Morning weigh-in: 188#
(Ha! You probably weren't expecting that! Too bad the scale is out of whack, or needs batteries or whatever, or I'd have a percent body fat for you too. I'm on it...)
My breathing has been OK-but-not-great for about a year now (starting about when I got the other allergy problem -- eczema -- under control, how convenient), with breathing problems worsening with the onset of the colder weather and mostly abating by spring. It got bad enough for me to complain to my allergist about it this past November, at my semi-annual skin checkup (skin being really the the only reason I go to her), and she gave me a "spirometry" test: breathe into a tube and the device figures airflow vs time, lung capacity, things like that -- it connected directly to her laptop, and pumped out a bunch of results and graphs.
The graphs meant nothing to me of course, but my allergist took one look at the results and said "Huh. That's not asthma!"
Next thing you know, she has me signed up for a chest X-ray and a more sophisticated version of the spirometer test (and others) at the hospital, and has referred me to a pulmonologist. Gulp! She tried to be reassuring, but I went home and Googled what I remembered of the test results, and came down with a bad case of hypochondria on top of everything else...
Fast forward to this Tuesday, when I saw the pulmonologist. (Anne came with me, so she could hold my hand while they told me I had emphysema or whatever -- it didn't help that the other patients were all overweight elderly with oxygen tanks.) Nurse takes my height/weight/pulse/blood pressure, then comes a long interview with a PA, all my asthma/allergy/medical history, review of those test results, listening to the lungs etc. He disappears for a while, presumably conferring with the pulmonologist, then the both of them come in to announce that I do, in fact, have asthma (and nothing else), my allergist was right to refer me, but the test results were close enough what they'd expect that they don't think anything else is going on.
They put me on a new, twice-daily maintenance inhaler, and gave me a new type of rescue inhaler -- one of my complaints was that my regular rescue inhaler didn't seem to do much -- and I go to see them again in six weeks to check on my progress. In a year or so, I'll probably be repeating those breath tests.
There was a definite feeling of letdown after all that drama, and I am not happy with the new inhaler regimen -- and it's hard to see "you do have asthma" as the good news -- but I'm slowly starting to feel like a weight is off my shoulders. I plan on giving these medications a few days to kick in, then I'm giving them an on-the-bike stress test over the weekend. Last year was terrible for me in terms of cycling and mileage, maybe this year will be a bit better.