I suffered a severe episode of probable influenza in July, and post-viral reactive airway disease, marked by bronchial hyper-responsiveness, as an after-effect. Although I have never been diagnosed with asthma, I can imagine that I would have the same symptoms if I did—wheeze and coughing with clear sputum production, especially when it is cold or dusty, and shortness of breath (sometimes). The symptoms were particularly bad a few weeks ago because we moved to a new place, where the ambient temperature is at least one degree Celsius lower than our last home (because the new place is further away from the polluted air of town and is surrounded by Penang’s native forest). It got to a point where I felt short of breath even between lifting things, i.e. at rest. To prevent further lung damage and discomfort, I started myself on a course of low-dose Prednisolone to see if it makes a difference. If it did, it would also lend more support for my presumptive diagnosis of reactive airway disease/bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Within a day of commencing oral steroids, my breathing was noticeably better, and I was able to sleep comfortably for the first time in weeks only after about three days of steroid therapy. (I should have tried taking the steroids weeks earlier!)
Even though I still have the occasional cough (with much less clear sputum production) and wheeze, which are almost always precipitated by cold or dust, I felt strong enough to try rowing 10 kilometres today. Before today, I was quite badly limited by my respiratory symptoms, hence the long period of inactivity.
I first rowed 6 kilometres, at good pace, and then took a break of a few hours while attending to more unpacking and sorting of stuff. I also brought out an old DT225 trackball from storage and took photos of its internals to (hopefully) help someone fix an issue with his DT225.
In the evening, I rowed another 4 kilometres, divided in two sessions. Therefore, I rowed a total of 10 kilometres in three sessions through the day. I think today’s steroid-assisted effort exceeded most people’s expectations, including mine.
I’m going to try another 10 kilometres tomorrow.