Friday, March 28, 2014

Humanity Leaves Me Breathless

Over my spring break, I went to a pulmonologist for my breathing issues, and I received some breathing tests.

For the first part, I had to breathe normally. For the second part, they made me breathe in methacholine. This is a chemical that people are sensitive to if they're asthmatic...so basically, it's supposed to make it hard to breathe. Does that sound scary to anyone else? Because it totally freaked me out!

"Hey, breathe in this chemical and hold your breath so that it penetrates deep into your lungs." !!!

The tester, a respiratory therapist, increased the dose of methacholine incrementally, and the first few doses were fine, but by the fourth or fifth one, my chest hurt and I was short of breath.

I sorta-kinda knew that I failed because she grabbed an inhaler and said, "I know that you're usually only supposed to take two puffs at a time. . . but I need you to take six."

So I've since been diagnosed with asthma. I'm on a stronger medicine now, so it hasn't been too bad. Except when people smoke in the hallways. Which I'm pretty sure is illegal.

I don't know which of my neighbors is the culprit but somebody is getting the hallway all smoky and then covering it up with perfume...both of which make it hard for me to breathe. This happened last night and I didn't even realize it -- my door was closed, and I didn't smell any smoke or perfume, but suddenly I felt like it was hard to breathe. One of my friends heard me coughing and texted me, "Use your inhaler and stay in your room" because she had ventured out earlier and realized.

It's just frustrating that I have to deal with breathing problems because a couple of people decide that they want to smoke indoors.

Otherwise, my life is going pretty well. I'm settling back into the routine of school after spring break, and I'm enjoying catching up with friends. My classes are interesting, too (except chemistry!).

And the majority of people on my campus are amazing individuals. The other day, I was having another episode of breathing trouble -- nothing too major, but I couldn't manage to shake off someone who was smoking behind me...no matter how many times I stopped and waited for him to pass, he seemed to be right behind me! Barely anyone on my campus smokes, but it seems like I attract them or something. Sigh...Anyway, it wasn't a huge deal, but I ducked inside of a campus building and sat on the steps to catch my breath, and a girl whom I barely know approached to ask if I was okay. Later, she sent me a message on Facebook to make sure that everything was fine.

This is is far from the first time that my breathing troubles have shown me the wonderful side of humanity. In fact, it's happened so often that I'll probably write a post about it when my to-do list isn't running off the page. :-) There are so many amazing people at my school.

I guess the bottom line is this: for better or for worse, humanity leaves me breathless!

5 comments:

  1. Glad you're diagnosed okay though. That has to be good.

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  2. Thanks for the update, I've been worried. I'm with you smokers should def go outside and to cover it up with perfume? that's just insulting. Like, yeah in a college where there are smart people no one will guess this once was smoke.

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  3. Glad to see you writing some more! Is there is a resident assistant on your dorm floor you can bring the smoking issue to? They can collaborate with their hall and area directors to identify and eradicate the problem especially since it is at the expense of your comfort and health! I was a RA in the dorms where I went to school for 2 years and we had a strict zero tolerance smoking policy and it was our job to advocate for our residents. Don't be afraid to approach the residential life department at your school if you haven't already, they may be of help! Take care :)

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  4. I'm grateful for the update, too, and am glad that you got a diagnosis and some new medicine. That sucks that people smoke in the hallway though. So rude. And you're right - likely illegal! I agree with Lindsey about approaching the residential department because that's not cool. Your room should be your sanctuary - not a place where you have to hide and use your inhaler because of some jerk in the hallway!!

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