The Asthmatic – A Guest Blog

I recently discovered a new blog / website written by a guy called Tony and he has kindly allowed me to share his blog. I hope that you all find it as interesting a read as I have, the first few entries of the blog are reproduced below followed by a link to his site:

The Asthmatic

This is me

I’m a 46 year old with poorly controlled allergic asthma, exercised induced asthma, osteopenia, drop attacks and derpression. I am on loads of meds including xolair injection fortnight at my local hospital.

Thank you for reading  my blog with over 450 visits in the first 72hrs.

 

3rd Nov

Still coming to terms that life is never going to be the same. 3 years since the doctor told me my asthma had developed into an uncontrollable condition. I’m now at step 5 on the asthma treatment table. Take more meds now then anywhen in my life and with fortnightly hospital visits. I’ve had to give up my job as a firefighter after 15 years in the job and 2 years in the ambulance service. Life is just a struggle but every day I get up and put a smile on and act if nothing is wrong. Inside I’m just numb and depressed. Had a massive breakdown yesterday and just cried for an hour. Now reading this it sound all depressing and sad but all stories need a happy ending. So with that In mind I have to say that I have the most amazing wife and devoted daughters. With out these I would have nothing to get up for in the morning. We all need a support net work around us!!

4th Nov

Good morning to you all. Today I thought I would tell you how I am feeling and what I am doing. Woke up with a very dry mouth caused by the cpap machine. I managed 7hours with the mask on but have a sore nose where it rubs in the night. My joints are stiff and painful and moving around is going to hurt for a few hours. The weather is wet…… very wet and cold, have that feeling today is not going to go well. Chest is tight and O2 levels are lower then normal.

Right I’m up, time for my morning meds….. Andcal tablets, fexofenadine, uniohyllin, prednisolone and fulticasone and flutiform inhalers. I have been on this cocktail for 3years plus now. And as expected side effects can be hell. Pains, mood swings, weight gain, weak bones, depression and confusion just to list a few. Now I’m ready for the day.

So time for a memory. This one goes back as far as I can remember and is probably where my life changed. Happy times, I must have been around 3 years old. Dad used to come home from  my work. Mum used to put a plastic mat down so dad could take his work boots off. He worked a butcher so as you can imagine his boots had saw dust on with little bits of meat in the treads. One day he brought home a small red bucket with the corner slightly melted (not sure how this happened). I used that bucket to keep my toy cars in. Then one morning my two brother and myself were woken by nan telling us to stay in our room. None of us were sure what was going on but some how I manged to get my head just outside the door only to see black body bag on a silver trolley being carried down the stairs. At that time I did not understand who or what it was, that was until mum came in crying and told us that dad had gone and now lived in heaven. Those memories are still so clear even after all this time. And that is unfortunately the only real memory of my dad I have.

After that the next memory is going to first school and meeting a young lad who was to turn out my best friend all the way through school. Money was tight growing up and hand me downs was part of it. Mum used to knit and made me a school jumper. One day at break I used the out side toilets and some one had removed all the wet paint signs. Yes I got paint on my new jumper. I remember being so upset. Not sure if it was the fact I got paint on my jumper or the fear of getting a telling off from mum. After all she had made this jumper for me I had just ruined it. Mum was understanding that it was not my fault, but it did not stop me feeling bad. That’s where my best friend comes into the story. He spent the next few days cheering me up, a friendship was born and we became like twins. Neither of us were the brights kids at school, because of this and the fact I was the only boy at school with no dad we both got bullied. This continued right through our school life. At about 11 it was so bad I even thought that suicide was the answer. I went round all the children in the class and asked them if they would miss me if I was gone. Only my best mate said yes. I spent the rest of the break in the toilets crying. I felt so different not having a dad and not doing the father son things that others talked about. The lack of money did not help as I could not have the latest items. Mum did her best and always put us three boy first. Love her for that.

While I have been Sat here writing this I’ve been on my neb. Chest is now not so tight. O2 levels are back up to 94% so on with the day. Wife is taking me shopping so vogmask at the ready. I shall return later with more writings. But for now stay safe and remember you are not alone.

Well back from shopping. Only had to use my blue inhaler twice. Managed to stay out of the cold. Although my chest was tight, but trying hard not to use my neb as invited to a fire work display tonight. Now I hear you saying that asthma and fireworks with smoke from a fire is not good for us. But with careful planning and common sense it is possible. Just make sure you keep warm and out the smoke. This is the second year I will not be on call as a firefighter on bonfire night. Still seems a bit unreal that I am no longer  in the job. Will tell you more memories later in my blog about my time in the service.  But for now it’s time to rest, as all asthmatic know it’s hard work some times just to keep breathing. Will be keeping my inhaler handy and wearing the vog mask

5th Nov

Good morning World. The sun’s out, it’s not raining and looks a wonderful morning. Went to good friends last night for the firework party. The mask works but the cold got to me in the end. So this morning every joint hurts more then normal. Chest is tight, nothing new there then. Today is going to be an easy day chilling. Sunday roast with family. The people that keep me going and make life bearable. People without asthma Idon’t understand the condition. Some just think we are all pretending to be ill. They probably have never witnessed a love one unable to get their breath, turn blue and end up in the back of an ambulance going to hospital. In the uk alone 3 people die every day from asthma. A support network around you is so important, they understand you and the condition you have. Keep them close you may need their help when it’s all going wrong.

