Category Archives: lungs

That pesky lung thing

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I thought my asthma symptoms had finally gotten better after getting the flu over a month ago. I had a few days without the inhaler: I used it once before working out the other day, but in general have gotten by without. But then this week we spent a few days in an alternate studio room using Skype to record and edit interviews—and there was this fresh cigarette smell insidiously seeping through the ramshackle walls of the old building. The station borrows space in the back of a decrepit school; the front is the Boys and Girls club. This is late at night, so I think somebody in maintenance is smoking in one of the utility rooms. It sucks, and there is nothing I can do about it. Unless I haul an air filter down there. Or buy recording equipment for home.

It must have accumulated over a couple of nights, because by this afternoon I was feeling pretty tight. By the time I went with my step-daughter to yoga, I felt like I needed to take my inhaler before the class. And then I felt super dizzy a couple of times, which was weird. It could be the effects of the inhaler, or maybe not being able to breathe fully. Tonight I feel that hand squeezing around my chest again.

Looking back at blog posts, I can see that I had lung issues around the same time last year—maybe just a few weeks later than this year. Hmm. Wonder if there is something environmental at this time of year that triggers it or makes it worse—allergies?

I’m officially sick of asthma. Bleh. And I’m not sure what to do about it. I eat right. I supplement as recommended. I exercise. I do yoga.  I get sleep. Any suggestions?

Breathe, breathe, breathe

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 26

This week’s topic is FLOW. Life inherently has its own rhythm and flow. Think of the ocean, the balance of the seasons, the constancy of day and night. We as humans attempt to control so much of our lives when truthfully, “going with the flow” is the best way to carry on and CARRY OM! … As always, use this week to be mindful of easy flow in your life – and lack thereof! Physically notice in quiet moments those places that feel constricted and stuck – where the breath won’t flow freely as it should.

This is a hard one for me. I struggle constantly to control the flow of my life, and grow anxious when I feel that I can’t. I get frustrated when things happen too fast, or too slow, or in the “wrong” order. And I really have a hard time breathing. What I mean by this is that I often find myself holding my breath—for instance, hunched over the laptop, while driving, or while eating—I have to remind myself all of the time to take deeper breaths. And sometimes I can’t.

This makes me feel like I’m not relaxed—as if I’m in a constant state of unrest. And I can get by with it now. But once asthma hits in the winter, it will be seriously detrimental. I’d like to somehow get into a better habit. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

Only Wednesday

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Kind of worn out. And it’s only Wednesday. Veggie potluck nights kind of do that to me. Being out several evenings in a row does that to me. Plus we met with Whole Foods earlier to help plan Bend’s Engine 2 Diet 28 day challenge. Plus, oh yeah, work. Plus, my lungs are kind of really hashed today. Why today? I don’t know. Will they every clear up again? I don’t know. Is this lung thing a pain in the ass? Yes.

Time for a nice long bath with a book. {Did you know I have several books out from the library, that I also have on my Kindle? They are just for use while taking baths. ‘Cause I still don’t have one of those waterproof Kindle cases. Seems weirdly redundant to have both, but it works.}

Progress in spite of no gecko

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Asthma’s slowly easing up—in spite of not taking Advair or the Gecko “herbal” medicine. I’ve only used my inhaler once today and that wasn’t until late this evening. And, I was able to blow a 550 on my peak flow meter, once, but still incredible, since I’ve hardly been able to get it above 350 for weeks. I’m going to continue with a few more acupuncture appointments over the next few weeks, and maybe get some regular exercise back into the schedule this week. Finally!

What I can and can’t live with

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I made that phone call today, and it was hard, but also a relief. The decision is made and there is no going back. And I can live with that.

What I’m not sure I can live with is my Nurse Practitioner trying to give me even stronger steroidal drugs to control my asthma. She would like me to take Advair for the next two weeks in addition to Albuterol to hopefully get my lungs to open up. I asked her about alternatives to pharmaceuticals. I don’t want to be taking them, because I believe in most cases I’m healthier without them due to known and unknown side effects, and also because they are often tested on animals and I like to make consistent ethical choices about what I eat, what I wear, what products I use, and what medications I put into my body. 

So she suggested mindfulness meditation, which is a great idea. And also any other exercise that teaches me to belly breathe and relax. Yoga, voice projection lessons, etc. But she still thinks there are times to take medications and that now I really need it—or my situation will turn worse than chronic. So she sent me home with Advair. And the plan was to use it for just a few weeks. But when I opened it I saw that it has lactose in it. Enough that there is a big warning in case of allergies. So not only was it probably tested on animals but it has animal products in it. Crap. I guess I could call her and see if she has any alternative ideas. I was really hoping to feel better by now, but the lungs are just not opening up. {Jeez, this is turning into pharmaceutical company ethical dilemma week.}

I’m going to call up the acupuncturist tomorrow and get back on track with him. That certainly can’t hurt. And will start setting aside time for meditation. If I felt up to exercising again, more than just slow walks, I know that would help as well. Yoga, of course. Maybe I can find a video and do yoga on my own for a while until I find a new place… Anything, but these stupid drugs.