Exhale As Hard As You Can

A Day in the Life20 Comments


Today was the next visit to the pulmonologist. It started off with a breathing test. They had me stop all drugs 24 hours before. I put a tube in my mouth and she clipped my nose and had me sit and breath normally. Then when she said go, I had to breathe in real fast and then exhale as long as I could. The computer was drawing waveforms of my breaths. Here was a shot of my baseline numbers.


Then I did a nebulizer with albuterol in it. Pretty much like an inhaler but quicker. So then we retested. The goal being that you would see a positive change in the numbers because the drugs helped control your asthma. And…

No change. Numbers were the same. I was not surprised at all. To me, this either means that albuterol does not effect my symptoms or that nobody knows what’s wrong with me just yet. Doctor says the former. Albuterol usually works on asthma but for some folks it just has no effect. We are going with the theory that I fall into that group. It matches my daily findings that I really didn’t feel any different with the drugs.

So now what?

We moved to a pill instead. This is called Singulair, or Montelukast (generic). The description says it “helps prevent and control asthma attacks, including attacks caused by exercise”. Also treats seasonal (short-term) and perennial (long-term) allergies. I like that. My symptoms do range during the year depending on cold and dryness a bit. That could be something allergy related. And interesting that it says “exercise” right in the description. So I am on this stuff for 2 weeks then another follow-up. Apparently, this stuff is quick to react — no build up needed.

If we don’t hit a home run on this, its going to be a stress-inducing breathing test next time. Like on a treadmill. I have done those before when I had my VO2Max done years ago. It kind of claustrophobic. But I am game.

So not better yet. Working through the treatment playbook it seems. I guess the positive news is that we ruled out some set of things. Unfortunately, those were the easy fixes.