OK, I’m starting to get a little frustrated. Ive been doing everything by the book in training for the upcoming marathon in March, but it seems that my body has other plans.
It was an absolutely gorgeous Saturday morning and a perfect day for walking in San Francisco, but once again, a couple hours after finishing the walk ( 13 miles this time), my lungs decided to protest by clamping down really tight and putting me through another evening of hell . Within just 2 hours of completing the 3.5 hour walk, my peaks flows dropped from 350 to 130. It took a full 24 hours of back to back neb treatments and an epi-pen shot just to get me back into my yellow zone. As I write this post my PF is back up to 290 ( which is still 80 below my baseline), and I’m still very SOB.
I hesitate in calling this event “exercise induced” , because generally , exercise induced asthma flare-ups occur during the exercise , not after it. I did feel a little tighter than usual at the beginning of the walk and probably used my inhalers more than the normal for me , but I didn’t feel so short of breath that I had to stop at any point. I was actually having more problems with the muscle pain in my shoulders and neck than with my breathing. In a way , I think Ive become so conditioned to being short of breath when I exert myself for long periods, that I don’t sense the decline in my lung function until it reaches a dangerous level.
This sensory disconnect, if you will, is starting to get really problematic for me. If only there was a way I could more accurately judge how tight I’m getting in advance, perhaps I could prevent some of these flare-ups from progressing . I’ve even considered taking a peak flow meter along on my walks, but I’m not sure how useful the results would be, since my breathing pattern would be affected by the exercise even if I was breathing OK .
It’s no secret to the people who read my blog know that I have a tendency to “over do it” when it come walking, and that sometimes this over zealousness can lead to bouts of hyperinflation and air trapping after the event. But, these most recent post walk flare-ups seem to come out of the blue with symptoms that intensify very rapidly. First I’ll feel a little SOB, then I’ll start wheezing diffusely, and then my PFs will totally bottom out …all within a matter of minutes! Basically a full pledged , bronchospastic, classic text book asthma attack. I don’t like this one bit.
So I guess the big question is, am I gonna have go through this every time I do a long walk from now on ? or were these last two episodes just flukes?
So far, Ive been lucky and have turned around without having to hightail it to the ER , but next time who knows. And if I’m getting this sick after only 13 miles, whats gonna happen after 26 miles? It’s a kind of a scary thought when you consider that my next 26 miler is supposed to take place 6,000 miles from home.
My next scheduled walk is supposed to be 10 miler next weekend, followed a 15 miler the week after. Assuming I’m breathing well enough to walk by then, I think the 15 miler will be the deal breaker as to whether or not I will (or should) walk Rome this year.
Here’s some phone pics from the happier part of the day. (Hard to believe that there was an attack brewing).