Interestingly, this post is NOT about Nay Nay (or Subi or Jiminy). The boys are fine. This post is about me.
It’s January. And for the 3rd year in a row, I’m struggling.
Being asthmatic sucks. Seriously.
It appears I can’t survive January. This month just doesn’t agree with me (yes, there have been other months that I’ve had similar issues, but January has been by far the worst).
At the end of December, I started to struggle to breathe again. The temperatures finally started to drop and my body said nope. I took it easy because it was cold. I was giving Nay some time off after his weird bought of ouchiness. And honestly? Some days were too cold to do anything anyway. Yet despite taking it easy, stuff got worse.
I hit the medical professionals for the first time on January 10th. My PCP couldn’t see me so I tried Urgent Care at their advice. I wasn’t bad, but my numbers were dropping. And I thought maybe if someone took me seriously, I could get ahead of it.
It turns out when you tell urgent care you can’t really breathe, they push you to the front of the line. And it was good. While the doctor wasn’t helpful, she gave me an RX for steroids (I’m extra complicated as I’m allergic to prednisone) and a combo-nebulizer medication that typically helps when I enter a flare-up. I figured good, I’ll get ahead of this.
Nope. The dose of dexamethasone was pretty low and just sort of kept my levels from falling further while I relied more and more on the nebulizer.
Thursday of the same week, I found myself at my PCP as I started to feel more crappy and my steroids were running out. I didn’t see the asthma specialist (she’s not a specialist, but she’s done a decent job helping me in the past), but rather someone else who…was less skilled with asthma. More steroids but it took a while to get her to keep me on dex vs introducing another steroid. Allergies. Know your allergies folks.
Except, she ordered a taper pak vs a straight number of pills (create your own pack if you will) and the pharmacy was out of stock. Another PCP provider at the office called in a new script (almost called in PREDNISONE OMG until my allergy came up) and gave me the lowest freaking dose possible. Over the weekend, my numbers dropped dramatically and I debated each day a trip to the hospital. But with covid and lung issues, that didn’t seem ideal.
And then my heart rate became semi-crazy. See, steroids plus insane use of nebulizer meds… Yeah. My resting heart rate was at times 120bpm…
Finally, on Thursday my numbers tanked. I still had decent oxygen saturation which is the only reason I never hit the ER. I managed to get in with PCP again AND was able to see the PCP who has treated my asthma. She took one look at me and said we needed to overhaul my entire regiment. It’s amazing how you can be in such a bad state and have someone say a couple words and feel instantly like things will be OK?
It’s Sunday now and I’m on 13 days of high dose dexamethasone (the taper for this requires some a page of instructions) which isn’t ideal or safe to be doing even yearly, but I’m slowly improving. I’m trying to cut the nebulizer out some and my heart rate is stabilizing. I have a new inhaled corticosteroids which also seems to be helping as well (old one was useless). So yeah. Progress is being made. My body feels like it’s been through war though.
My husband has been doing most of the horse chores and I’ve been jumping in when I can. I miss hanging out with my boys, but the cold air just hurts, even masked. Winter is hard.
I do see a pulmonologist (finally) next month so hopefully we can find some long term treatment plan that will keep me from this annual January slump.