So meds in bed with a coffee followed by a leisurely breakfast with the wife. Country music playing on the phone and just enjoy a quite Sunday.

I remember growing up listening to mum playing her LP’s and at the time having a dislike for them. Yet here I am loving the same type of music. I must admit I prefer the more modern signers.

Mum would always play her records on a Sunday and we would always come back from Sunday school to find slim wittman or dolly singing out the speakers. The roast would be cooking and the smell would fill the house. Just thinking about it is making me hungry. My brothers would go off and play and I would have my toy cars out of my little red bucket or if it was nice play out front on my yellow toy motorcycle with a sidecar. I would find old bits of wood and make ramps pretending to be Eddie kidd or evel  knievel.  Little did I know then that my love of bikes would grow and many years later I still love and own them. Even my wife has a love for them. In fact I picked her up for our first date on a bike, just an excuse to have her hug me 😘. More on that another day.

Right I can finally move without  being in to much pain so on with the day. Time to start on preparing the roast with the wife, and now the in-laws are coming for lunch today so not quite as chilled as I hope,  but family is family and all are welcome at our table.

Roast is cooking which gives me the opportunity to talk about the condition which controls our life. How many of you know that the 1st may is world asthma day. Not many I guess, I would image more people know 4th may for its link to star wars. As for what it’s like to have asthma, well it’s different for everyone. But must say it’s like having an elephant on your chest and it’s size and weight changes with many factors from the weather to the environment you are in. If a non asthmatic wants to know what it feels like lay on you back on the floor and get the largest member of your family to sit on you chest. Now try to breath, you will find it not only painfull and impossible to get the air in but scary and frightening not being able to breath. Well for us it’s like that most of the time. Then comes the tiredness from your body using every muscle it can to survive. We all need to remember this condition can be fatal. We have all heard of cancer research but how many times have you heard about asthma research. There are amazing people out there dedicating their life to find a cure for asthma with little funding and recognition for their  work. But medical companies make billions from drugs that help control it,  but I bet they never donate some to develop  cures as that would mean that their drugs would not be needed. I just praying one day the cure is found.

On that note I’m going to enjoy the rest of my day with the people that mean the most to me…… My family.

Hope you all enjoy your day, back tomorrow with more.

6th Nov
The trees have lost their leaves and I can see my breath when outside. There’s a morning fog just hanging off the ground. Just taken the rubbish out has tighten my chest and taken my breath away. Should be use to this by now as it happens every year. My blue inhaler will not leave my side from here on out. This is the time of year girl me when my asthma plan come in to full use.

After yesterday’s relaxing family time,  I found that my joint and muscle pain was not too bad this morning. I am going to try to stay out of the cold air as much as possible but will be on the neb at some stage today.

Looking out the window at the frost reminds me of waiting for the school bus, sliding about on the ice, pretending we were smoking as the hot breath came out of our mouths

Throwing stones at the frozen pond in the house behind the bus stop trying to brake the ice. I remember one day it was so cold the bus came round the corner and slid sideways into the kerb bursting a rear tyre. The driver and other children on the bus where not hurt but we got sent home and had a day off.

Growing up has so many happy memories and living in a small dead end road every one knew every one, all the children would play out side in the road. Riding bikes in the summer and building snow men and having snowball fights in the winter.

My nan who only lived 5 doors up used to make the most amazing cakes and cookies and being so close was like a second home. Spending many a night on sleepovers at nans. Going to bed in a big double bed with an electric blanket on. Looking out the bedroom window at the trains going past. The lights on the train flashed past as the intercity train took all the commuters home. The freight train that just seem to go on and on. The hot chocolate drink and cookies before bed. Unfortunately nan is no longer with us but will never forget the smell of fresh cooked cakes coming from her kitchen.

Sundays where always family day and nan and mum used to take turns in cooking the roast. We always had all the trimmings and the veg was always fresh never frozen. Nan always made desert, either apple crumble made with digestive biscuits or a steam pudding with treacle or jam but always with custard.

After dinner it was time to watch the tv or if it was nice out into the garden while mum and nan washed up to the tunes of the local radio station.as we got older we took turn in washing and drying up, but not before arguing over who was washing and who was drying.

Well so far today the asthma has not been to bad. The sun’s out and the frost has all but gone, just a bit left in the shadows. It’s going to be interesting this week as if to the specialist hospital Wednesday to see where  we go with the treatment of my asthma. Although the xolair injection help my asthma does not seem to response as well as they would like. My local consultant really does not have a clue which way to go now. He tried everything he can so now my life literally lies in the hands of the specialist team.

So until tomorrow stay safe and remember your are not alone.

7th Nov
After a rare day yesterday which was uneventful and relatively pain free, today I can hardly move. The pain in my joints is unbearable chest is tight and have the headache from hell. And to top it off I’m not allowed to take some of my meds due to the hospital appointment tomorrow. Time for the neb, and that can only mean another memory.

