Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wait and See

I payed Dr. B a visit today and on the upshot I've got some time off for good behavior. I'm not due back until December unless I've got troubles which is good. He somewhat approves of my decreased use of ventolin. I've slashed it down by almost half. I'm still not without symptoms which isn't so good. Apparently the blue (ie 160/4.5 Symbicort is here to stay). Which is fine by me.
Pop Quiz: Guess what this organic structure is! (Mentioned in next sentence)
Just incase I needed another thing to add to the basket-o-meds we are trying out Astepro(azelastine) for a month and see how that goes. As of yet it's definitely deconguested me quite well, which is weird since it's an antihistamine nasal spray. However, I've also had a tummy ache all day since I took it. Possibly related to the artificial sweetener in the spray or possibly completely unrelated. I normally get tummy aches from artificial sweeteners. I didn't realise how congested I am until I got promptly decongested. However, this begs the question, how much is clear breathing worth?

I'm not quite sure where to draw the line and how many meds I'm wiling to be on before I say enough is enough and just put up with feeling slightly worse for a few less meds. Quite honestly I hate taking all this stuff. I don't want to have to think before I leave the house... did I grab my peak flow meter, spacer, ventolin, epipen, benadryl? Am I going to be gone long enough to take symbicort with me? Yes I feel better than I did before all the drugs. However, I don't feel that much better. Hopefully, the allergy shots will kick in or my lungs will decide they like me again or something.
/end rant/

Overall I'd call this visit to the allergist a success. I'm not as frustrated as above digression might seem. I'd like to see less of my ventolin but I understand Dr. B's point that by the numbers I am 'controlled' since the spirometry I did today showed no significant changes indicating inflammation or decreased lung function(yay!). However, I'm not asymptomatic. This is a frustrating place to be. It somewhat makes me question if it's all in my head.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, you're better behaved than me. The ventolin goes where I go. The spacer and the PF meter - only when I'm really flaring already. Mind you, I'm lucky not to have the same allergy issues, which means I'm less likely to flare unexpectedly.

Probably worth sticking with the nasal spray, or trying alternates, if that one really does turn out to be what's irritating your stomach. I have a steroid (budesonide) for chronic rhinosinusitis (which doesn't appear to be allergy based), and it does make a big difference for me, not only for keeping my sinus problems better managed, but also for really reducing my asthma flare-ups.

Ach, it sucks taking all these meds, I agree, but on the other hand, if I think back to my life six months ago, and how I struggled to find the energy to make it through every day, I think I'll take the meds that let me get on with the things I want to do. But, you're right, there's a balance, and if I don't see a noticeable improvement with something, then I don't see the point in taking it.

As for the normal spiro, still asymptomatic, is it in your head question. Yeah, this is annoying, and I ask myself the same thing often. Then, on the other hand, just think of times when you really were totally asymptomatic - there really is a world of difference, just remind yourself of this. Maybe this is the confusion of milder asthma, that the lines are just more blurred, maybe this is just what asthma is? I don't know, but it sure is annoying.

Hey well, best of luck, and I hope you really do keep away from Dr B until December!

(sorry, that turned into a bit of a long ramble!)

Kat said...

It's necessity that makes me behave better. If I had the coordination to do the whole no spacer inhaler taking thing I would. Despite being 18 months into this mess of stuff. I still have barely mastered my inhaler/chamber/breathing timing. Most of the time once I've got a space for the spacer the PFM isn't that much more trouble.
Thanks for the inspiration about symptoms although I really can't ever remember not being short of breath or coughing(always chalked up to allergies/being overweight). I've had a few good days but nothing really to speak of, it's interesting how until I've gotten closer and closer to the 'right' combo of meds I haven't realized just how miserable I was.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about always being symptomatic - I was one of those kids with a constant cold/blocked nose/cough, and I also chalked a lot down to just being overweight/unfit. With hindsight, I think the asthma diagnosis could have come sooner.

I've been lucky that I had a clear patch for a year or so before everything flared up again - it really made me realise just how different it was to be 'normal'. The good thing is that at least now when I start to doubt myself I can think back to 18 months ago and remember that things really were different. Before, I don't think I ever had the reference point either.

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