I imagine that you will all be shocked — shocked! — to hear that I do a pretty poor job of taking care of myself. It is horrible, I know, and I have no excuse. Unfortunately I had a bit of a wake-up call, and now vow (publicly) to improve. Seriously.
I have asthma. This was something that wasn’t officially diagnosed until my early 30s, although there were hints from doctors throughout my 20s that whatever illness I was dealing with “could be” a result of asthma. However I always defined asthma, for whatever reason, as constant wheezing and hyperventilation, which was not a symptom that I ever had (stupid doctors).
Once I started regularly seeing my allergist and ENT, and dealt with the lovely sinus surgeries, I finally understood that I have asthma and need to treat it. So treat it I did, taking my medications and getting my shots to help counter the allergies that triggered the asthma. Until I didn’t.
Apparently dragging myself to the allergist each week for shots, maintaining my follow-up appointments and refilling my medications became too much to handle. Why? Who knows? I felt fine, anyway. Until I didn’t.
When I finally returned to the doctor last week well aware that I needed to get my conditions back under control, it wasn’t a, “here are your prescription refills” kind of visit. It was bad. Serious even. I fucked up. And the more research that I’ve done, the more I realized that something so (relatively) simply to manage can kill you — recently highlighted by reporter Anthony Shadid’s death.
So now I am saddled with multiple inhalers, nose sprays, OTC and prescription drugs that make me jumpy, paranoid, shaky, a bit panicked (and those are the good side effects). Fab. Oh, and guess what else I uncovered? Asthma can be a trigger for depression. Who knew? Because I don’t have enough going on in my life that already serves as a trigger.
So this wake up call, well, woke me up. Now I am taking all my medication management seriously, although I can’t help wondering whether or not all the different crap I’m putting into my body is reacting against each other, rather than for me. Regardless, it’s another reminder and lesson that it’s all up to me to take care of myself. No one is going to do it for me, and the consequences are mine and mine alone to deal with.