When asthma kicks your @$$

Ah yes, spring has sprung.  The birds are chirping.  The sun is shining.  The pollen, mold and grass counts are through the roof!  Ugh.  The downside to living in the mid-Atlantic is that you get the joys of northern trees and southern trees.  Usually, there is a small break between the budding to enable my poor immune system to ramp up slowly.  Not this year.  We went from 20 degrees to 80 quite literally overnight.  What this means, for me, is an asthma flare up, a big one.

Thursday morning I woke up and felt like I’d been hit by a truck.  I stayed home from work and slept an extra 5 hours! Poor Perry was excited I was home but didn’t understand why I wasn’t interested in playing ball. I knew that my race was in jeopardy, but I was determined. 

Sunday morning dawned with my chest rattling like a 3 pack a day smoker and my wheeze sounding more like a hissing tire. Crap.

Now most sane people would have scratched. I never professed to be sane. Instead,  I determined that I was going to have to do the 5 mile race vs. the 10 mile I had signed up for. There was absolutely no way I was going to make it 10 miles. I hated doing it considering I had budgeted the calories with Saint Mary for the 10 miles, but I really didn’t have any other option.  At least 500 calories burned is better than 0 calories burned. 

We got to the race super early so we offered to work the check in desk. By the time the safety brief started at 0850 I had already taken my medicine, twice. Luckily I had my safety inspector with me.  

service dog 

I knew that between him, my medicine, and Shadow we’d be ok. We started off with all the junk rolling around in my chest. As we started our first incline I was really wondering what kind of crazy I was to be doing this. 

Now, one of the amazing skills Perry has is the ability to sense an attack coming way before I do. He will start running beside me first then behind me (to slow me down) and if that doesn’t work then he outright lays down on the trail and refuses to take another step until I take my medicine. Today, he did it twice. I took my medicine and he stayed right next to me until whatever it is that he keys off of went away. 

When we hit mile 4 I was definitely thankful I didn’t do the 10. One more stinking mile. My legs felt great. My lungs on the other hand were screaming for me to stop. My gas tank was empty and my lungs were completely on fire. This is not good. I pushed myself further knowing we were almost there. 

As we turned the corner into the finish chute there was one minor hill up. Cruel I tell you. Outright cruel. Pushing through I crossed; 1:06. I’ll take it. A 13:16 mile isn’t bad for a girl who could barely breathe. 

We made our way down to the food table I got myself a banana and him and bag of popcorn. He deserved every stitch of it. He did his job today and then some.  

dog popcorn

We laid in the sun for a bit until my lungs stopped burning. Listening to the awards ceremony I had to chuckle to myself. I will never win an award for speed, but if they gave awards for persistence and determination (ok and a smidge of stubbornness) I’d most certainly rack up the points. 

I probably shouldn’t have run today, but if I did all the things I shouldn’t do I might as well live in a bubble. I refuse to let my asthma control my life. Yeah it may kick my ass once in a while, but I refuse to let it win. 

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