No More Inhalers

Blog Post created by AMReed on Feb 19, 2021

About 30 minutes ago I go a text from my pharmacy saying one of my inhalers was ready to be picked up. And I was annoyed about it. I am not yet at my quit date of March 1st, but I'm really getting frustrated with having to use inhalers to support my breathing. I have mild exercise-induced and allergy-induced asthma. But I haven't always had it. It's only been since I've been an adult, and especially a more sedentary adult, that this has really been bothering me. It's only since I've been smoking that it has bothered me. I was just on albuterol as needed for a while. Then Symbicort was added. Then the Symbicort got too expensive. I was doing alright for a while on just the albuterol as needed. Then at the end of October 2020 I got COVID-19. I was lucky that I didn't end up in the hospital or worse, but it was still the worst illness I have ever had in my life. I passed out the day before I got tested, and I'm not a fainter. There were several times where I was afraid if I fell asleep that I wouldn't wake up. But the only way to soothe my anxiety was sleeping. I did always feel better when I woke up. The symptoms lasted for several weeks. And I couldn't stop my self from smoking while I was sick. It was only one or two per day in the beginning and then I slowly got back up to my normal 15 per day. The chest pain and tightness after lingered for quite a while and my doctor prescribed me Wixela. This has actually helped a lot and I can definitely tell when I forget to take it. But I feel reliant on it. I get wheezy and short of breath if I don't use it first thing in the morning. And I'm tired of it. I don't want to have to use them anymore. I don't want to have to buy them anymore. I want to feel that I can go on walks without needing to take my rescue inhaler with me. I want to not be worried if I forget it at home when I go out. I miss my exercise tolerance, and I didn't have much to begin with. I feel tethered and restricted. And I know it is because of my smoking. After a health scare at the beginning of February and the incidental discovery of a small pulmonary nodule, I decided it was time. I talked with my doctor about it and explained that I didn't know if I would ever be truly ready to quit, but I was willing to start. I'm doing all I can now to form a plan for my triggers and to set up new routines that don't involve smoking so that when my quit date arrives, I'll be ready. I know that there are going to be hurdles and rough patches and moments that feel impossible, but I am ready for it. I am ready to have my freedom back.