Sometimes I swear my doctors don’t communicate, and other times I find myself surprised.  For instance, the pulmonologist that I quit going to see last year (I have another one, it’s all good) put me on Alvesco at the same time that my allergist put me on Pulmicort [in addition to my Symbicort and Atrovent] to see if it would get my asthma in tighter control. [Alvesco and Pulmicort, like FloVent and Qvar, are of the same class of medications, inhaled corticosteroids, which decrease inflammation in the lungs in diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Some people respond to different meds better than other ones.] I walked into my primary care doctor’s office and she said “How’s the Alvesco going?” My response? “What Alvesco?”

Things get lost in the shuffle, even though at the time my three doctors were in the same clinic. [I’ve since ditched the above pulmonlogist and am seeing a different one in the outpatient respiratory clinic, but the same primary care doctor and the same allergist]. Fortunately none of these meds are terribly dangerous, and I’m smart enough to figure most of it out (go figure ;)).

Today I had my yearly[ish, i think] appointment with the allergist. For a girl who doesn’t have many allergies [only dust mites, like every other person on the planet basically], that lady sure talks to me for a long time. She even said “Hi Kerri” to me in the hallway as I was sitting there waiting for them to get the spirometer to check my PFTs. She knows my name people. This is not a fab sign.

As Kate said on Twitter:

@__kerri because you're famous!





Yess! I loved this :].

And as my mom said:

@__kerri not the first medical person to do that to you.

[Truth: my pedi orthopedic doc used to go through the back door to x-ray to find us, and then usher us into his office post-x-ray. He knew my mom by her first name, too.]



So the reason I am shocked with the communication bit, is that the allergist said “So you saw [primary care doctor] for an exacerbation awhile ago?” Sheesh, I barely remember this. I had some exercise-induced asthma issue going on and was trying to avoid prednisone but be responsible about the whole bit. I could barely pinpoint the whole event.

As for the rest of the appointment, I didn’t get the numbers but my spiro was good, and the allergist thinks she’s done all the medication reducing we can do while still remaining in a state of more stability regarding the asthma. We have finally struck a balance, and I am happy! Considering I’ve dropped from 3-4 puffs of Symbicort 2-3 times a day by adding in the Qvar and the Atrovent to 1-2 twice a day . . . AND I’ve decreased mmy Atrovent some . . . this is GOOD!  Most importantly, I FEEL better than I did even a year and a half ago.

Unfortunately, though, my sinuses weren’t in check. This is not a huge deal, and rhinitis, both allergic and non-allergic, are common with asthma. Though I’ve noticed some sinus issues, I just typically ignore them and if they get bad-ish and the asthma gets bad simultaneously, I’ll throw an anti-histamine at them. I am kind of whatever towards my sinuses, which is definitely [apparently] not the best attitude to have.

Turns out there is “significant thick mucus” in my sinuses. So that’s gross or whatever. It is probably allergic-rhinitis caused by the dust allergy, so I have to deal with it year-round. And I get to inhale more steroids, into my nose, to deal with it. I guess the more unfortunate bit of it, is that I have to take another medicine and spray it up my nose. Lovely right? Hello Nasonex. More inhaling steroids for me. Gotta love chronic diseases in which you have to take medicine and that basically means forever.

Hello, this is what I mean when I say people with asthma are badasses. Look, I’m snorting steroids AND inhaling them now. Like how much more badass can you get?


Eff, seriously. But whatever, if it helps, I am game. Bring on the Good Things.

*I wrote the bulk of this on Thursday, hence why it says “today” instead of “yesterday”. No, I’m not going to edit it. Have to write in the moment, yes?*

So it pisses me off a bit that the last two times I’ve had scheduled doctor’s appointments [aka supposedly healthy visits] I’ve been a) flaring or b) sick.  My last appointment I had some sort of weird exercise-induced flare going on that just wouldn’t give in; and today I have the cold that’s gunking up my lungs and keeping me knocked in the yellow zone.  The cold is what is likely responsible for the whole burnout issue the other day–being sleep deprived, not breathing well, and awake by yourself at 3 AM can do crazy shit to your emotions.  Did my blog rant thing, bounced the thoughts off Natasha, and I’m back to my usual badassmatic self.

Minus the whole exercise component.

Because the resolution of today’s doctor’s appointment?  NO exercise until I’m back to baseline, stay out of the cold as much as possible, and start prednisone if I backslide or feel like I’m not getting better, and then for good measure she totally chased all that with some form of “listen to your body” lecture.  That’s a new one.  So suddenly she’s done some form of 180 on not only giving me fluffy lectures but also trusting me with the decision to start prednisone?  Who are you and what did you do to my doctor?  My history with her on the subject of prednisone was before that I needed to physically go in to see her before starting it so that she could listen to me not wheeze and tell me to start anyway, which I would just procrastinate until I thought I was getting better [because prednisone sucks for everything else except making you breathe better, and by the point you actually want to go on it just to breathe again you don’t care about the insomnia, the hunger/nausea combo, the hyperness, and whatever personal side effects you get from the evil candy [I’m lucky that other than the hyperness thing, I don’t get the ridiculous mood swings].  But nope, instead of a lecture about the all the ridiculous things pred can do to your body, I got off with the list of “No exercise, stay out of the cold, start pred if you need to, listen to your body” lecture. WHAT?

I think this woman is starting to get me.

Okay, for real, the whole paying attention to your body thing isn’t actually fluffy at all, and I totally use it with people when we’re discussing the whole exercise thing.  Except you know, stuff like Oprah made it fluffy.  Anyway, so that front, I’m usually okay on–totally get that whole bit in lecture at least once a term, so being in kinesiology is good for that.  The whole bit gets a whole lot more important when you’re mixing chronic disease, like asthma, in there, and are focusing on maintaining some form of fitness routine.  [RELATED: On the whole note of paying attention to your body, unlike in May ’10 when I brewed a lung infection for over a week before going in, COMPLETE with fever that I had no idea I had.  HELLO, it was May. I thought it was just getting hotter out, I had no idea that it was actually just my body that was screwed up.  So yes, maybe that lecture was justified as she may have recollected the whole issue of me not knowing I had a fever. Way to be out of touch with your own body much? Sheesh.]

So now it is legit today, so now you can switch your brain to think of today as Friday.

Today, I didn’t make good on the whole no exercise/no cold air thing.  Like 24 hours out of the whole deal I effed it up. Yeah for badassery?  I met my friend Kelly for coffee. We always meet at Starbucks . . . so I went. Turns out we were meeting at the nearby Tim’s.  So I had to haul down the street, which is usually no biggie.  So maybe my doctor is right on that.  Because I entered the mall sounding like I had some sort of plague, and people kept looking at me when I coughed as I walked through the mall to meet Kelly while simultaneously digging through my pockets for my inhaler.  So yeah, managed to screw a variety of things up, but at least I got a grande non-fat no whip peppermint mocha out of the deal, right? [Despite the whole non-fat no whip part I should probably give those up until I can work out again [as they are totally 280 calories and 59 grams of carbs. But only 3g of fat.  Compare that with a REGULAR grande peppermint mocha at 400 calories, 15 grams of fat, 60 grams of carbs and 12 grams of protein, you’re at least saving yourself 12 grams of fat (and 120 calories). Hooray!]

I don’t know where I’m going with this anymore, since I just went on a Starbucks nutrition tangent and all.

That’s what happens when a blog post spans over two days and also I need to sleep. So instead of trying to be coherent, I’ll close with one of my favourite WheezyWaiter videos that happens to be on the subject of doctors, and write about the second half of the appointment tomorrow.