I am sure that I am not alone in this but the weather in the U.K. at the moment is causing my lungs all sorts of problems. In the last weeks we have have seen temperatures rise from below zero to the mid twenties and back again, we have had strong winds, hail, sleet and snow in the last few hours yet only the other day it was tshirt weather.
My asthma is badly effected by extreme weather or sudden changes of temperature and even though it has not been easy over the last few weeks I have managed to keep going but today has proved to be particularly tough. My alarm went off at 5am and to be honest by my standards I hadn’t had too bad a night. I managed to drag myself from my bed and I immediately realised that my chest was very tight, I often suffer from chest tightness but this morning was pretty bad. I had a quick blast of ventolin and staggered to the bathroom which is only a few feet away, it seemed like miles and by the time I got there my chest felt worse, I was coughing badly and was short of breath, even more surprising for me was that I was wheezing. I did consider ringing work to tell them that I wasn’t well but I knew we were busy at work and I had an important meeting to attend during the afternoon. I felt that I should at least attempt to go to work in the hope that I would improve throughout the day which is something that I often do. I managed to bring myself round and had a shower etc. I then got dressed, checked my sats (which weren’t terrible but weren’t particularly good either). I checked my bloods and took my meds before checking the weather forecast on my phone, sub zero temperatures, windy and wintery showers hardly filled me with joy. I decided to dig out my snood which I thought that I had finished with until next winter. Asthma UK and my consultant always advise wearing a scarf or snood during cold weather to prevent breathing in the cold air, it is excellent advice and it does help.
I then began my 60 mile drive to work and arrived at the office just before 7am. By this time my breathing was even worse and was quickly noticed by my colleagues before I even had chance to tell them. It was decided that I would restrict myself to office duties for the day rather than going on outside to the warehouses or the quayside which are usually part of my daily routine. I felt as though I needed my nebuliser which I took, it did help slightly but not a lot. I managed to struggle through the rest of the day even though I needed my neb again which I used a total of 5 times.
It was a tough day but my breathing and my chest did improve slightly throughout the day. I drove home and walked in the door at 6pm. As I write this I feel worse again, I have taken another neb and I am currently laying / sat up in bed with a heat pack across my chest. I feel frustrated that my asthma and the British weather have combined yet again to cause me to have a day of struggle. I feel completely shattered, my sats aren’t great and due to my chest and the number of nebs that I have taken I am unlikely to sleep much tonight despite my tiredness. The forecast for tomorrow is similar to today, I hope to make it in to work tomorrow but I will have to see how I feel in the morning. I have missed so much work through my asthma and I hate it, I feel guilty when I aren’t fit for work and despite not being a big worrier about my asthma I do worry that eventually I could lose my job because of my poor attendance. I was hoping that since we had reached the end of April that the weather would be picking up which in turn usually leads to an improvement in my asthma, obviously that is not the case.
Roll on summer!