Saturday, January 11, 2014

Winter Asthma Blues

It's definitely the middle of winter here in Boston. The weather has been extremely cold (sad to say the mid-west has had it even worse) and  we have had a few snow storms. Really, there is a few more months of winter left, and I am not looking forward to it.


 In addition to MS, I also have asthma, which usually doesn't bother me at all. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was around 12. Last week, out of nowhere, I could hardly breathe. Something similar had happened last winter and I went on steroids.  It was Monday night and I was very worried and considered going to the ER, but really didn't want to. From last winter I had a few prednisone pills left and decided to take one as they had not yet expired. I didn't know if I should or shouldn't but decided that I was going to! (You shouldn't really do this, and I don't advise anyone does take leftover pills without a doctor's permission). But, I think it was the right thing to do, and was 90% sure when I went to the doctor, this is what I would be prescribed.
And I was right! I got an appointment with a doctor the next day and started on prednisone. For any of you that have been on steroids before, you know how unpleasant they are. The side effects are rough. I am very sleepy, but have trouble sleeping. It also makes me feel hungry all the time, but changes my taste buds, so I can't really taste the food well. I have now finished tapering off the prednisone, but still have the side effects as it is still in my system. I can't wait for it be out of me! I want to taste food and I want to be able to get some real sleep! It is very difficult going through all of these effects while working full time. I have been exhausted lately and haven't really wanted to do much of anything.
A concern about being on prednisone is that I am also on Tysabri, and there is contradiction to being on both medications. I contacted my neurologist and he said I would be fine to have my infusion next week. I was relieved because I don't want anything coming between me and my Tysabri! I think because the prednisone was such a low dose is why it is ok to keep the infusion, and because by the time my appointment rolls around, the steroids will be out of my system.
The problem though, is that I am still not feeling like I am breathing as normal and my heart rate is elevated. I thought by now the steroids would kick this "thing" out of my system. I am feeling better, that is for sure, but not 100%. I am going to wait until Monday and see how things are going and based on that contact my doctor. It may just be that one of my inhalers need to be changed... or something else all together!!  It seems like with MS, and now asthma, it's always something! Do any of you feel that way... you can't catch a break?! At least this weekend the weather is warming up and I am planning to try to enjoy every moment of that!

 

8 comments:

  1. Nicely written and thanks for posting a picture of my beloved Brookline! I hope you are breathing easier and sleeping well! <3 Lori Spector

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  2. YES!! I thought my asthma was acting up because of dust and the dogs! I also have a weird MS thing (and Fibromyalgia) that was discovered a year or two into my MS diagnosis: my O2 level drops to scary levels at night. Of course, the docs all said it was my smoking ( I KNOW! but it is my only vice) Couldn't be the smoking, otherwise my O2 levels would drop at anytime. I use 3L of O2 at night when at home. The only time I bothered to go to the hassle of taking it on vacation was visiting Cripple Creek CO, altitude sickness, Rebif treatments, I didn't want to be a bigger wet blanket than necessary. That was in 2005, 2 months before my neurologist diagnosed my MS as Primary Progressive. Feel Better Bean!

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    1. Thank you! Dust and dogs may not help but I think the weather has so much to do with it! :)

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  3. I have asthma and am waiting for a confirmed MS diagnosis. This summer I went to the hospital thinking I was having an asthma attack but my oxygen levels were fine. Turns out it was muscle spasticity in my chest pressing in on my lungs and making it hard to breathe so I was put on prednisone. We've had a very cold winter here in Newfoundland as well and last week I thought I was having the same problem with my muscles as before and went to the hospital to get prednisone. This time my oxygen level was very low and I was in fact having an asthma attack. The cold has been far colder this winter and can definitely trigger asthma that you haven't really noticed in years. Also, how long have you been on the same inhalers? Some people who don't struggle much with their asthma stay on the same inhalers for many years and your system can get used to them over time and make them less effective. Maybe you should talk to your doctor about a switch? Just something to keep in mind :) Best of luck to you!

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    1. I have been on the same inhalers for quite some time. I never thought about my body getting use to them, but that does make sense.
      Thank you for the advice! Hope you are able to get your MS diagnosis soon. Keep me posted on your progress. :)

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  4. I hope you are feeling better soon. I too have had asthma since age 12. I keep getting vertigo and it is driving me crazy! I have had numerous MRI's all normal no MS but this totally sucks. Hang in there.

    Paula O

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    1. Thanks Paula! Hope your vertigo improves soon! :)

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