22 April 2009

Breathing Well

My breathing is much improved from what it was last fall, particularly when that doctor put me on prednisone. I think I'm back to what I was right after graduating from CSU. Part of the improvement I'm pretty sure is due to walking to campus three days a week now that the weather is decent enough for it. Partly I think it's that I'm back on bromelain and quercetin, which usually do better at keeping my allergies under control than antihistamines, though the Nasalcrom does its part as well. And partly I think it's because I'm off the Zyrtec.

Today I had a rather unnerving test of how much it had improved, as I managed not to put my inhaler in my backpack before walking to campus. My breathing was stressed at the end of the walk, to the point that I wished I had the inhaler with me, but it never got to the level of an asthma attack, and cleared up on its own after a few minutes of rest. That's actually major progress at this point. It means that I can own cats and still be able to breath and function normally. I'd been starting to wonder if, so long as I had the cats, I was going to be stuck with near-constant asthma attacks. Thankfully, the answer is no.

As far as the Zyrtec goes, when I first started taking it, it did seem to help the breathing, rather than making it worse. Unfortunately, it was a very temporary effect, and after being on it for a while, it didn't seem to help any at all. In fact, I strongly suspect it was making my breathing worse, as I've come to suspect it was responsible for my acid reflux problems last fall. They'd been mostly gone since December, when I first got off of the Zyrtec, but, during the four week period when I had Zyrtec in my system, the acid reflux started to come back. Not proof, but certainly suggestive.

I'm thinking that what caused my breathing to get worse in the first place, though, was not so much the cats as that I had stopped taking bromelain. The brand I'd been taking suddenly started being labeled as "Not Gluten Free." It was, and is, the only brand of bromelain that Fred Meyer carried, and it took me a while to track down another brand that was gluten free (at GNC). One caution about bromelain, however: taken on an empty stomach, it can cause cramping.

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