Monday, July 12, 2010

Cough Variant Asthma Sucks

But the prednisone worked beautifully this time.

My mom has bad cough variant asthma related to her horrid sinus problems. Watching her hack and then take her inhaler clued me in to the idea that maybe my coughing episodes weren't so innocent. So I started taking albuterol when I hacked and Lo! I felt better.

Other signs that it's asthma include non stop coughing. Coughing that wakes you up and doesn't let you sleep. This is asthma and not a regular cough.

When this latest go round started, I took very low dose prednisone because I knew it was asthma. I used just 10mg, which is what the endo said I needed to support the adrenal glands when sick. I figured if I needed a higher dose, I had more pills so why not start low and go high, instead of starting high and going low but now low enough? I am not anxious to repeat what was done in March!

The 10mg was perfect. First day coughing decreased 80% and I had a full night's sleep, second day down 90%, by the fourth day I had a loose cough clearing out gunk and day five, so far, I'm cough free. I don't know if this dose would work across the board since this was a very mild flare up, but it's something to consider since I seem to be so sensitive to prednisone.

I often wonder if the 60mg x 10 days we did in March didn't make things worse given my peculiar physiology.

Anyway, if the coughing hadn't been so persistent and keeping me up all night, I would not have even considered prednisone. My peak flow didn't even drop that much.

But after having a baby who, apparently, was born with a PhD in torture and specializing in sleep deprivation, I have zero tolerance for lack of sleep. I deteriorate pretty fast without regular sleep so prednisone seemed to be the lesser evil.

Brief Aside: Ironically, I am short on sleep today after the toddler was up last night for several hours with 'heat fever'. That is not a medical term as far as I know, but she got too much sun I think and not enough fluids (even though they were provided!). She was burning hot so I had her in bed with us, administered Motrin and begged/pestered her to drink something. I finally got 0.5 L in her about 2 hours later (she's pretty stubborn!) and now I am paying for it with eyelids heavy as anvils. (See any horrid typos? It's the lack of sleep!)

So today is the last day of the improvised five day prednisone burst, we'll see how I tolerate being off the prednisone. Will my body honor conventional medical wisdom that 5 day bursts don't need a taper or will the adrenals hit the wall again?

Anyone want to place their bets? Me, I'm just crossing fingers and toes. I'm too afraid to bet on anything.

At least I was able to keep working out pretty much the whole time. Totally kicked my own ass yesterday. Hard core. 200 stairs, 1 mile hike, ran up a hill and back down 4 times, 40 push ups for the pecs, 20 pushups for the triceps, 40 tricep dips. Nice!

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