How’s That New Year’s Resolution Going?
Last updated: March 2020
So, many of us make New Year’s Resolutions. Like millions of others, I decided I better lose some weight. That should bode well for better asthma control. So, how’s that going for me? Well, at this point, not very good. But, it’s still early in the year. And there’s still plenty of time before the end of the year.
I’ve read lots of threads about such topics as, “It’s the 3rd day of the New Year and I’ve already blown my resolution.” To be honest, my birthday is on January 4. So, I want to have fun on my birthday. That means I don’t even begin my resolution until January 5, or the closest Monday thereafter. So, I certainly don't think you can blow your resolution before that. At least that's my take on it.
Starting the year with asthma symptoms
This year got off to a rough asthma start. Actually, last year ended with a rough asthma end. I’ve been clearing my throat constantly. I’ve had this chronic and annoying cough. As I think about it, this chronic cough and throat clearing has been a gradual development. I think I’ve had it a couple of years and just brushed it off. And this actually inspired my article, "What causes that chronic cough and throat clearing?"
I have a coworker who also has asthma like mine. We often talk about it. Sometimes we find humor in it. One day we were laughing about how we both keep clearing our throats. One day, she said, as she was leaving the room, “I have to go do some work. When I get back we can continue clearing our throats together.”
I also mentioned that quote in my post, "10 More Things Not To Say To Asthmatics."
Why was I experiencing this?
When she came back we worked on developing some theories. What was causing the throat clearing and coughing? I do have GERD. So, was it GERD? COPD often presents with a chronic cough? So, was I developing COPD? In fact, I surmised about this on our COPD.net site: "Do I have COPD?"
The idea that it was sinusitis did not even cross my mind. And, I always feel fine when I visit my doctor, so it never even dawned on me to discuss it with him.
Then my asthma got worse.
Finding the source of my symptoms
Starting in December I started being short of breath on a daily basis. Like the progression of COPD (yes, that acronym lingers on my mind at times), but it was so gradual that I barely even noticed it. When I did notice it, I just brushed it off to aging or getting older. I turned 50 this past January 4.
But it was there. And now these symptoms are finally lumped together under the diagnosis of sinusitis. Yeah! Finally have that proper diagnosis. See, it pays to talk to your doctor. In fact, the doctor I saw on January 8 was a new to me doctor. My older doctor retired. And when I brought up my symptoms, my new doctor said, “Your old doctor has been tracking sinusitis. It’s on your chart.
“What?” I said, mouth agape. “You mean he wrote that as one of my diagnoses? Why didn’t he say anything?”
There was no answer for that. This was a new doctor to me, after all.
Understanding how sinusitis was triggering my asthma
Actually, that diagnosis did give me some answers. The cause of my chronic throat clearing and coughing is sinusitis. Sinusitis causes nasal drainage. This causes throat clearing, coughing, and shortness of breath. It started triggering my asthma. It's all starting to make sense now.
He referred me to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT).
Sinusitis is not new to me
I think it might have been one of the contributing factors to my poorly controlled asthma as a kid. My asthma remained poorly controlled until I saw an ENT in my early 20s. That was 27 years ago. He fixed my septum and did a few other things. And, voila! Sinusitis gone and asthma control improved.
So, how’s that resolution going?
That sinusitis/ asthma combination has stalled my resolution. My diagnosis led my doctor to prescribe me antibiotics. This made things better for me, but did not resolve the sinusitis completely. So, off to the sinusitis/ asthma specialist I go.
In the meantime, I did get a proper diagnosis and some treatment. This has improved my symptoms enough where I think I can restart my diet and exercise regimen. I will have to pace myself, though. Rather than running on the treadmill I’ll have to resort to the stationary bike. In other words, I'll have to follow my own advice from my article, "Exercising Advice For Asthmatics."
I hear lots of people saying things like, “It’s January 4 already and I blew my resolution!” And I think, “No you didn’t: there’s still many days left in the year. You fall off the horse like I did, get back on and keep riding as best you can."
How often do you experience a shortage in your asthma medication?