I went to the asthma/allergy specialist today and was retested for all the common allergies… and found to be negative. The doctor also feels, like I do, that “exercise induced asthma” is odd since I didn’t just start exercising a few months ago when the symptoms started…. So we’re back to square one with no idea where my symptoms are coming from. The doctor thinks it’s Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD). I did some reading and it makes perfect sense. The good news is I get to stop the full time inhaler and nasal spray. Still going to use my Albuterol inhaler before exercise because it does seem to help. I go to another specialist on 9/7/11 who can verify if it’s VCD. In the meantime I’ll pay closer attention to my symptoms. VCD has many suspected causes and ranges in severity. The way to tell the difference from asthma is actually pretty easy. VCD makes it difficult to get enough air IN (ding, ding, light bulb is going off) and asthma makes it hard to get the air OUT. The inhale/exhale test they’ve had me do at the doctors offices shows I have normal lung function. And my symptoms really have to do with how much air is getting down into my lungs. I’m not very short of breath, there is wheezing sometimes, but mostly I just feel like I’m breathing through mesh or mud and just can’t get enough oxygen. If I slow down and concentrate on breathing, I’m usually ok. The other good news about this new possible diagnosis is that it’s treatable without medications. Usually with speech therapy and breathing exercises. One article I read said that many people get rid of their symptoms in less than 6 months! Often people have VCD symptoms with exercise. Onset might be caused by stress…. and I have been stressed lately. But who knows, we’ll find out more next month. In the meantime I’m happy to get off the Flovent inhaler.

Tomorrow morning I go walk with the Team. Yippy. I was just starting to get into this running thing! But I don’t need a knee injury at this point in the game, so I’m going to take it easy and follow the doctor’s advice. I also have lots of busy work to do to prepare for Sunday’s tamale cooking class.


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