Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Gospel of Mark Study

A few weeks ago I lost a very dear friend of mine, John. One of his life’s ambitions was taking a second look through the book of Mark. Sadly, my dear friend only made it to chapter four of the study. He had a postgraduate degree in Divinity so he was quite knowledgeable on theology. His writing was purely academic in nature but his arguments and his own commentary were creative and made one think. I can remember the joy of seeing every new posting of the study.

With that said, I am thinking about making a study of my own and posting it here. I think he would have liked to see my thoughts on the text of Mark, plus, the fun of throwing ideas out there and pondering on them. Although one should not expect scholarly work out of me because I am just a person with little schooling in theology.

Anyway, I need to get my hand on some study material and see if I can actually make a go of it. I am hoping to have fun with this and hopefully learn a great deal from it. I will say though, I am pretty progressive when it comes to theology, so the most heretical commentary could be written. You’ve Been Warned!!!

Has it been a year already?

Yes, just around this time last year my lungs took a turn for the worse. I had just finished training and racing a half marathon when the symptoms first hit me. I can remember my first few weeks of marathon training, when I would wheeze so much that I listened to music to drown the noise out. At the time I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Maybe I caught I lung virus or something. So I continued to train for my marathon the best that I could. Sometimes I would get so winded that I could barely climb short hills, usually getting over the top gasping for air. I would just walk slowly and some how control my breathing again.

During the warmer weather we like to walk my oldest son to daycare, which is just down the street. I can remember carrying him thinking I might not make it there, yeah, a half marathoner that can’t walk a quarter-mile. This went on for a couple of months.

I would suspect that I was in denial that there was something seriously wrong with me. I was hoping that it would just vanish as quickly as it appeared. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Also, I am not a big fan of going to the doctor. Main reason is, I am petrified of blood work and shots. To actually go to the doctor would mean being subject to this and I would prefer to suffer.

In July, I had one of my usual sinus attacks but this time it got in my lungs. I had never had a chest cold this bad in my life. Plus, having poor breathing to boot, it was just too much for me and I needed help. So, I went to urgent care and found out I had bronchitis, yikes. The doctor put me on cough medicines, antibiotics, and rescue inhaler. Personally, I think the cough medicine was a bad choice for an asthmatic but I was not diagnosed at the time. I will say though, the rescue inhaler (Pro Air) did wonders for my life. I was able to breathe again.

In August, my inhaler was starting to run out so I decided to just suck it up and see me primary doctor. He gave me a new rescue inhaler prescription and ordered me a PFT and the dreaded blood work. I actually was so afraid for my life that somehow I did get the blood work done this time around, although, I have yet to be able to duplicate my bravery that day.

After the brutal PFT test, yeah, doing that test while being off the rescue inhaler for six hours was something. It is a tough test on control meds and felling pretty good. Many times I thought for sure that I was going to pass out. I didn’t have to complete the whole testing because I was already symptomatic. They gave me a breathing treatment and I did the test over again and was grateful that my test showed that meds increase my lung function. Sadly, the test did show that I have moderate to severe asthma.

My primary doctor referred me to my now pulmonologist and we started me on control meds. I can’t tell you how much the controller meds changed my life. It was getting so debilitating that I could not do much, which included training for the marathon in the fall.

Yes, life started to improve. My lung function started to climb, from 54% un-medicated too in the 60% range medicated and climbing. I was able to get back to marathon training but did have difficulty with the high mileage days. Recovering from them took many days of rest.

October came around and I finished my first marathon, woohoo. Unfortunately, three days after the event I had my first really bad flare-up, the kind that lands me on prednisone. This was not my first time on prednisone but I guess I didn’t remember the side effects the last time. But this time, the side effects were quite prevalent. It did not take long to solidify that I hate this stuff. Thank goodness it helps or I would refuse it.

November was OK, but was smoked out by my neighbors who were leaf burning. Yeah, I had my first experience with air-trapping, thought I was going to kick the bucket from that episode. That landed me on the evil prednisone again just in time for Thanksgiving weekend. What a way to enjoy four days off from work.

As I look back at December, I think I did really well. At some points I was well controlled. Some of it could have been the cool dry air, my lungs were digging it.

January, walked my second half and full marathon in the same weekend. Imagine what happened next? If you said, three days later my lungs would try to kill me, you are right. That is actually what happened. My lungs were so exacerbated that I thought I was headed for respiratory failure. I have never had dyspnea that bad before and it was exhausting. That definitely landed me on prednisone and a very exhausting two months of dyspnea.

In February, I went to my normal pulmonologist visit and spirometer test. I have gotten up to 79% on lung function before the marathon but he wouldn’t tell my test results from this one. Heck, I almost told them that I could not take the test. I almost passed out on the first try. I have to rest for a few minutes, the other two went better. Thanks goodness it wasn’t the PFT because I would have told them I couldn’t do it.

As of this writing in April, I am still struggling with my asthma.

Well, that has been my bio for the first year of having asthma.

Saving the best for last, I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have such good blogging friends, especially my tight nit asthma community. I honestly do not know how I would have made it without you. As some of you might know already, I had a hard time excepting the fact that I have asthma, harder than it probably should have been. I am just glad that someone was there to make sure I was not alone in these trying times. Again, thanks Y’all and I owe you one.

Time to get back to my blog

Hi everyone, I hope everything is going well for you. Sadly, I have been letting my blog slip a bit from not posting anything new. Again, I am sorry about that.

Health – I am still doing OK, but not good. I don’t think I made a mistake last week, but I did push my cardiovascular hard one day and my lungs have been slightly irritated by it. Talk about frustrating, I thought for sure they where ready, it ended in a fail. No worries though, I have been a little winded but nothing I can’t manage.

10k Training – My racing season has officially started this week. It is going to be a fun season, I thing. I have quite a few new races I am looking forward to being in. 

This week is my first training week for my 10k at the end of May. Most of the training schedules have an 8 week prep, so I think that will be plenty of time to get ready. I am already more than capable of doing a 10K, but lack some speed after a two month layoff following the marathon weekend in January. My legs have started to come back to me after laying down some pretty good base mileage in March. I have no real expectation this season other than have some fun racing.

Well, that’s about it…

Have a great week!