So after finally having a few good weeks where my asthma was well controlled the wheels have come off. I started to go downhill a little bit a week or so ago which was to be expected as my Xolair injections were due. I had the injections last week but unfortunately the anticipated improvement hasn’t kicked in. The weather hasn’t helped, it has changed by the minute, warm and sunny, to cool, wet and windy. I was desperate to be in good health as I was attending a family wedding up in the Lake District this weekend but it wasn’t to be. Don’t get me wrong, my asthma didn’t stop me doing everything it just made everything a struggle and things really took its toll on me. I arrived home on Sunday feeling absolutely shattered which is something I didn’t need with a busy week at work coming up, a week which also includes meeting with the HR department to discuss my ongoing health issues.
The change of air didn’t help me, the 5 hour car journey in torrential rain on the Thursday afternoon didn’t help. There was a group of about 20 of us, many of whom were smokers, obviously they went outside to smoke but as most asthmatics will tell you, when a group of smokers return to a room following a cigarette, they drag the smell of smoke in with them, on their clothes and on their breathe. It isn’t as bad as having them smoke in the room with me but it still causes problems.
The weather wasn’t great and so we didn’t really leave the hotel for 24 hours and on the few occasions that I decided to step outside for a few minutes fresh air, I had to run the gauntlet of smokers who were all gathered in the doorway. I’m not complaining, I can’t expect strangers to pack in smoking when I am in the area and I can’t expect them to understand, but whenever I am in the company of smokers I begin to struggle. Add to the fact that I wasn’t 100% leading up to the weekend, the journey which took a fair bit out of me physically, the weather and the slight change in environment, the smoking issues pushed me beyond my limits.
I ended up returning to my room regularly, the nebuliser was getting some hammer for the first time in weeks. I was just about the first person to go to bed each evening, I just couldn’t carry on. I hated been the one to break up the party each evening and it also put my wife in an awkward position. She was desperate to spend time with her family and friends, some of whom she has hardly seen in years, but on the other hand she felt obliged to come back to the room with me. Most of my wife’s immediate family understand my condition and so they are usually okay with it, I am not so sure what everybody else thought. I am sure that some just saw me as a miserable party pooper. I used to love a drink (I still do, I just need to be more careful and sensible now), don’t get me wrong, I still had a few drinks and despite my problems I had a pretty good time. I just find it so frustrating that having fun and enjoying myself is such hard work. I hardly slept all weekend and most of the nights were spent on the nebuliser. I am now completely exhausted, my lungs are still grumpy and now I am pretty nervous about the week ahead.
While I was sat in the room I felt okay, as soon as did anything, whether it a short walk or even talking or eating I found myself struggling, I became short of breathe and needed my inhaler (or at times my nebuliser). Since I have returned home things are the same so the concern is how I am going to get through this week at work. I am not looking forward to my alarm going off at 5am on Monday morning.
There are 2 words that sum up how my asthma is making me feel at the minute. The first is frustration, the fact that I can’t do the things that I want to do. The second is guilt, the fact that I feel as though my asthma is not just causing me problems but the fact that it is effecting those around me, my wife, my family and my friends (not to mention my employer and work colleagues).