Friday, July 8, 2011


Back in February of this year, I started taking Symbicort. It is a steroid inhaler and it was supposed to help reduce the inflammation in my lungs. I have exercised induced asthma that is apparently borderline "real" asthma. Call it what you like, it's a total pain in the ass because it can be challenging enough to run agility and do other dog training stuff when you have normal lung function, let alone doing it when it feels like you have a plastic bag tied over your head.

I don't know if the Symbicort made things better or not. I quit taking it today, at the advice of my doctor.

The the side effects turned out to be worse than the initial problem.

Do you ever read the side effects sheet that comes with a scrip? Good grief, any given medicine might cause diarrhea, cramping, dizziness, vomiting, sore throat, high blood pressure, sleepiness, coughing, bleeding, inability to urinate, increased perspiration, erratic behavior, bizarre dreams (like I need medicine for that to happen!), flatulence, double vision, swelling of your breasts (really?), ingrown toenails and the heebie-jeebies.

In my case, it made me susceptible to every stinking germ and virus that came down the pike.

I don't want to say I never get sick but I hardly ever get anything worse than a mild cold.

This spring and summer, I've been sick 75 percent of the time with one kind of respiratory crap or another. And it hasn't been your normal sneeze for a couple of days, take some OTC stuff and feel better by the weekend crap. It was wheeze and cough, hack up thick green slime for weeks at a time crap. Yeah, crappy crap. Super crap.

I had crap for mal nationals, Easter, Mother's Day, several graduation parties, Father's Day and more obedience and agility trials and classes than I care to remember. The green slime migrated back and forth between my sinuses and my lungs. It was hard to sleep with green slime sloshing around. I rattled when I breathed. The Farmer threatened to go sleep on the couch. The dogs didn't seem to care. Actually, they wanted the Farmer to go sleep on the couch so they could sleep on the bed with me. Not because they love me that much, they just love to sleep on the bed.

After the last round of crap left me starting each day with a hack and gag smoker's cough (the Farmer did not find this attractive at all), I decided enough was enough and went back to the doc. She said given that nothing else had changed, in all likelihood the Symbicort was the problem.

How's that for irony? The medicine that was supposed to improve my lung function made me susceptible to crap that made it 10 times worse.

So for now, I'm back to life with my albuterol inhalers. I love albuterol. Better living through chemistry.

Training update: I am happy to report Phoenix and I are making slow progress but it's progress in the right direction. I promise I will dedicate a post (or six!) to what we're doing but I need to organize my thoughts. They are very disorganized right now. In fact, they are all over the freaking place.

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