Saturday, November 20, 2010

Update #3: Life & Health

It has to be said: physically, I'm in the worst shape of my life right now.

Ever since I moved to Richmond I've been yo-yo-ing up and down on weight; sometimes I have good months, other times I have bad ones. And this past month has definitely been a bad one.

The mountain of work, the late nights, and the packing/moving/unpacking have added a lot of stress to my life. And when I stress, I eat. A lot. And when I don't have a kitchen to cook things in, I either order pizza or go out and grab something, usually something loaded with salt and cholesterol, which basically just makes a bad situation worse.

Anyway, the result of all this is that I am now as heavy as I was my senior year in college (which, for several reasons including weight, I consider the low-point in my life). My immune system has more or less shut down, which means that my latent allergy to pet dander is kicking up again, and it's getting more and more difficult to breath at night.

I've been coping by drinking lots of licorice tea, doing some yoga stretches before bed, and -most importantly- squeezing every last bit of medicine out of the sample inhaler my doctor gave me at my last checkup 2 and a half years ago. The tea and stretches help me get to sleep, but after a few hours (usually around 3-4 in the morning) I'll wake up and my lungs will be so tight I can barely breath. A shot from the inhaler lets me breath again, and I can get back to sleep for a few more hours.

I could tell the inhaler was running low, and given that I haven't seen him in over 2 years and could use a checkup, I scheduled an appointment with my doctor for this upcoming Monday, thinking that would be enough time to get a prescription. It wasn't. After staying up til 2AM the night before working on a presentation for an exec, the inhaler ran out completely. I went to bed hoping I wouldn't need it, but woke up a few hours later as normal, only this time without any medicine to help. So, at 4AM I got up and walked around the apartment for an hour trying to calm myself down and getting to where I could breath more normally. Finally around 5AM upright posture and exhaustion got me to the point where I could get a bit more sleep, but I still had to get up at 7 and prepare for the presentation with the execs - which, incidentally, went well.

Knowing I really couldn't wait until Monday, I went to Patient First that afternoon for a consultation - they gave me a 10 minute breathing treatment (kind of Darth Vader-ish, but it worked) and also a prescription for a new rescue inhaler, which I filled across the street at Walgreen's immediately. The difference between a brand new prescription inhaler vs a year-old sample inhaler on its last legs is enormous, and I slept like a baby last night. I know it's only temporary and I really do need to change my lifestyle, but still being able to sleep and breath at night has already made a world of difference. We'll see what Monday brings.

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