I really was OK when I ran yesterday afternoon, but woke up at 4am and was coughing so much that I couldn't go back to sleep at all: or at least not until about 8:30, when I drifted off for an hour or so (then a team of workers arrived to replace the gas meter in the kitchen as I scrambled for sweatpants and tried to create the impression that I had not still been asleep when they rang the doorbell). Day not off to a good start!
Nighttime coughing sufficiently alarmed me that I thought I'd better get myself in to the doctor's office, though I was pretty sure I didn't need antibiotics; I am growing soft in middle age, clearly, as I cannot remember the last time I canceled a class for illness, but it was the only way to make sure I got in before the holiday, and with this trip to Paris early next week I did not want to take any chances.
And now indeed I have a good answer as to why I was fine while running and not fine in bed. It is one of those phrases where you can only say "apt diagnosis," airway hyperreactivity syndrome in the wake of the two respiratory ailments that have been dogging me these last five weeks. Doc recommends liberal use of albuterol, which I already have for asthma (I take it as a precaution before running, to avoid wheezing, thus no particular respiratory distress with exertion - but bed is full of allergens), plus Claritin and a prescription for a serious cough suppressant called benzonatate. Woo-hoo!
I don't think this will magically clear things up, but I am relieved that doctor finds lungs otherwise clear and that I now have a good explanation for respiratory distress of the last few weeks. Should be able to spot this one more quickly next time, now that I have a name for it....