Last week I woke up mad. Mad at my own lungs. They aren’t working right and it is very frustrating to dream that you can’t breathe and wake up gasping for air. I never had to use inhalers until my last pregnancy. Since then, I use them intermittently, for exercise, or when my lungs are tight. Well, it seems like every September and October (for 2 years running, anyway – literally) I become heavily dependent on two different inhalers. The step back in my running is not a pretty one. I hate taking medications. I get even more frustrated because it becomes highly difficult for me to run even a half an hour at a very easy pace where I’m used to running an hour and pushing my time or doing intervals to increase my speed. I have this terrible paranoioa that it might never get better. It is so tiring to even walk across the room when you can’t breathe. My stupid lungs. I was feeling this way and even cried a bit until I realized…hey, wait! Wasn’t it just a couple of years ago I said I would be grateful if I could even run a mile? And another thing — 37 years ago, way back in 1971, I was born premature, at 26 weeks (very early for 1971!), weighing 1 lb 15 oz, with hyaline membrane disease and my lungs were good to me then. They pulled me through against all the odds and I know they can do it again. I have good lungs. They have been good to me when so much could have gone wrong. I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself as I know there are millions of people with lung cancer or lung issues much worse than mine. These ARE good lungs and I am thankful for them. Maybe another set – or even a normal set – wouldn’t have pulled me through. These lungs have allowed me to do many great things. I’ll go and be thankful now – one breath at a time.
Update yesterday: I went for a good hour long run this morning and had to use my inhaler beforehand but was happy with the results. I’m not feeling so anxious about it. I read up on some interesting asthma theories, including the Buteyko method for controlling asthma. There are so many valid medical studies on this – it’s incredible! If you haven’t checked it out, go here for free information. The rate at which this can reduce medication is incredible – I have tried it and it helps almost instantly (it worked especially well during the night) but I still need my inhaler to run. What I find most fascinating is the theory behind why it works. Interesting!