3 Good Weeks
For the life of me I can’t figure out why my breathing was so good from those last 2 weeks in January all the way till Feb 3rd.
When I say “good” I don’t mean like a return to normal lung function or even a significant decrease in symptoms, but still what I experienced during those 3 weeks was the closet thing to normal breathing that I can relate too. I seemed to have been less air trapped, hence less short of breath. During that time period I probably used my neb less than 3 times a day, compared to my usual 6 per day. My dyspnea level, which is usually pretty bad in the evening and nighttime hours, was much better and I actually managed to get some real sleep. At one point my FEV1 hit 50% . That’s the highest it’s been in 10 years!
So what’s the deal here. To what do I owe this temporary, but very much appreciated reprieve? Inquisitive minds need to know. Did it have something to do with the climate? Maybe less allergen or environmental triggers floating around? Was there less stress in my life at the time? ( doubtful on that last point, as I had just been discharged from the hospital.) Was it the recent steroid burst? ( Again doubtful , as I have gone through literally hundreds of steroid courses and never felt that good during one ). I didn’t walk any more or any less than before. Nothing changed in my diet. I’m perplexed.
The only thing I did different during those 3 weeks was take azithromycin ( z-pack) for a dental procedure I had done. I was on them for a period of 10 days. Hmm… could it have been the antibiotics that made my breathing better? After all, there are published studies that indicate a small percentage of severe asthmatics actually do better when on long term Azithromax. So to that end, with wishful thinking and the blessing of both my pulmos I embarked on a trial of Azthro. I loaded up for a week and then began the recommended dose of 250mg every other day. Alas, it wasn’t the magic bullet I was hoping for. 6 weeks into the trial my symptoms are as severe as ever. Ive since decided to stop the trial and am back to square one.
This is so frustrating. What was it that brought about that “good” breathing phase seemingly out of the blue, and why did it end so abruptly? And most importantly, how come I can’t recreate it? Certainly there are cycles of good and bad breathing phases that one experiences with this disease, but they usually follow some sort of a pattern ( I wrote more about a similar phenomena back in 2006). In this instance however, it was just the opposite. Instead of having a few good breathing every 3 weeks or so, this time the good breathing phase lasted a full 3 weeks. I honestly can’t remember a single time in the past 20 years when I had so many consecutive good breathing days in a row.
If it was indeed a decrease in air- trapping that made my breathing so much easier, what was it that caused it, and how was that effect maintained for 3 full weeks? There’s got to be an explanation for all this, I just haven’t figured it out yet. Im sure there are multiple variables at play here, wish I knew the secret combination.