Thursday, March 31, 2011

Passing on Patanase

So I'm not going to be requesting a Patanase presecription from Dr. B. I really haven't had any nasal allergy symptoms to speak of, a few sneezes fill half a klenex in a day tops. I can actaully breath through my nose for the first time since the 90's. I'm thinking I'm liking this whole allergy shot thing well other than the whole getting jabbed 2x month with stuff that itches that I'm not supposed to scratch... details.

I've also had a few riteous nose bleeds over the last week or two. I mean it's not the end of the world. However, with no cold/sinus infection I'm just not seeing the benefit to adding another drug into my lineup that makes me more drowsy and possibly is implicated in nose bleeds. Dr. B and I haven't had a heart to heart yet but I'm going to push for fewer meds. At this point I'm not miserable enough to warrant taking lots and lots of drugs the downsides aren't outweighing the benefits. I'm feeling pretty decent about how allergy season is going this year. The eyes and ears itch like crazy but the rest of the body doesn't and the nasal breathing is a nice addition. I'm halfway tempted to do a little experimentation with skipping some Allegra(probably a bad idea). Unlike last spring I'm actually you know getting back to working out (outdoors at that!).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Number Crunching: Part 1

So I'm serious about this whole getting healthy/loosing weight thing. I've gotten to tipping the scale at 200lbs. I'm not okay with this. Thus here are the starting numbers of me:
  • Bust: 45"
  • Ribcage: 38" 
  • Weight: 200lbs(in T-Shirt & Jeans since that's how the doc measures) 
  • Height: 5'4" 
  • Waist: 39.5" 
  • Hips: 48.75"
  • Blood Pressure:130/80 
  • Pulse:90 
The goals are to loose some weight, replace my 38" Jeans with something smaller when they wear out(~1-2 months), and lower the blood pressure (pulse too hopefully). Today starts me back in the saddle of intermittent speed forward motion as well as healthy eating. I'm not good at behaving but I must make my best attempt. Unless there is ridiculous progress (like my pants which are currently pretty tight, falling off me) I intend to update this in a month or so.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gettin' Off the Couch

Pictgram running manWell my sinuses have finally stopped torturing me (knock on wood). It's time that I think about getting myself off the couch and moving. It's gonna be pretty well starting over since it'll be a good 3.5 weeks that I've been sidelined and not feeling 100%. I did try to keep working out but that didn't work so well. I'm planning on forcing myself to take it good and slow. No rushing to get going with too much distance too soon.This time I've got my sights on a 10k in about 11 weeks. At this point not having pounded the pavement a single day yet; the goal is to run the whole thing. If I run the whole thing I should pace out to right around 75 minutes maybe a little more. Which would be awesome if I could beat my 8k time in a 10k.

I've found a plan which I'll make into a calendar in some free time, I should be able to go couch to 10k with minimal pain, and slow-ish. This will require 4 or 5 run days instead of 3 but I feel like I make runs happen better than I make cross training happen. I do need to get back to yoga to really get the flexibility and strength going again too. Not to mention I always feel so refreshed after yoga. The goal race is the Route 66 10k on June 11. I've also got a 5k with an 80's theme I might do in mid May as a pre-race Race :).We'll see how these next couple days go. Due to other commitments today and an allergy shot Thursday, Friday is the first possible option on starting to pound some pavement.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Time flies when you inhale steriods

Well it's been 2 years since the day I went to Student Health and they suspected allergic asthma and gave me a ProAir (albuterol) Inhaler. It's been a little under a year since the "official" diagnosis and a little under 2 years on symbicort. I've learned a lot, most importantly, sometimes if you don't laugh, you'll cry. hope some of these give you a chuckle.
You Know You have Asthma if:
1. You have ever slept with an inhaler (& spacer) under your pillow.
2. You are excited to have a backpack with a second water bottle pocket just the right size for a spacer, PFM, and your inhaler.
3. You have sent your inhaler through a washing machine cycle or two.
4. You can function on the jitters from albuterol and the craziness of oral steroids.
5. You are a regular at the pharmacy.
6. Exercise is a carefully planned for event.
7. One of your puffers is your favorite because it tastes better.
8. You have an obsession with doing walk/run events.
9. You know what 'evil candy' is and have a love/hate relationship with it.
10. You are on a first name basis with your doctor, and the nurses and receptionists in the office.
11. You find empty/expired inhalers in the strangest places.
12. You can't sleep for more than 12 hours without waking up to take your morning meds.
13. While being SOB isn't good, it has everything to do with your lungs and not your behavior.
14.  A complex set of spreadsheets charts the ups and downs of days and weeks.
15. Red/Yellow/Green are of two significances in your life and only one relates to traffic control.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weighing in on Life

