Thursday, August 18, 2005

The trick is to keep breathing

This is my allergy season. Usually this time of year my head is a mess, with red burning eyes, constant sneezing, and mucus pouring out of my nose or running down my throat when I'm trying to sleep, causing me to occasionally stop breathing in the night unless I take an antihistamine to kill my symptoms and relax my body.

Not this year. Something else is happening this year.

I don't know what it is. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and a lot of little knowledge is a sure path to self-diagnosing hypochondria. But my symptoms scare me, probably not as much as they should. These include:

- Occasional breathing paralysis. I basically exhale and forget how to inhale, and I have to reboot my respiratory system. Not fun as you're heading into sleep. Also not fun when you're driving from a bar 40 miles from your house at 2:30 in the morning after seeing a friend's band. This is rare, but it happened as recently as Monday. In a meeting.

- Difficulty fully inflating my lungs. I have to give the bellows an extra-hard yank to get them from the half-full to the completely-full position. This, like all the symptoms that follow, just started this past weekend. This one happens off and on during the day, but the rest are experienced when I'm trying to go to sleep.

- Esophagal problems when I lie down. It feels like my esophagus is getting crimped, and this is usually accompanied by breathing problems. Fortunately I have one of those corduroy pillows with arms that I can prop myself on.

- Protracted belching when I lie on my left side. WTF?

- Difficulty swallowing. Not something you think about until you reflexively try to swallow, and then have to try five times to get it to happen.

- An oozing sensation in my chest as I start to drift off to sleep, as of liquid leaving the area of my heart and lungs, followed by...

- A swelling sensation in my extremities - usually whichever arm is lower, whichever side of my chest is lower, and eventually, my throat and my head.

After some time (or a lot of time) I will manage to fall asleep. And when I wake up, ALL of the symptoms are gone. If I've gotten up too early, I can go back to sleep without any effort. I can position my head and neck any way I like without having throat problems.

OK. Maybe just a weird variation on hayfever. Maybe something much worse. I took an antihistamine - Benadryl - a while ago to possibly stifle these symptoms and help me to fall asleep. (Considering I only got between two and three hours of sleep last night, this shouldn't be hard.)

Whatever. Now you know. And it's in writing.

But any concerns I had for myself faded when I read Sammie's latest post (the one from Thursday, August 18, 2005). Damn, girl. Good luck with that. Please wish her the best, and remember her in your prayers.

UPDATE (8/19/2005, 6:39 AM): Had a good night last night. None of these sympoms except the swallowing thing. Was it the Benadryl? Or has whatever this is run its course?

Also, last night I got three more spam comments. I deleted them. If this keeps up, I may have to switch to an "Anonymous comments not allowed" policy.


rimalicious said...

I got a spam comment last week too, my first though. I say print out this blog and take it to the doc.

Bella said...

Hey...Sorry You arn't feeling well...

As for the creep who grabbed me...he was outside my building while i wanted for some friends...I work on public square so there really id no good part of town.......

Feel better...Hugs...

D.B. Echo said...

Thank you for the concern, and the hugs. But I appear to be better now. (Whoops, almost forgot to take my Benadryl. Actually, pseudo-Benadryl from Sam's Club - just as effective, but much cheaper.)

But, hey, as Yukon Cornelius says, "Bumbles bounce." I remembered that I am made of titanium and diamond plate, and if you plan on taking me down you'd better have a gun full of silver bullets and hope I'm a werewolf.

And suddenly I have something much bigger to worry about.