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:
Yess! I loved this :].
And as my mom said:
[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.