from Graphics Fairy
As a part of the PCOS game plan I'm supposed to be loosing weight in hopes of improving my high cholesterol and out of wack periods. Additionally my blood pressure was ever so slightly elevated this last visit which is not great but not the end of the world. Don't get me wrong I'm not exactly enthused to we tipping the scale around 200 lbs at 5'4" tall. I know my weight isn't the healthiest. However, at present it's just feeling like a loosing battle. I log 20-40 or more Kilometers/week. It's not like I'm sitting on the couch just eating Doritos. Even the doctor was at a little bit of a loss, I'm pretty active, I eat more or less good for me. I don't eat meat or drink soda. I eat 'good' carbs like whole grains and fruits and veggies aka fibrous things. I've been doing the low fat low cholesterol thing since I was 13. It's not like I'm not trying. The other end of things is that unfortunately there are months like this one where I literally don't have the lung capacity to get out there and work out. I've had some kind of cold nastyness going for almost 3 weeks on and off. This pretty well puts much physical activity out of the question. I'd love to loose the weight and I'm trying my darnest to do so. It's not easy carrying a full load of classes, working part-time, and trying to balance asthma, allergies, and hormones out of wack while getting sleep and having a bit of a social life. I don't know what more to do, I will not give up I'm a fighter. I just wish that my activity level and eating habits were enough to make the scale tip at a lower level and please Dr. Z.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Pat's Run Recap

So I actually did the Run on March 12 not today. It was a good time, definitely a fun one to run. As you can see from some of the pictures in my 12 of 12. The course was pretty flat, some small inclines but nothing super intense. The t-shirts were awesome, green technical tee's heck yeah! People had really awesome costumes and were having a good time. I mean there were also people there to Run the race in like under 30 minutes. A good deal of the people were there to have a good time and for the free beer at the finish line.(I passed on having one of those.)
Requisite starting-line self portrait
Unfortunately due to the massive quanity of mucus in my head I didn't get to run much. I mostly kept a quick quip of a walk going. I'm sure I sounded wonderful. I'm kind of mad that I got sick at the last minute but I'm kind of also glad that I didn't give up and not go completely. I had been doing so well with my training and feel like I would've been ready to kick some serious tail had I been running not at about 70% of normal. The asthma wasn't really the issue so much as the nasty cold/sinus stuff I had/have going on. All in all I'm pretty proud of my 1:24:10 official time. Chip timing is pretty nifty since I usually end up starting towards the back of the pack. I was 421/428 for my age group and 8685/8910 overall.

I did get to meet up with my friend Kim who was doing the race as well. She finished in 55 minutes which was super awesome since she barely trained. She felt guilty for doing so much better than me when she knew I'd been training for about a month and a half and she threw hers together in 2-3 weeks. Such is life when you are a bit more physically fit and have less wonky lungs than I. We went for sandwiches afterward which was fun to catch up and enjoy some good food.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

12 of 12 St. Patrick's Run 2011

On the 12th of each month a bunch of people around the blogosphere take 12 pictures. 12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell. These were all taken in/around/during the St. Patrick's Day 5 mile run. 
8:08, The Arch on the way to the start line.
8:13, Start Line
8:32, Just what everybody wants before they run 5 miles, a Kegger
9:18, See of green headed down Market Street
9:31, Parade Floats starting to be inflated.
9:39, These triathlon guys probably ran almost 1.5x as much as the actual distance of the run cause they would randomly circle around things including any race marshals or police officers they passed. I didn't get the last guy in the chain who had a blow up dinosaur on his back.
9:51, Turning at Highway 64/40
9:51, Muny Float headed to the parade.
10:36, Finish Line only 2 more blocks!
10:38, In the Plaza next to the finish line.
10:43, Finish line from the otherside
11:22, Jimmy John's with a friend who ran too, best sandwich in a good long while

