I am so happy to report some awesome news from the Mayo!
Before we left, Brian and I agreed that what we hoped would happen is that the doctors would trigger a reaction, put a scope down in my airway and take a look on what the heck was going on.
After an extensive interview and a review of my charts and records, the first thing my doctor said was, “What I want to do is look in your throat while you are having a reaction and see what is actually happening.”
So, I went to the drug store and bought some Right Guard deodorant, because if you remember that was what the ICU nurse sprayed and go me going again. The test was to be done the next day. But, in the meantime there was a full schedule of tests to undergo.
One of the test was an asthma test, called a Methacholine Challenge. They have you breath in a chemical and if you are an asthmatic, you will have trouble breathing. Well, sure enough, I breathed it in and boy did my lungs clamp right down. My symptoms were similar to a few of my reactions that brought me running to ERs, but without the closing throat. As I sat in the exam room waiting for the second phase of the test, I suddenly started having the throat swelling sensation.
The nurses dashed down the hall and grabbed the two doctors who were going to do my test the next day and we went together to a different exam room. There, I had meeting with a barbaric instrument of torture…the scope that would be shoved down my nose and into my throat, with only a bit of numbing medicine spray to minimize the suffering.
Let me try to describe the experience, skip the next two paragraphs if you are squeamish…
The camera and bright light are in a tube that goes down your nostril, into the back of you throat, and then they keep going farther right down to your vocal cords. The doc even said at one point, just a bit farther and this is a bronchoscopy (ok, that means they are almost down my main breathing pipes leading to my lungs). Now, once they were way down there, they decided to take a leisurely time and get a good look. He kept saying, “Let me know if this is too much.” Well, it was too much, but I just sat there not letting them know. But I was not going to let it show, as I wanted them to get as much information as possible.
Well, after their Magic School Bus trip through the depths of my throat, they decide that the depths of my face would a fun visit. They saw my old sinus surgery sites, and then headed high and higher into my head. “You are going to feel some pressure on your eyes now and see some light.” OH MY GOSH. I am living in medieval times?
OK, you medical phobes can start reading again...
So with that, I got the best news ever…there was no swelling or spasm of my larynx, translation, this is not Anaphylaxis, this is not an allergic reaction after all!!!!!
The bottom line, I have asthma. The Methacholine Challenge showed a 24% decrease in my lung function (20% or greater is definitive for asthma). So that explained the shortness of breath that I have experienced.
Next I went off the Speech Pathologist who informed me the I likely have vocal cord dysfunction, something that is not uncommon in asthmatics and may actually be reversed or minimized with some special breathing techniques.
So, no more epi, no more steroids, no more antihistamines, just a few asthma meds and I am good to go!
Thank you all for you good thoughts and prayers. I believe we have a clear answer and I could not be more thankful!
Now, we are off to have a vacation in
I feel like I have a new lease on life and that couldn’t feel any better!