Asthma – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

My asthma is traditionally very bad at this time of the year and so it comes as no surprise that I am struggling somewhat. Amongst my triggers I find that extreme temperatures (especially cold) and sudden changes in temperature cause me serious problems, add into the mix that fog and wind can also trigger attacks it is pretty obvious that the British winter and my lungs aren’t the best of friends.

Many regular readers of this blog may not believe me but I am actually quite a positive person when it comes to my health, I am not one who often sits around feeling sorry for myself, the problem though is that when I am feeling a bit down with everything, I am more likely to blog about things and how I feel. My biggest problems with coping with asthma (from a psychological point of view) is that I am not good at telling people who I am close to, how I actually feel, I am also a pretty studious person (a deep thinker), my mind is always on the go which is not a good thing when you are laying in a hospital bed or sat up at night unable to sleep due to predsomnia. Due to these aspects to my make up and personality I am always researching asthma, I am also considering the future and trying to compare my health to how it was previously. The trouble is these things then lead to a lot of worry and frustration. Eventually I realise this and snap out of it (this is one of the advantages of writing a blog, I read back over some of my old posts and realise what a miserable sod I can be. That is when what I consider the real me comes back to the fore, positive, a weird and warped sense of humour (some would call it gallows humour), I can be a sarcastic sod and a bit of a wind up merchant but that is what I am like and to be honest when I am like that I feel that I cope with my asthma a lot better. Sometimes because I am always joking and taking the mickey (often out of myself) people don’t always know when I am not well or don’t take the severity of it seriously. Some people would call the positive, joking me, as an act to hide behind (as I have already said, I don’t find it easy to talking to friends or family about my asthma and how I feel, I find it easier to joke about) but I feel happier and much more comfortable with the jokes and light hearted approach.

So after saying all that, here we are in mid January 2018, how do I feel?

The easy and quick answer to that would be to say that my asthma is bad, I am struggling on a daily basis, it is getting to me, I feel down and see no light at the end of the tunnel! (Ok so maybe it wasn’t a quick answer)!

But as I have already said, I am a bit of a deep thinker so rather than just saying how I think I feel lets have a proper sit down and think.

The Good

I know that we are only halfway through January and even though I am struggling, I am not in hospital and I can’t remember the last time that I managed to survive a whole January without on hospital admission. I have only had one admission this winter and only two admissions in the last 18 months. Thinking about it that is pretty good, maybe things aren’t too bad after all!

The Bad

The trouble is despite the lack of hospital admissions I seem to be having a lot more bad days and a lot more asthma attacks, they just aren’t quite as severe. I always used to have good days which were very good and bad days which were very bad, over the last year or so though I hardly ever seem to have any good days. Every day is a struggle, I manage to get to work most days (but my attendance record is still not good and is not improving). I am struggling to get my prednisolone down to below 40mg (this is then causing problems with my blood sugar levels). I am constantly coughing, always short of breath and Nellie is well and truly positioned on my chest. I hardly ever sleep, I feel run down, I am missing out more on more of things that I enjoy, things such as socialising and watching football. At the moment my life revolves around work and asthma, there is little fun or enjoyment, in fact it doesn’t feel much like a life at all, hence why I am feeling down!

The Ugly

Well one thing is for certain, my asthma and medications have destroyed my boyish good looks! Due to taking both Rivaroxoban and high doses of Prednisolone I have two black eyes and despite what I tell everybody it isn’t the wife beating me up!

Nothing is certain in life but I am realistic enough to know that everything that I have gone through (and continue to do so) is not conducive to living a long life, I accept that one day my lungs (or heart as a result of everything else such as strain and other meds) will probably be just too tired to carry on. I wouldn’t say that it makes me happy but I can accept it as long as I have reasonable standard of life while I am still here. That is probably the main reason why I am feeling down and frustrated at the moment. I also worry about the amount of time I am having off work, I just aren’t sure what will come first, whether my employer who despite a few issues with them a few years ago are currently being supportive, will finally decide enough is enough or whether I decide that I can’t physically cope with working full time. One thing for sure though is that I will continue to work for as long as is possible. Due to the lack of a social life at the moment, take away my job and there would be no point in getting out of bed!

There are plenty of positives as well though, as a result of my experiences and ‘close calls’ I feel that I am a bit more chilled and relaxed, I feel that I now have my priorities right, I am a lot more sensible (honestly!!!!!). I have met a number of great people because of my asthma, whether they be face to face, on line, fellow asthmatics or medical professionals. I also appreciate that I am not alone with my battle and that others face tougher battles than me.

My asthma is not typical asthma, it is not straight forward, it is changing all the time, probably overall it is getting worse but if it makes sense a little bit better controlled, I base this on the facts that despite not having any good days anymore (therefore my asthma is now worse) I appear (fingers crossed) to be having fewer severe attacks (therefore slightly better control). Others may disagree on that but it is how I feel.

Life is not always easy but I aim to continue living one day at a time and to use one of my favourite phrases, I will survive the bad days and enjoy the good ones (if and when they come along). Remember, Asthma, it is just playing life on hard mode!

Thanks for taking the time to read, I appreciate all feedback, shares and retweets etc!

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