Spring Breakin at the Doctor's

Okay so I did get some legit vacation over my spring break but after the fun was done it came time for extra fun!!! Doctors appointments rounded out the Friday of my week of spring break. I feel like both were pretty decent I've got some answers and some things to work on for sure.
From WikiMedia Commons
I'll start from the top first up Dr. Z for a fun follow up about the festive crazy menstrual cycles which are now whipped into clockwork regularity by the pill. She said it's official I've got Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS), oh yay! Basically apparently it means that my estrogen progesterone testosterone and insulin are out of wack or so Dr. Z explained. I've got a high pulse which didn't get  me approving marks from her either. I've earned myself admonishment to keep up the exercise and avoid starches and other such bad things for yah. I am to try my best to loose about 10 lbs in the next 3 months. I've also got a stack of lab orders for an assortment of fun fasting things like insulin, cholesterol, and thyroid stuff. Oh boy my life is riveting. Gotta love fasting bloodwork!(It looms on the horizon in late May/early June).
Lungs (animated)Grabbed a little lunch and headed down the outerbelt freeway to see the friendly neighborhood allergist, Dr. B. Where we discussed my mucus. He wants to get my allergies whipped into submission before he does anything to my asthma meds since from the winter months it's pretty clear that my lungs are happy campers when my allergies are milder. He wants me to try Patanase spray to see if it's helpful and more tolerable than Astelpro which put me to sleep but with nice clear nose. He took a listen to the lungs and pronounced them clear. Which was interesting after I described my various colors of mucus that were(and still are) coming forth from them. He did take lots of listens to them more so than normal, I'm guessing there was something semi-suspicious happening. He did kind of press down on the top part of my ribcage a bit like up by my clavicles and sternum while he was listening to the lower lobes of my lungs while exhaling. Not quite sure what that was about. I get to return in 3ish months for more fun mucus and asthma discussions. He was pleased by the positive effect birth control has had on the menstrual asthma.

Overall I feel like both of these appointments provided clear plans of action that I am comfortable with and should make things over all better. I've got my work cut out for me these next few months.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quick Thoughts on the New York Trip

I'm on the last night in New York. It's been pretty awesome pictures will follow when I get home to my parents place. I've really enjoyed my time wandering the city. Our hotel has not been so great for the asthma front. The front entrance way smells extremely strongly of this orange perfume. Kind of like a giant plug in. Oh well you can't win at everything. Considering how much walking we've done the lungs have been pretty well behaved. I think the key to this was that I'm that nerd who brought my own dust mite cover with me. I've also been carrying symbicort with me so I don't miss doses. I'm pretty sure my symbicort has seen half the bathrooms in Manhattan I've been in. Lungs have been fairly copacetic. Walked about 15km that I remember the routes to and thus could map in the last day and a half. Had a hit or two of ventolin here or there. Nothing major. Knock on wood no problems with flying with all my asthma/allergy paraphernalia. Laters!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Pill and the Lungs

So I think I mentioned in the summary of my appointment with Dr. Z's officemate Dr. S that we are taking birth control for a spin to try to make my hormones play nice. So far it's been pretty decent. I'm taking a lot less ventolin during the estrogen drop of the month. I still need more than I normally would. However, we're down from 8-10 puffs/day to 2-4 puffs. So not bad at all. And I actually am not so short of breath that I'm not just barely scraping by, I actually feel up to doing things other than napping or forcing myself to be productive and do quiet seated work.
WikiMedia Commons

I don't know how well the hormones are actually doing at regulating my cycles. The first month was rather rough. There was lots of random bleeding. Which I know is somewhat normal. We're solidly through month two, without random spotting and bleeding. I have only had a 3 day short period. I did have pretty heavy bleeding and cramping during the short period that I did have. Which is much more normal than the periods I was having prior to the pill. I do like having a predictable cycle but I'd rather not be on these things forever and ever. I mean I really like what they do, but it's not without some probability of long term cardiac side effects. Hopefully, we'll get to the bottom of my crazy cycles sooner or later.

On a sick note, I'm still under the weather but feeling less bad than this weekend. I still have congestion and a sore throat. However, I'm not feeling too bad. I have been SOB quite a bit as I get back to moving around and doing stuff. Haven't had a peakflow crash really or too much asthma symptoms. However, my energy is still pretty well in the tank. We'll see how the week progresses. I'm hoping to avoid steroids, and getting sicker since I'd really like to still compete at the St. Patrick's Day Run.