. Actually, I have one almost done, but I’ll save it for another time. Instead here are some late-to-the-party ramblings about my asthma. I just want to give another huge THANK YOU to my friends who guest blogged for Invisible Illness Week 2012, and extend my thanks and love for each of these people once more for sharing their stories. :]

I’ve had asthma for four and a half years, and I’ve figured just about everything out.

I’ve figured out that I need to take more than two puffs of Ventolin before working out. I’ve figured out that anything more than a 50-minute-long workout will usually require a shitload of Ventolin, even if I pre-neb. I’ve figured out that I don’t have many allergies [except for dust], and I’ve figured out that no matter how hard I try, I’m not able to mitigate everything, and I’ve figured out that some days I still do need to tell myself: Hey, you do have this chronic disease, and you do need to do things differently from other people sometimes.

So, usually I DO have everything pretty much figured out.

Until something new pops up.

ONE, last Tuesday, somebody busted out the grapefruit-scented hand lotion on the bus. I don’t react well to fragrances, and that extends outside of my lungs (I love Fall, but my fragrance exposure goes up a fair bit when it comes). For some reason, scents like grapefruit or other citrus-y things are the worst. This time, fortunately, I didn’t get a headache like I usually do, but my lungs definitely reacted a bit, and, the most unexpected part was the fact that my face and eyes started burning. Definitely some new sensations, and definitely not good ones, so I’ll be keeping an eye on that. It sounds like an allergic reaction, but the good news is, unless to a specific protein in the fragrance itself, actual allergies to fragrances aren’t common at all. So, unfortunately, I have no idea.

So what the deal with that was, I have absolutely no idea. My face was kind of itchy for the rest of the day, but of course I didn’t do anything smart like take an antihistamine.

TWO just happened. I have no idea what the deal was, but right after dinner I had this really sudden-onset coughing spasm that lasted for way longer than I am used to. At the end of it, my peak flow was normal though I was feeling some tightness/dyspnea, but fifteen minutes later, it had dropped into the “yellow zone” [basically saying my lungs are not in good shape]. I am not betting the two are connected, but they both have me a little concerned, so I’ll be keeping an eye on that.  Four puffs of Ventolin (two and two spaced about twenty minutes apart) later and I am much better but not awesome [I was having a really good breathing day prior to this, so I am REALLY unsure where that came from].

The September Asthma Peak happens right around back-to-school time in September.  As the name says, asthma symptoms, hospitalizations and ER visits spike around this time of year, especially in children–the phenomenon extends outward, however, and may not-children are affected, also. Once again, things I need to keep an eye on–and, maybe stop putting off that follow-up appointment with the allergist? :]

Also asthma related, look what happened to my ID bracelet! Jon from MyIdentityDoctor is shipping me out a new one tomorrow, but we’re a little concerned it won’t make it to me by the time I leave for California next Thursday for Medicine-X. Note that Jon said that this should not happen and my bracelet is under warranty as it isn’t even two months old yet.

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I have my RoadID to wear in the meantime, but it’s a little less than professional, so tomorrow I’m on the hunt to get a new bracelet locally that can fit all my stuff on it since I don’t have time to wait. While I wish this would have happened a week or two ago, I’m happy it didn’t happen, you know, the day before I left. My friend Amy gave me a few suggestions where to check, so that will be happening tomorrow after school.

Otherwiiiise, the back-to-school season is going okay so far. I was really looking forward to Developmental Psychology and it is currently boring my brains out [as is Charles Darwin, who I was also looking forward to], which is unfortunate. Anatomy is I think even more boring the second time around, but hopefully I retain more the second round since I am knowing a good chunk of the content we’re covering thus far. Social Psychology is my favourite class. That and considering I dropped the rhetoric class I was in, there is a significant lacking in #kinwin in my term, and I am not a fan of that [unless I get my four-year kinese degree, after this year I will only have ONE kin class to go to get my BA, which is physiology. If I do the four-year, I’ll have to also take biomechanics, exercise phys, motor learning and control and some sort of elective like sport psych or outdoor ed or something–a fun elective! I’ve determined a big bulk of my problem with these psychology classes is that I am struggling to be able to apply these things [I can’t. I can’t make Eleanor Gibson’s Visual Cliff Study relevant in my own life except for the relevance of passing the test]. So, there is a huge shift in mindset that I have been struggling to make academically the past week and a half. I determined what the issue was on Thursday, so hopefully I get with it. I’ve actually been keeping fairly well caught up with things [except freaking Darwin. That guy uses too many words to say what he could say in less words]. So, studying is going well for once [WHAT?] and I actually managed to accomplish a fair amount of non-school writing projects this weekend, too. Possibly should have been reading Darwin, but whatever.]

On the note of making things relevant in my own life, tomorrow [pending this respiratory situation is resolved] is go time on making exercise part of the new school routine. I did okay the first half-week of school, but then I derailed last week. Let’s go week three!

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