So you all know by now I’ve been dealing with some heinous health issues lately. OK, heinous might be too strong a word. I have to remind myself my dad died of brain cancer (2009) and my mom from breat cancer (2011). THOSE are heinous! My ailment has just been lagging and irritating. So this week, I went to a pulmonary specialist and got some answers. And I’m sharing this with you because I bet many of you suffer with the same thing!20130725-223320.jpg










 Basically I have allergy induced asthma. See if this sounds familiar.  The cottonwood trees start to shed their cotton around March/April. For those of you not from Reno, it basically looks like it’s snowing when this happens.20130725-223137.jpg

I start sneezing and then one day, I feel it. It’s the same feeling in my sinuses every year. It’s the onset of a sinus infection that if I don’t get on top of it early enough, it becomes a full blown sinus infection, which it did this year. So now, I’m still suffering from allergies, but I’m now just treating a sinus infection since that’s my primary complaint. And this year, allergies were so bad in northern Nevada, they agitated my lungs and since I still wasn’t treating the allergies, my lungs became inflamed and started producing phlegm (I’ve never actually written that word!). My lungs kept breathing in allergens, kept being inflammed, produced more phlegm (it was easier to spell the second time!) and suddenly, my lungs became asthmatic. All the while, my sinuse issue never got under control because at this point, it’s a vicious cycle. And 2 months later, I’m stillsick.  So there you go! I have to admit I have asthma. As an athlete that’s a horrible thing to admit.


But there’s a plan! Next March, my doctor will prescribe me Cingulair to be taken from March until the first hard freeze. That will stop the initial cause of my asthma which my doctor believes to be allergies. And there you have it… it was  Miss Scarlet with the candlestick in the kitchen… mystery solves.  

So here’s what I did short term to get out of this cycle I’m currently in. I got a Kenalog shot (steroid) at the pulmonologist office. Iwas also prescribed prednisone (another steriod) to be taken for the next 6 days and I’m staying with my Advair inhaler (yep, more steroids!) for another week. Oh, and have I mentioned I have a USTA sanctioned triathlon on Sunday? Do you think they drug test? If not, I’m a sure bet to CRUSH the cours record!! Wish me luck!



About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.


  1. Terri O. says:

    I empathize, have similar issue (but have had exercise induced asthma since I was 14). This year the cottonwood was so bad in Columbus that my Cingulair and Nasonex combo didn’t seem to work. It got so bad my throat was on fire, I couldn’t swallow, could barely talk and had what is called globus sensation, basically feeling like something is stuck in my throat. At first I thought I had a bad case of strep but that was negative. My doctor explained I was suffering from both severe allergies and silent reflux, hence the globus. I was prescribed a new allergy medication (on top of Cingulaor & Nasonex) and Prevacid. It has helped tremendously. I can now go outside, run, drive with my convertible top down and feel fine. The real test will be in September with ragweed pollen. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. Karen says:

    Oh goodness ~ so glad you got an answer to your health issues. We try to go the natural route if possible. We take Quercitin and now Cucumerin. They are both powerful anti-inflammatories and Cucumerin is now thought to help prevent cancer as it is a powerful anti-oxident. Quercitin is the main one that helps with allergies, but both together are powerful. We are in Douglas County and are hit the worst with fall allergies due to the rabbit brush blooming.


  1. [...] in mind this converstation comes after an entire week of talking to doctors, some of who forbade me from competing. So my stress level going into the race was a tad high and [...]

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