So far you have heard all about my childhood and growing up. This one is a bit more recent. About 15years ago I joined the fire service. I completed my training and was assigned to my station and couldn’t wait for my first call. Now being in a rural area the station did not get a huge number of calls, so I had to wait for a few days before the first call came in…… A car fire. Jumping in my fire kit I was full of mixed emotions. Excitement, fear and a bit of disbelief that I was actually doing this. We arrived at the fire and was told to put my breathing apparatus on and given the hose. This was every little boys dream. Here I am I front of a car which was well alight in a firefighters kit with a hose in his hand. The water was on the flames died down and eventually put out. I finished damping the car down before going back to the fire engine and removing my ba  kit and being asked by the crew how was it to now have my first call under my belt. I think the smile on my face said it all. My kit was covered in ash and smelled of the smoke. One of the crew offered to hose me down to was it off. He started with my front then I turned around and he did the back. Just as he was about finished another crew member grab the back of my collar and before I knew what was happening the hose was put in. I can honestly say that water was cold, running places it should never go. The crew all roared with laughter and the OIC said welcome to the team. Finally I was a full trained firefighter and part of a station and crew. The ride home was uncomfortable but I still had that smile on my face when I got home at the end of the day. I now had a second family. My fellow brothers and firefighters. Now not the calls where like this over the years I have been to calls which you wish you could just forget, but no matter what you do you never forget. Will tell you some about some of them another day.

8th Nov
My hospital appointment is this afternoon. Have to say I’m feeling a bit nervous and apprehensive. I don’t think I will get many answers today but at least I’m moving forward.

Yesterday was tough, chest was really tight and combined with the fact I can’t take some of my medication (at the request of the hospital) has resulted in the neb working overtime and me feeling tired and drained. My joints feel like I’ve run a marathon and have had cramp on and off all night. At one stage I almost called for a ambulance, but there’s not much they can do that I don’t have at home already. I’m sure I will see many of them through the cold months of winter.

After being up for less then two hours and already on my second round of neb, I think I can safely say today is going to be one of them days. The specialist hospital is nearly two hours away by car on a good day and at the moment we have numerous problems with road works and repairs. The temperature out side is down to 5c but feels colder. We had heavy rain throughout the night, so everything is wet or  damp. Both of these combined make life difficult for us asthmatics, and just add complications to a simple task such as breathing, something most take for granted and do without even thinking about it.

When someone say asthmatic I instantly think of a little child struggling to breath, using a blue inhaler and every thing returning to normal again,  but in reality this condition kills. And with over 5 million of us in the uk with it and no cure available, unfortunately more of us will lose the battle that they have bravely fought.

taken my breath away. Should be use to this by now as it happens every year. My blue inhaler will not leave my side from here on out. This is the time of year girl me when my asthma plan come in to full use.

After yesterday’s relaxing family time,  I found that my joint and muscle pain was not too bad this morning. I am going to try to stay out of the cold air as much as possible but will be on the neb at some stage today.

Looking out the window at the frost reminds me of waiting for the school bus, sliding about on the ice, pretending we were smoking as the hot breath came out of our mouths

Throwing stones at the frozen pond in the house behind the bus stop trying to brake the ice. I remember one day it was so cold the bus came round the corner and slid sideways into the kerb bursting a rear tyre. The driver and other children on the bus where not hurt but we got sent home and had a day off.

Growing up has so many happy memories and living in a small dead end road every one knew every one, all the children would play out side in the road. Riding bikes in the summer and building snow men and having snowball fights in the winter.

My nan who only lived 5 doors up used to make the most amazing cakes and cookies and being so close was like a second home. Spending many a night on sleepovers at nans. Going to bed in a big double bed with an electric blanket on. Looking out the bedroom window at the trains going past. The lights on the train flashed past as the intercity train took all the commuters home. The freight train that just seem to go on and on. The hot chocolate drink and cookies before bed. Unfortunately nan is no longer with us but will never forget the smell of fresh cooked cakes coming from her kitchen.

Sundays where always family day and nan and mum used to take turns in cooking the roast. We always had all the trimmings and the veg was always fresh never frozen. Nan always made desert, either apple crumble made with digestive biscuits or a steam pudding with treacle or jam but always with custard.

After dinner it was time to watch the tv or if it was nice out into the garden while mum and nan washed up to the tunes of the local radio station.as we got older we took turn in washing and drying up, but not before arguing over who was washing and who was drying.

Well so far today the asthma has not been to bad. The sun’s out and the frost has all but gone, just a bit left in the shadows. It’s going to be interesting this week as if to the specialist hospital Wednesday to see where  we go with the treatment of my asthma. Although the xolair injection help my asthma does not seem to response as well as they would like. My local consultant really does not have a clue which way to go now. He tried everything he can so now my life literally lies in the hands of the specialist team.

So until tomorrow stay safe and remember your are not alone.

If you have enjoyed reading this, why not visit the blog at the link below:

http://mr-asthmatic.simplesite.com/



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