A year ago, my ears failed to equalize pressure and for that year it felt as though I had just deplaned from a long flight and my ears never "popped" leaving me with a feeling of "speaking in a barrel" which is very aggravating as you can't discern how loudly OR softly you are speaking. I hated to have to have a conversation. The drum sound in my head was so unpleasant.
One day my ears cleared up and I was ever so grateful that things were 'back to normal'. Apparently my gratitude was premature. Soon I was clearing my throat of a thick phlegm and sometimes was able to cough and expel it. Following closely to this new development, my breathing started to hit a downward slope. At first I ignored it thinking I was just tired. Soon I wasn't able to do even mild exertion without gasping for air. I began staying home more and more and spending long hours sleeping on the sofa and looking forward to bedtime.
The husband kept telling me I just was "out of shape"; getting no exercise...blah ..blah ..blah. I tried to believe this was all there was to my declining health.
Months pass and just a week ago I gave up and made a doctor's appointment. By this time my breathing had done nothing but get worse. It was time to seek help.
Predinsone in high doses was prescribed but only for one week. Steroids are wonderfully effective but have horrid side effects. I've had to weigh the benefits against the negatives and hopefully after this one week of Predinsone, the inflammation in my bronchus and lungs will abate and I'll be back to normal. Apparently I have an inherited autoimmune disease that leaves my lungs unable to cope with bacterial infections effectively. Some calcified lymph nodes were found but the doctor assures me this isn't the cause of my breathing difficulties right now. I have inflammation that is closing off my airway much like a case of bronchitis. Along with the breathing lab results denoted anemia. Another medicine added to my morning and afternoon dosing; iron.
I'm not accustomed to having many health problems. Most of my health related events are orthopedic; related to my skiing and motocycle accidents. Actual health problems are new to me. Giving up smoking three years ago caused a decrease in the occasional cold related lung involvements.
On the bright side, after years of smoking the doctor said I was very lucky to have no signs of any lung damage related to inhaling all those carcinogens all those years.
Another update: I can breathe. I'm hoping this continues after the Prednisone dosing is finished in a few days. I've spent the last two days in my car and in town going from store to store; something that I haven't been able to do for months and months. I've done a little shopping and a little walking around and each step taken has been gratifying. I'm very appreciative of a lung full of oxygen right now; something I've taken for granted for much to long!
I've been staying "on the move" full of fear that it won't last after stopping the medication. I will update my posting on this subject in a couple of weeks but my theory is when the ears became "unplugged" from the sinus problems, the drainage continued on into my lungs causing this mess since I've had no colds or any sickness causing this problem.
My autoimmune disease also causes gingivitis and now I finally have a reason for having that problem. I've had to fight it all my life and the cost of saving my teeth has been expensive. Even with all the flossing and brushing, dental visits are mandatory to keep it under control and to keep my teeth! The dental visits also left me feeling like I was neglecting normal daily care of my teeth; now I know. I will surely inform my dentist of this new development and shed the guilt I'm always left with after a dental visit!
Enough already? I'm getting dressed this morning and I'm on the move. It feels great to be able to move and I don't want to waste a moment being idle. I've idled long enough on the sofa and in the bed!