15 September 2009

Post Epipen madness: I might not have asthma

Needless to say, after having to use the epipen to open my airways (okay, I could have gone to the hospital.. but that is way more drama than necessary)... I went to my asthma docs on Wednesday to find out what the deal is. ***Sidebar - if you EVER have any allergy/asthma issues and are in the NoVa area, check out Adult and Pediatric Allergy of Northern Virginia located in Herndon. The practice has a special expertise in sports-induced breathing disorders, and routinely work with Olympic and collegiate "high performance athletes", as they call them (us?).

Anyway, after describing the issues I was having and doing a few lung function tests, the doc looked at me and said "there is no possible way you have this severe of sports induced asthma.. or for that matter, most likely any asthma at all." She handed me a home lung function monitor, explained how to use it, and sent me on my way for the time being. I have to test my lung function morning, during/after exercise, and at night. I also have to record my heart rate and general notes. She thinks I have
Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement (PVFM), or Vocal Cord Dysfunction (go ahead... "what?"). The symptoms are usually confused with asthma because they are so similar. The key difference is with PVFM/VCD, you have issues breathing in... where as asthmatics have a hard time breathing out. I head to a pulminary specialist in two weeks who will make me exercise until I have an episode, then promptly shove a camera down my throat to check out what my vocal cords are doing. Yummy.

You might be wondering where this came from... Apparently not to much is known about the disorder. Some think its brought on from stress/psychological disorders, especially after traumatic emotional stress (ahem.. possibly my accident/losing dad).. some think its from acid reflux (used to have lots of issues with ulcers in college). It can also be tied to brain trauma and injury (lets see... I slammed my head into the pavement... also the chin strap from my helmet left significant tissue damage to my throat, which is still sore to this day)... which is where the doc thinks the newfound breathing problems came from - my accident.

So much for no lasting side effects. :(

Nothings going to stop me though... Onward to Florida!


Lesser is More said...

Well, I guess there is a reason they call it Ironman, right? You have to be tough to be one. Hang in there and hope that this doc can figure things out.

Good to see you on Sunday - hope this issue didn't hold you back from having a good time out there.

Catharine said...

Well, yay for being one step closer to figuring all of this out. Hang in there! Soon they'll figure this all out and you'll be as good as new.

Eric said...

good that you are right how was nations ???