Since September 2009 I’ve managed to lose 20 pounds. While it’s not fast, it’s lasting and that’s all that matters. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed my throat is closing up again so I sound awful any time I exert myself.
I went for another check up in Jan. 2010 with Dr. D. He said everything looked ok but was a little swollen because of the cold weather. I’m supposed to go back at the end of the summer for him to check it again. At that point, we will more than likely schedule a second dilation. I’m hoping to have lost another 20 pounds by that point.
I’ve done several races (5K) with this problem and I’m still working out every week. I’ve found as I get into my workouts eventually my throat relaxes some and I’m able to get some more air but it’s still not where it needs to be. I try not to push myself too hard so I’m not huffing and puffing. In order to get a good amount of oxygen I have to take long deep breaths because short fast breaths just don’t work for me. I do the best I can with what I have. At this point, I’m trying to run again. So far so good!
Before I started my Woodlands Fit I asked Dr. D if it was ok to do the 12 week running program. He said “Sure, I have patients with the same problem you have that are able to run 3 or 4 miles. You obviously won’t be able to do long distance, but you can do several miles.” So, that sealed the deal. My cousin Kelly joined with me so I knew at least one person, and that one person knew about my issues. I had to explain my breathing problems to my coach so she would understand why I wasn’t necessarily doing everything that the others were doing.
During the Muddy Trails on 4/3/2010 one of the medics on a bike followed me for a while then asked if I was ok. I said yes…well, it was more of a grunt and head shake. He said “well, you’re wheezing an awful lot.”
My response was “I’m allergic to dust.”
Which I am, but that wasn’t the entire problem! He followed me for about another quarter mile, then after deciding I wasn’t going to pass out, he left me alone.
I get funny looks from people when I’m out running/walking because I do sound horrible. At least, to my ears I sound like I’m dying so I can just imagine what other people actually hear. The people that know about my condition have learned to just ignore it, but there are those that don’t know and keep shooting glances at me which I’m sure are to ensure I’m not going to plotz right there. I often wonder how many people are trying to recall how to perform CPR when they see me! Sorry guys/gals!
I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I get very self conscious around others when I’m exercising, yet I still make myself go to the gym and participate in races. This problem will not beat me. I refuse to give it power over me. Now, I just laugh to myself when I see the side long glances from people on the treadmill next to me. I don’t explain myself, although I feel like I should sometimes. I fully expect the EMTs to follow me during races if they hear me. They wouldn’t be doing their jobs otherwise! A friend told me I should get a shirt that says “It’s OK, wheezing is normal” to wear when racing. Maybe she’s on to something there!
Or maybe a thong…