Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Random Bad Asthma

The title says it all. Earlier this August I started reverting to an old asthma pattern, one I haven't seen in decades. Namely allergies.

Ever since we went to Florida last fall and my immune system went nuts reacting to all the pollen or whatever in the air, my system has been in overdrive. I've been dealing with an allergy flare for almost a year now. It kicked into overdrive just as the Ragweed bloomed (which was always my biggest problem from my teens into my early 30s).

I have never had allergies so intense. Medication that was always my magic bullet didn't work. I went through $100 worth of over-the-counter meds until I found something effective.  I knew if I didn't get it under control, I was going to be in trouble with the asthma so I just threw everything I could find at it. (Thank you Flonase nasal spray!)

So here I am today with really bad random asthma. It yanked me out of sleep this morning and I've been battling it ever since.

BUT my allergies are under control. No sneezing. No itching. Nothing.

No hint of asthma the day before.

Weather is stable as far as I know. (Although hubby just reported it's miserably hot and humid out, perhaps to the level of a heat advisory which is often hard for me to breathe through.)

I am super short of breath, can only walk very slowly, can't pinch the skin on my chest, the albuterol isn't doing enough and I don't know why.

The one thing that's different is my neighbor gave us a bag of hand-me-downs for our exchange student and unfortunately, this neighbor is a super dirty smoker. The clothes REEKED. We tried washing them but it was so bad, we didn't even put them in the dryer, just dumped the wet clothes in the garbage. And then I had to clean the washer because the smoke smell had permeated it.

I am sensitive to that. Second-hand and even third-hand smoke can trigger insta-asthma attacks. But I didn't react at all when it was in my face. If I am reacting to it now, that's a very delayed reaction which is unusual.

Another possibility...my potassium levels are close to going over limit due to a medication we're trying.  But would that make my chest asthma tight? I don't know.

I'm going to take 40 mg of prednisone and see how that goes over. If I feel better, it's asthma. If I don't, I might need to go the ER.