Last fall, the day before Halloween, I got sick. I felt fine all day and then wham … about 4 PM it hit me. I felt miserable for about 1-2 weeks. I slowly improved, except for a lingering cough that I couldn’t shake. Unfortunately as someone who has developed weather and exercise-induced asthma in her adult life, coughing seems to be the norm anywhere from November through February – or all of November through February, so I didn’t think much about it.
It was affecting my work, my worship (I couldn’t sing at church without stopping to cough more often than singing), my relationships, and my health. I coughed all the time and so hard it literally hurt my ribs. I would use my inhaler and it would help some … but not enough. I even had two instances where I couldn’t catch my breath for about 5 minutes. That’s just plain scary.
Before you think I was just being irresponsible, I would have moments, or days, where I felt like I was improving, so it seemed silly to go to the doctor when I was “on the upswing.” Only I wasn’t.
Finally, after disrupting everyone around me for about 8 weeks, and growing steadily concerned myself because I realized I was getting worse, not better, and it was getting harder and harder to breathe regularly, I went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with an asthma exasperation that had gotten quite serious. They prescribed steroids and my inhaler, with the concern that if this didn’t clear it up, I would have to go on daily maintenance medication. (I really hate taking medication if I don’t have to, so to hear that was quite disheartening.)
The first dose of prednisone worked, while I was on it, but the day it was finished, I was back to not being able to catch my breath and coughing continuously. So I called and they did another round, this time a taper which lasted longer and along with my inhaler, and plenty of rest, it reduced the inflammation that had grown out of control for 8 weeks. In the meantime, my husband bought me a natural remedy to use as needed if I started coughing again, before things got out of control.
I am happy to report it’s been about 3 months now since I’ve been off the steroid. I’ve only used my inhaler maybe twice and the natural remedy about five times total. (It’s a twice daily medication when asthma is at its worst, so five times in three months shows how much my breathing has improved.) I used it again yesterday at the beginning signs of discomfort and within 15 minutes I was breathing calmly and the coughing had stopped.
I say this to give God all the glory, honor and praise for healing me. Every Sunday when I enter into praise and worship at our church and sing as loudly as possible, I thank Him for every inhale and exhale of my lungs that is done without coughing and without discomfort.
I have stopped taking my breath for granted. Every time I sing at home or in the car, I’m reminded of 8 weeks of coughing, stopping and starting, and hoarseness from an inflamed, raw throat. And I praise God for His healing and the ability to sing again.
May I never take His blessings for granted again …
What is one thing you’re praising God for today? One blessing He has given that maybe in the past you never really thought about?