My activities came to a screeching halt the first of December because I came back in from feeding the horse one dry chilly evening feely a bit scratchy and itchy. Which is why I carry Rescue Remedy, chewable Benadryl , two different kinds of inhalers and epinephrine with me.
I started with Rescue Remedy and stuck a chewable Benadryl in my mouth while I got out the inhalers and epi-pen. Usually that’s enough to slow down the allergic reaction, but in this case my lungs proceeded to pour forth so much clear fluid so fast that I thought I was going to drown. As I leaned my head over the side of the bed to let all the fluid run out, my soft palate and throat began to swell shut.
Thankfully, the inhaler and antihistamines worked and I did not have to use the epi-pen. However, it was about ten days before I could go outside without a dust mask and a whiff of the inhaler. My lungs were tender clear down to the ends of my ribs and any change in temperature or humidity would set off a bout of coughing. Any kind of irritant set off the swelling and fluid again.
While I was and am completely paranoid about getting a lung infection, and in fact, one of the side effects noted on the inhaler I used is an increase in bronchitis, I have not gotten a fever or any sign of an actual infection. My body and especially my lungs just suddenly became hyper-reactive.
According to their package inserts, both inhalers work by interfering with how the body metabolisms calcium. One actually warns that it increases acidosis, the other just says that it works by blocking positive calcium ions. Since I have had persistent single digit blood levels of vitamin D, calcium and CO2 after getting hit by lightning (click here) interfering with how my body metabolisms seems a bad idea.
The inserts also informed me that only twenty percent of the medication of a dose gets to the lungs. The other eighty percent ends up in the gastro-intestinal tract and from there promptly heads to the liver. I have yet to get a clear idea of just how acidosis affects liver function, but empirically I know it makes me miserable.
Since my hyper reactivity included the medication in the inhalers, I decided to minimize the amount of medication that I needed by minimizing my activity. Short term, that happened to coincide with New Mexico’s brief winter weather, so I have been too horribly frustrated. But I do have to figure out what is going on and why so I can avoid a repeat as the weather warms up.