I always knew that this bank holiday weekend could cause problems for my asthma but I didn’t quite expect everything to conspire against me (and to be more precise my asthma) quite as much as it did. We had planned for weeks to visit the wife’s family in the Lake District and it was something that both my wife and I were looking forward. The Lake District is a stunning part of the world, it has some breathtaking scenery and it was going to give my wife a chance to spend some rare quality time with her family. My only concern at the time of planning the trip was that it would mean spending the weekend surrounded by smokers, not that they particularly smoke in front of me but there is still always that smokey feel in the air. However in the days leading up to the weekend I realised that I was likely to suffer and boy did I suffer.
The first problem was that I was going to be traveling up there while not in the best of health, my asthma is currently all over the place and I knew that this weekend was likely to be a struggle.
The second problem was the weather / temperature which in the previous weeks was struggling get into double figures but in the days leading up to the trip it was in the mid twenties and forecast to hit the high twenties for the weekend. I knew that if it was going to be this hot I would struggle.
Then a few days before we travelled my wife informed me that we would be attending a family BBQ on the Sunday, now don’t get me wrong I love a good BBQ but obviously the smoke doesn’t do my lungs any good, the added concern was that the house would be full of smokers and so I would be surrounded by smoke both inside and out. This is something I was worried about but we don’t get so see too much of the wife’s family and so I was going to have to at least make an effort and go, even if I only stayed for a short while.
As if the weekend couldn’t worry me any more there was a severe weather warning issued for thunderstorms in the area for the Saturday, now I don’t think that a thunderstorm has ever triggered an asthma attack I do know that it can effect my breathing.
Unfortunately all of the above happened. We travelled up on the Friday and when we arrived it was 28 degrees and very humid, I was struggling almost immediately. We then went to see my wife’s parents who are smokers and even though they didn’t really smoke in front of me I immediately began to struggle as soon as I entered the apartment. I managed to stay for a couple of hours but a combination of the heat, humidity and smoke finally won and I admitted defeat, I hit the nebuliser and went to bed with the fan on maximum. It didn’t help, I hardly slept and I continued to take nebuliser throughout the night.
On the Saturday morning we went for a short walk but I struggled badly with the humidity and after popping into a couple of shops and grabbing a coffee we decided to return to our room, I was suffering badly, the lungs were on fire and I was shattered. We just got to the room as the pedicured thunderstorms hit. I spent the afternoon on my bed with my fan on and taking the neb. The storms lasted for most of the day and though I don’t think they caused my breathing to get worse they obviously didn’t help. We returned to the wife’s parents for a couple of hours before I returned back to doing what I seemed to spend most of the weekend doing, nebuslising away with the fan blowing into my face. My peak flow was down to 50% and my oxygen levels were also lower than normal. I felt dreadful on the Saturday night and again I slept very little.
Sunday morning was still very warm but slightly less humid and so despite feeling terrible I went to the BBQ. It started pretty well, the weather was nice, the food was good, I had a few cans and the company was good. The trouble was that as everybody else was starting to get merry the combination of the weather, the smoke from BBQ and the smokers began to take its toll. I returned to our room and hit the nebuliser though it didn’t do me much good and I ended up having an asthma attack at 10pm. I managed to get my self sorted and never came close to needing to ring 999. I did however feel terrible and once again had a poor night.
So a weekend which I think my wife enjoyed but one which despite having some nice moments is one that I struggled massively with. Oh well back to work tomorrow (health permitting).