Not all asthma

Yeah, yeah. A play on the #notallxxxx that’s everywhere these days.

But there are various types of asthma. Not all asthma is the same, and as such they need different types of treatments. I have adult-onset, cough-variant, intermittent, intrinsic (non-allergic) asthma. It’s a mouthful. And hard to get out when you can’t fucking breathe or stop coughing.

“Chronic cough as the only sign of asthma is often referred to as cough variant asthma. It’s usually a dry, hacking cough that may worsen following exercise, talking, laughing or crying. Pulmonary function tests may be normal or reveal a mild obstructive pattern. When pulmonary function tests are normal, a positive methacholine challenge helps support the diagnosis of asthma. Such patients often have a dramatic response to asthma medications included beta agonists (albuterol), cromolyn sodium and or inhaled corticosteroids.” — The Asthma Center Educational and Research Fund

I’ve had the “official” diagnosis via the methacholine test. That’s a terrifying experience. Under close supervision, you inhale a chemical (micro-doses) that, if you have asthma and not just a temporary respiratory infection, reacts with something in your lungs and triggers an asthma attack in a very small concentration dose. No joke. They purposefully trigger an attack in order to diagnose you. Granted there’s a doctor right there ready to administer the albuterol to stop it, but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying. I had allergy tests as well, and my reaction to all the stuff they poked me with wasn’t significant enough to record. So no allergies. Just asthma.

Breathing is WORK when my asthma kicks in. And I’m working really fucking hard right now to just suck in oxygen. Long walks with the dog? Run errands? Long conversations? Nope, nope, and nope. Breathing. Just breathing is exhausting. Walk to the bathroom? Better have a chair half-way there to rest.

So asthma is as diverse as depression/anxiety. There’s no cure or solution, just treatments to manage symptoms and help you function. What’s frustrating is this isn’t known. Everyone has a suggestion for how to “fix” my lungs or asthma episode or prevent an attack. Triggers are just as unique. And since my asthma isn’t what everyone sees on t.v. or in the movies or the more common exercise-induced asthma type, no one believes that it’s real, kind of like depression/anxiety. Yeah, the invisible diseases (#TeamAlligator all the way).

I’m starting to wonder if the gods and goddesses are conspiring to prevent me from going back to work and getting back into a (new) routine and life. They might be at the point of bludgeoning me in the head to get their point across. What say you?

And please, STOP telling me things are in my head, for fucks’ sake. STOP telling me how to “fix” myself, or that I’m doing it wrong. STOP telling me to “pull myself together” or some variation of pulling myself up by my bootstraps. STOP telling me you have a “cure”. Just STOP. I don’t need anyone else berating me or making me feel guilty about everything. I’m doing good enough job beating myself up about it all and more. I don’t need help knocking myself around in my head, and I’m already plenty black & blue.


About slmcdanold

I’m learning to laugh at myself on a daily basis. I’m a librarian (cataloger) and I love it. My job involves all things metadata related in any and all formats. I have been known to cause a ruckus when necessary (aka troublesome cataloger) and make no apologies for it. I have a passion for continuing education and teaching. I’m a newbie coder (still learning). I like to cook. I’m a fan of rugby (go Australian Wallabies!) and ice hockey (go Detroit Red Wings!). I’m car-free and bike/walk a lot. I’m learning to love running one stride at a time. I own (and love) a very mouthy cat with a punk attitude and a slightly neurotic rescue mutt.
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3 Responses to Not all asthma

  1. Becky says:

    I also have this “cough variant” and it is driving me nuts. I’m just headed over to get a chest x-ray and to pick up some albuterol Becky

  2. Andromeda says:

    Huh. I think my daughter also has that (minus the adult-onset part). Like, right now. So I totally believe you. :/

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