I met a great friend for lunch that I hadn't seen in nearly two years. We had some good eats and caught each other up on our lives.
I left Panera around 1:20 and headed to Campus Health Services for my 1:45 appointment. I normally wouldn't imagine that a university doctors office would provide service comparable to private practices, but UofL's Campus Health Services has been great as long as I've lived here.
There is one specific doctor, who I'll refer to as Dr. K from here out, that I particularly like. She is super friendly and has shown herself to be very knowledgeable about everything. She often refers to research when explaining things and she is very personable. I feel comfortable placing my health in her hands, and I prefer her over any doctor I've seen yet.
She first mentioned that my blood pressure looked great, as it had not about six months ago when she first expressed her concern. She had urged me to exercise and I obliged her in the moment, but of course continued living my life as normal. Since that night in June that my self-motivation switch turned on, I've hoped that this running thing would be beneficial to my blood pressure. Learning of evidence proving that to be the case was fantastic.
I've been conscious of the fact that my health was certainly not optimal, in the back of my mind, and it semi-scared me when I thought about it. I feel good knowing that I'm on track to a healthy body and lifestyle.
From there, Dr. K began asking me about my breathing problems. I explained to her the details and she was curious about my allergies. After some Q&A, she stated that my issue may be Exercise Induced Asthma. She informed me that she would order a Spirometry test and discuss the results with me.
A nurse came in and administered the Spirometry test. She handed me a small electronic device that had a plastic tube extending from it, about 3/4" in diameter. I was to get into my "ballerina pose" and take the largest breath in that I could possibly take. Upon reaching full capacity, I was to put my mouth around the tube and exhale all the air as fast as possible, continuing to exhale until I had no air left. This was to be done three times, to acquire more accurate results.
I completed the test and felt like I had failed. All my air was gone so fast and I didn't have much to exhale after the first second or so. I waited for Dr. K to return to discuss my results. I heard that familiar pre-enter knock when she had arrived. I've always wondered what a person could possibly be doing in such a small, barren room to require a pre-enter knock. I guess I don't want to know, but I'm sure it's just a courtesy thing.
Upon entering the room, Dr. K said, "This looks great!"
"Really?" I asked.
She went on to explain that I was able to exhale nearly all of my air within the first second, which exemplifies normal lung function. She explained that asthma is usually an inability to get all of your air out. This reaffirmed her initial thought that I was a victim of Exercise Induced Asthma. She told me there were two main treatment options. Option one was Singulair - a once a day pill that would hopefully kill two birds in one stone by treating both the asthma and allergies. Option two was an inhaler and a nasal spray. I asked of her opinion and she said as long as I wasn't depressed or had anxiety, she would prefer to try Singulair first.
I informed her that I have no problems related to depression or anxiety and that option one sounded great. She said that I could do both options at the same time, but we both agreed that we then wouldn't know which of the three medications was actually working.
She gave me a two week sample of Singulair and instructed me to take it once daily. She said it has been known to cause/worsen depression or anxiety and to tell a few of my friends that I was taking it and to say something if they noticed a change in my behavior. My life is awesome, so I'm honestly not worried about that part. I just want to breathe!
She said to give her a call, to prevent me from paying another copay, after the two weeks had ended and she could either call in a prescription of Singulair or we could begin option two. I agreed and went on my way. I took my first dose as soon as I got in my car. I read some of the instructions and it said to treat Exercise Induced Asthma, take two hours before exercising.
I got home, took care of some school related things, and got ready for a run. It was 102 degrees, but I haven't really been hot since getting back from Oklahoma, so anything below 110 feels fine.
I took my normal route and again noticed that I was surpassing previous checkpoints. About two hours had passed since I had taken the first dose, so I was curious if I would notice a difference. I was still having trouble breathing while I was running, but I did feel that I could get that deep breath more easily when I was walking. I'm not sure if that was the Singulair or the placebo effect, but I liked it. I'm hoping that this medicine really helps. I'm sure I'll know more next week.
The run ended, and while the last run was tough towards the end, I was able to regain my breath upon walking. I felt pretty good. My legs were a little sore, but nothing to really complain about. I took the cooldown walk to get back to my apartment.
I ran through the shower and immediately left to meet some friends for dinner.
In all, it was a great day. Living a proactive lifestyle is honestly fantastic. Getting things done is the best!
I'm heading to Owensboro Sunday night to be there for a golf scramble I'm playing in, with my father, on Labor Day. Scrambles are my favorite format and it's at my home course, so I'm pretty pumped. My dad is playing golf about eight days a week now, so I'm sure he'll make it easy to score low. ;)
I won't be coming back to Louisville until Tuesday morning, since I don't have class until 4pm. My Monday run will thusly take place in Owensboro. I'll do my best to get the blog post up that same day.
The song of the run was Phoenix - 1901. After being introduced to Phoenix, by what I believe was a Pandora station of mine, they quickly made it into my top five artists. Their album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, contains some fantastic songs, all of which I've heard hundreds of times.