An Asthmatic Cyclist

My trusty Jamis mountain bike. 

My trusty Jamis mountain bike. 


A little over a year ago, my lifelong asthma was diagnosed as eosinophilic asthma — something about 5% of asthmatics have. 

Basically, my body produces too many eosinophilic white blood cells, which are great at fighting parasites like ringworm, and for causing bronchiole constriction. 

After a simple blood test and some insurance wrangling, I now receive a one-a-month injection of mepoluzimab, trade name Nucala by GlaxoSmithKline. 

At my first appointment, I said to the nurse I’d read white blood cells can stay in your system for about 8 hours — I wondered if I’d feel better starting the next day. She smiled and said most people feel better within an hour. 

One injection and observation period later, and I was taking huge deep breaths. And enjoying them. There was no wheezy chaser at the end of a big inhale-exhale.  

I biked back to my temp job, and ran up 5 floors of stairs. Winded, but *not wheezing*.  

I felt like the first time I ever had espresso. 

The upshot is I’m able to chase my kids some more, I cycle commute as much as can (which I was already doing - but now I enjoy it again) and I’m going for longer rides. 50k is my longest. I’m sure I can do more but that’s a big chunk of time (4 hours) as a parent. I bike from Little Italy Toronto to Mississauga to visit my nephew on occasion, and to the Queensway movie theatre. 

I still have asthma. I still need ventolin and Zenhale. I still wheeze. But the injection stops me from having an asthma attack. I can push my self harder during exercise and just be out of breath, not wheezing.  

Being out of breath and able to deeply breathe in is a wonderful feeling that I’m chasing more and more. 

If there was a version of heaven that required me being totally alone, it would be on my bike, racing through the green of Toronto’s ravines and the sunsets on our city’s beach.  


Not my longest ride at 42km, (26 miles Americans) but a typical route involving the Don Valley and Toronto’s waterfront. #BikeTO