Monday, December 28, 2009

Time off

The Thursday before Christmas week, I was at work as usual. I was just finishing up in the lab for the day when I noticed that I couldn't breathe very well. This happens when my asthma kicks in, so I left the lab and took a couple of puffs from my inhaler. I waited for the medicine to work, but it didn't seem to really do anything. I was very cold outside, and the cold is one thing that sets my asthma off when I'm out. However I hadn't been outside or cold in hours, so that wasn't the problem.

I sat quietly at my desk for 20 minutes or so. My breathing was getting worse, so I decided to go over to the next building and see my doctor. I was hoping for a breathing treatment that would solve this problem.

When I arrived at the front desk and told them I was having trouble breathing the receptionist took my social security number and told me to wait while she hurried into the back. Within one minute there were two nurses there to take me to a room. They got a doctor to see me in under five minutes. It was amazing. I wouldn't have gotten nearly as quick of service if I had gone to the emergency room.

They took my oxygen saturation level and it was low. They also had me do a breathing test to determine what my capacity was before and after the breathing treatment. Then I got my breathing treatment, then repeated the test. My lungs were much better but the doctor was concerned about why I had had the attack in the first place.

I didn't really have an explanation. I hadn't been exposed to anything that usually triggers an attack. I hadn't done anything that usually gives me an attack either. So the doctor put me on steroids twice a day, plus told me to take my asthma med Singulair once a day (which I don't take all the time because it's super expensive!) and my inhaler every four hours.

So I went home and everything was fine, until four hours after the breathing treatment. Then my lungs locked up in an alarming manner. It was like that for the next few days - I could tell when four hours was up because I started having problems breathing. My inhaler has a side effect of making me shaky, so I had to call off of work on Friday which is something that I never do.

Something else I had to do was not go out to the barn. We were having a cold snap in the weather and the cold sets my asthma off in a big way. So I didn't ride for a week.

Not riding for a week was the worst part of my asthma attack.

The last rides I had on both Kaswyn and Albert were really good. Well, Albert was pretty good. I'm still struggling at the canter with him. He is fine and light at the trot, but he still bears down on the bit at the canter. I try half-halts, which work for a stride or two, but then he jams back onto the bit again. We're both getting kind of frustrated, but I will say that there has been an improvement since our last lesson.

I took my trainer's instruction and had started to ask Kaswyn for some more collected work. It's not super collection - it's like second level collection. And he feels great. No funny steps or resistance. He gets a little fatigued, and that is when we stop. Anyway, that's where we were when I had to stop riding for a week.

But fortunately Kaswyn felt great when I rode him after that time off. I was so glad that he was still on track. He's looking really good too, putting muscle on his haunches and over his back. He still has a way to go but I can see him changing and it's all good.

I was going to ride today, but it's 20 degrees outside, and when I went out briefly this morning my lungs completely locked up. I think it would be wise not to risk another bad episode with my breathing so there will be no riding for me. It's supposed to warm up to 37 degrees on Thursday, so I'll give it a try then.

I'm glad I'm not showing in 2010, because I get the feeling that I won't be able to do as much riding as I'd like this winter.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I don't know where you live. But this year has been a very bad asthma year for my husband, I think it's the weather that's affecting everyone negatively. Hope you feel better soon and get to ride. Don't push it though.

achieve1dream said...

That really bites. Sorry you're having trouble with your asthma. I hope you get it back under control really soon.

dressagemom said...

GHM - I'm in the Cleveland area in Ohio. Every winter I complain and say "Why do I live here??!!" I don't move though, so I should just suck it up. said...

Happy new year! for horse lovers

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