Saturday, December 13, 2008

Do I have asthma, too?

I've had a cough for about 3.5 weeks now, and I went to the Minute Clinic (LOVE the Minute Clinic!) for a second time. The cough had gone from clearly a "tickle" to something that sounds a little more dry and chest-y.

In a nutshell, the nurse practictioner at the clinic said that the only reason anyone would have a cough that long would be either chronic sinusitis or exercise-induced asthma. So I plan to follow up with my doctor this week. (OK, I plan to find a *new* doctor and then follow up.) The NP can't really treat asthma, so she just continued the treatment for acute bronchitis, which was my previous dx.

I did a little research, and it really sounds like I have cough-variant asthma. I wake up fine, but after walking from my car to my office in the cold air, alongside a major highway, I'm hacking up a lung by the time I get to my desk. Seems like cold air and fumes are my big triggers.

I got my very own albuterol HFA. Pretty crazy.

Truthfully, I'm a little skeptical about the diagnosis. But on the other hand, I grew up in a house with two smokers - my mom smoked a pack a day in our broadloom-covered house for the 21 years I lived at home. My brother was just diagnosed with asthma. And let's not forget that I live in New Jersey!!!

Funny PS - my mom was far more skeptical about the dx. She gets coughs all the time, she tells me. Coughs that are triggered by cold, and coughs that make her cough til she gags, like I do. But it's just a cough, she says. It's not asthma!!

...this from the woman who STILL smokes a pack a day and NEVER goes to the doctor for anything!!!

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