Problems, Problems, everywhere....

Alright, quick update on all my stupid medical problems. Yes I tend to get the weirdest diseases and problems ever...

So I went to my doctor and he ran some tests to figure out what the heck is wrong with me. We have already established I have exercise/allergy induced asthma by a methacholine test, but the question is why aren't the asthma medications working?

Well it turns out those meds may have in fact been irritating a whole different problem. Vocal Chord Dysfunction..... Ya I had no idea what he was talking about at first either. Go do a search and you'll find stuff (for you runners, Megan Kaltenbach appears to have suffered from it). Basically by Vocal Chords are out of whack and closing up during the race. Thus my recent spat of drop outs and DNFs in races. What led him to suspect this was when he saw how suddenly the "asthma" came on and how the doctors/trainers on site reported me having a "strider" sound and such during the "attack." Also, the fact that my throat always seems to be what's closing up and not as much in my chest is another indicator. There's problem #1.

Problem #2. We had more Immunoglobin E (IGE) levels checked. IGE is basically the "allergy antibody" in your body. These are the things that attack the allergens that come into our body. Normal levels are in the 70ish range. Mine was in the over 400+ range. Another good sign....

Yes, I am messed up. I have to see a speech therapist to train/strengthen the vocal chords so that they stop spasming out and shutting. (Yeah....weird... I know). As far as the allergy reaction, there are a couple of different options. One is to do the normal thing and to continue to treat the symptoms, which doesn't appear to be working as I'm on 2 different allergy medications plus some asthma crap (which this time, doesn't irritate the vocal chords...) or go with the more extreme measure and try the new Anti-IGE drug that came on the market only 2-3 years ago, which comes in the form of an injection.....oh goody.....

As far as running goes...... The plan is to do a race or two this summer (still don't know where, suggestions for late june/july races???) to make a last ditch effort at trying another/different allergy/asthma medication. I wouldn't really be looking to bust a performance or anything, just go balls to the wall and if I fall apart I fall apart, but I'd know whether it was due to lack of fitness or asthma attack. If that med doesn't work, then we know we gotta go a different route...

This is frustrating. One problem after another. But no matter what, I'll always be out there trying, even if the results I want aren't there....


  1. Alison9:03 PM

    I believe Felicia Guliford had the same problem in high school as well. Good luck dealing with all of this.

  2. Anonymous11:06 PM

    You ever consider running in a different city thats less hot/humid? I've heard that helps some people with their allergies.

  3. I've had allergy testing to determine what I'm allergic to and I'm pretty much screwed when it comes to trees, grasses, pollen, dustmites, etc. Only thing I'm not alergic to is foods.

    So I can't really move and escape from the allergies, as allergies are everywhere.

    Plus got one year of school left. After that we'll see

  4. Anonymous2:00 AM

    Keep plugging away, Magness.

    You WILL see results in due time with patience!

  5. Anonymous12:17 PM

    Hi Steve,
    My daughter was diagnosed with the VCD too. Went to about 8 sessions with a speech really didn't help that much. She had a DNF at State Qualifier for XC, and she had the best time going in. When you get really tired it's hard to keep the vocal cords open...mentally it gets exhausting. She said she doesn't want to think about it but if she doesn't, she can only hang on for like a mile and then the lack of good air flow starts to kill her. It's really something.


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