Tracking The Source Of My Asthma

I was adopted at about 15 months of age in the late 40s. My mother told me that the doctors shared with her and my dad that I had tuberculosis as a baby. This was one factor in my adoption delay. I remember that, as a child, the post-cold coughing I'd suffer through, often made it difficult to sleep. Cough syrup was the remedy.

Diagnosed with asthma in my 50s

I eventually outgrew that for a while, and it changed. Fast forward to my early age 50s when I was diagnosed as an asthmatic. Surprise, surprise. Not. I wondered how I developed this condition. I did some research and discovered that if one has had tuberculosis, even if one is cured, one ALWAYS tests positive for TB. I never did. Hmmm...

Finding out the cause of my adult-onset asthma

Well, during about 2011-2012, there was a pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak in my state. I asked my primary care physician, an internist, if it was not TB could I have had pertussis in infancy, which could have led to my asthma. I remembered those coughing fits post-cold and flu. He said, "Definitely". So, figuring that in the late 40s if the medical community didn't know pertussis existed, they probably would NOT have had a vaccine for this. So I got a pertussis vaccine.

Learning to manage my asthma

I have coughing asthma. It was originally described as "mild", but I know just how bad it can get. It is very well controlled by my primary inhaler. I also have a rescue inhaler which helps when needed. My asthma attack is a very bad coughing session - so bad that I have to let it calm down before I can take any inhaler. But that doesn't happen often.

My asthma triggers

Cold affects me: eating, drinking, and breathing anything cold can set off coughing, which may be a short, mild reaction. Winter is my watch time for cold effects. I have another tale about the pulmonologists I've met, but that's for another time. Now, my primary is managing my asthma with me and I am content.

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