After a chest x-ray, several breathing tests, and an entire panel of allergy tests, we have the results.
My chest x-ray was perfect. He said it's rare that they see such healthy lungs (yay me)
My breathing tests all rated me above the 100th percentile in lung function (yay me)
I'm crediting playing the trumpet for 20+ years, as well as never having so much as tried one puff of a cigarette.
Allergy tests were clear. They tested for 170 of the most common allergens in this area, including outdoor, indoor, and food allergies. Negative for all.
Final diagnosis is Reactive Airway Disease. The way the pulmonologist explained it to me (for my case at least), is as being like a very mild case of asthma, but so mild that he can't even really diagnosis it as asthma. Maybe that's just to help my understanding, but that's how he explained it.
He prescribed an inhaler.
I've been trying to get a cold the past few days, and had my first coughing fit last night. It wasn't that bad, really. Normally I would have barely noticed it.
But just a few days before I had gotten my inhaler prescription filled, and thought it would be good to test it out.
After my 3rd coughing fit of the night, I decided to try it. I didn't have another coughing fit for five hours! After the 2nd one that time, I took another puff of the inhaler, and went seven hours without a coughing fit!
I've also noticed that within about 10 minutes of taking the inhaler, I really do feel a difference in my breathing. I guess in my world, it was just part of having a cold, something I didn't really notice. But now I can actually feel an improvement in my breathing, almost as if my lungs are actually able to take in more air.
And that's it, isn't it? They actually are able to take in more air, right?
This is so cool. While a small part of me laments not getting a proper diagnosis until I was 35, a much larger part of me is thankful that we have a diagnosis that I can give to FireGirl's pediatrician if her coughing fits ever progress to being as bothersome as mine where.
Here's hoping the inhaler does its job, and will continue to work even when the day comes that I'm having one of my trademark big are-you-gonna-die coughing fits.
Thanks for checking in!