Okay, I went and saw my doctor today, a month and a half or so after that first terrifying bronchospasm. I did a lung-power test (I'm sure there's some fancy term for it - basically you blow into a little thingy, and a little indicator points to a number), and my lung power is about 10 percent below where it should be. Apparently this is significant but not alarming. And that's great!
After the appointment I went and bought the two supplements the doc wants me to take. When I got home, I realized that my daily list of "stuff I take" is growing significantly!
- multivitamin ('cause I always meant to take one but never consistently did till I got sick)
- royal jelly ('cause I got a box of it for Christmas from my parents)
- steroid inhaler ('cause of my recent asthmatic tendencies)
- albuterol inhaler (ditto)
- "N-Acetyl Cysteine" ('cause it apparently boosts lung function and reduces phlegm production)
- magnesium supplement ('cause... well, apparently magnesium is important)
And you know what? It feels good to be taking these things - to be taking proper care of myself. You have to understand, I have always been healthy as a horse, and I took that for granted. I've never had anything significantly wrong with me until this whole asthmatic thing a month ago. (Well, there was the one instance of non-specific abdominal pain a few months ago that landed me in the E.R., but that seems to have been consigned to the realm of eternal mystery!) Now things have changed. I'm taking supplements. Using inhalers. Drinking water. Using a humidifier. Being careful in cold weather. Staying out of smoky places. Obviously, staying smoke-free myself, which is incredibly easy after you've experienced what it's like not being able to breathe. Just being careful. For my own health's sake.
In other words, I'm healthier now that I've been sick than I ever was when I wasn't!