May 29th, 2008

cn tower

apparently, I am a freak of nature

Thanks to all who commented on my last post. Visit to the doctor yesterday [0] went extremely well, far better than I could have imagined. I have an actual diagnosis!

One of the reasons I like my GP is that he's ridiculously experienced in all sorts of areas of medicine. He has a "special interest" in psychiatry and knows more about psych meds than any of the psychiatrists I've ever seen, but he's also worked on other things as well. When he does eventually retire completely, it will be impossible for me to ever find someone else that good. He's involved in the training of the new kiddy doctors that come into the practice, but there are certain things that it's hard for a person to teach. He's probably the only doctor I've ever met who is able to totally adjust his way of relating to patients based on his perception of the patient's intelligence and knowledge. I managed to train him out of patronising me years ago, and we have interesting conversations about biochemical modes of action of medicines rather than the "this is how your lungs work" type explanation that I get from everyone else. (Sometimes, even after I explain to them that I have a chemistry degree and tell them everything they were about to tell me. Grrr.)

Anyway, it turns out that I have a really rare form of asthma. h-l is weird - we all knew that already, right? Turns out my lungs are weird too. What I have is called bronchorrhea (with optional extra o in British English), which means extreme overproduction of snot, where "too much" is defined as more than 100 ml per day. I laughed a lot when I read that online and looked at a fifth of my 500 ml bottle of water. That's about the amount I produce from cycling up a steep hill.

Bronchorrhea is a common symptom for 70% of asthmatics but usually only in severe asthma attacks that you're hospitalised for. Generally, the only people who get it on a daily basis have serious lung diseases like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and basal cell carcinoma. Something that causes damage to the cells of the lungs. I'm sure I don't have lung cancer because I've been snotty like this since I was a baby. So I am just a freak. Collapse )