It’s hard to run with no air

Well, that was scary.

I am sorry that I have been so MIA.
Last week I had a problem. A breathing problem. As in, I wasn’t breathing. Talk about scary!!

I first noticed it on a longer run, when I had to slow down and turn around–I just found myself struggling to breathe!  I couldn’t figure it out–I slowed to a 12 minute mile around mile 3 and had to walk by the time I got to mile five.  Every breath seemed harder to take–I even felt dizzy!

It only got worse from there. When I went to work that week my breathing became more labored, my head grew fuzzier, there was a weird gap between my thoughts and I couldn’t remember anything to save my life.  My hands went tingly.  My feet went tingly. I coughed like a dog was barking and trying to explode from my chest.  I couldn’t breathe and felt like I was about to pass out. It was really frightening.

After three days in a row of feeling awful and unable to breathe, I made it to an emergency doctor.  Where I received treatment and am now doing infinitely better.  (Though don’t ask me if I remember much of last week–it’s all a big giant FUZZ.)

What happened? I am severely allergic to mold. Apparently the College I work at has a severe mold problem. After weeks and months of being sluggish and feeling off, my body totally gave out. Turns out that sluggishness and that awful feeling developed because I was only using 2/3 of my lung capacity and getting 91% of oxygen! And that was on a good day!

It’s been a shaky and scary road, a road that I am still walking down in the recovery lane.

The good news? Although I have now been diagnosed with allergy induced adult asthma (due to prolonged exposure to mold), I am feeling AMAZING!  I hadn’t realized how tired, wheezing, and generally awful I had felt for months. (Not to mention all the sinus infections, bouts of bronchitis, and generally constant “icky feeling,” etc.)

I’m back in action y’all!  I was just cleared to run again, to swim, to bike, to yoga, to do my pranyama (that’s yoga breathing exercises for y’all who don’t know.) I am instructed to take things easy at first, but I am cleared to resume my activities!  With the medicine and removal from the aggravating mold outbreak, I suspect I’m about to be super fitness gal.

I have decided to train for my first triathlon, am registered for a BUNCH of half marathons coming up in 2012 and 2013, and am signed up for more yoga classes to take–and yoga for athletes workshops to teach.

I’m not letting my breathing hold me back! Yes, I do have to go regularly to a pulmonary doctor now. (And my awesome acupuncturist Hillary at the Art of Acupuncture has also been fantastic!) And yes, I have a super geeky inhaler. But if it helps my lungs heal and reverses the damage that has been done, I am psyched!

I am ready to run further, faster, and HAPPIER than ever before.

It’s amazing how fantastic life is when you can fully breathe.

I’m digging it!

Have you ever had a scary set-back to your fitness career? What was it? How did you deal with it? Do you have adult asthma? How does it alter your exercise regime?

12 Comments

  1. Jenn Pants May 23, 2013 8:01 am  Reply

    Glad you’re feeling better now, Lora! I hope the damage isn’t permanent. I’m allergic to dust mites and there was a while when I could only take very shallow breaths or I would have a coughing fit. That was when we were moving and I was unaware of the allergy. Now I just make my husband do the dusting. It was definitely not cool being unable to breathe.

  2. Jen May 23, 2013 8:01 am  Reply

    Oh wow! So glad you got everything figured out!

  3. Kat @ Sneakers and Fingerpaints May 23, 2013 11:50 am  Reply

    I’m glad they figured it out! I’m on 6 medicaitions from the same condition – I write about it often ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Jennifer Pug Pug May 23, 2013 1:14 pm  Reply

    Oh, no! I am so sorry! I hope you are feeling better and I’m glad you were cleared to run again.

  5. yogainbloom May 24, 2013 12:33 am  Reply

    What an awful feeling! I’m so glad you got it figured out and are feeling better. Dont worry about the inhaler – my Dad had asthma the whole time I was growing up and constantly walked around with an inhaler – I always thought that was just part of being a grown up! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Beka May 25, 2013 8:20 am  Reply

    whoa crazy! I’m glad you went to the doctor and took care of it before it became worse! Glad you’re feeling better – is your workplace going to address the mold issue?

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