Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Public Service Announcement

Hey everyone, back again.

Turns out that when I was poorly...and then more poorly...and then still poorly... it wasn't something I was just going to shake off.

A few years ago, after a really nasty bout of summer hay fever, I was diagnosed with asthma. Up until then I thought asthma was something you either had or you didn't - you either got it as a kid, or you never had it. I, like a lot of people, had no idea you could develop it as an adult. But I had.

My introduction to asthma from the doctor was something along the lines of "Yes, you have asthma, take two puffs of this inhaler every day. Thank you for dropping by!"

In the years since, I've found out 101 Spiffing Things a Girl Can't Do With Asthma, and 999 Things Asthma Can Do To A Girl. Try these on for size;

1. My bronchus (tube leading from my lungs to the outside) has actually changed shape permanently. Permanently! It's not just that I sometimes get wheezy, I now have a bronchus smaller than other people's. Perfect for clamping shut on a whim.

2. Apologies for this one, but my lungs are full of *icky mucus* which gathers up infections like a miser with tenners.

3. Not only does asthma do bad things, but hey - the medication does too! The steroids I have to take to control my asthma cause tremors, anxiety, irregular heartbeat...that's just the top of the label. In addition to that, they can cause infections in my lungs, such as regular virus infections that everyone gets in passing, to stick around and cause trouble for me.

Aren't those great? You should see the rest of the list. Suffice to say my imaginary career as a marathon runner won't really get of the ground. It's just a good job I'm an indoors hobby kinda mongoose.

Anyway, the reason I shared all those horrifying medical TRUE FACTS! is to help explain why I wasn't around a lot recently. It's because that, in 2012, I was mostly being sick. Really sick. Even when I thought I was well, I was not. It ended up with me being signed off work for a month with exhaustion after I found I couldn't cross the room without a rest half-way.

I used some of my time well - I can spin, I have knitted A LOT of a lot, I dyed with indigo (strange smell, nice colour) washed fleece (as before)...oh, so much to share.

But I thought before I did that, I'd tell you where I've been and why. There's a lot of misunderstanding out there about asthma, what it is and how serious is it, and it's nice to be able to share a little real-life knowledge on it with people I know. It's not a laughing matter, to be honest, although I thought when I first was diagnosed it would all be a minor inconvenience.

Anyway, more blogging tomorrow. In the meantime, TRUE FACT 4. A seasonal true fact;

4/ Cold temperatures means I can't go outside in case I get an asthma attack and/or have to use so many steroids to stop getting an asthma attack that I get sick.

So I'll be knitting, spinning, felting, carding, flicking, washing and dyeing my heart out with you all here, and I hope you can get used to having me around again.

1 comment:

  1. I too "got" asthma in my adult years. When I had reached my 20's and moved out I started eating more processed foods. I hate to cook and I wasnt keen on walking 10 city blocks from grocery store to apartment carrying tonnes of groceries. Ok, so Im lazy. I ate crappy processed food full of sugar, wheat and dairy.

    So two years ago, I got tired of it all. (After I got better after the H1N1 and pneumonia.) So I started researching ways to reduce it. Now after 20 years of the pain and suffering of asthma, latching on to a husband who loves to cook (and carry groceries) and will cook by request, (we have been eating only whole foods, nothing we havent "processed" at home), I no longer have asthma. I eat no wheat, no dairy (especially dairy!) and avoid sugar. We make our own probiotic veggies and water kefir. Lots of roasts and veggies and fresh fruit. I also take vitamins (A, C, E, D3, Selenium, and Zinc).

    I no longer suffer from asthma. I reject the idea that once I have asthma, its a label I have to wear the label rest of my life. I dont catch colds, flues, etc any more than the other people around me. I can walk up stairs without thinking about what step to stop for a break on. A lifestyle change REMOVED my asthma.

    Ive found what I put into my body sends messages for how my body reacts. Even my allergies have gone. Triggers no longer trigger my wheezing (tar, cigarette smoke, very cold air). Ive stopped taking all the medications, pills, puffers, all of it. Not taking them has dropped my blood pressure, stopped my hand trembles, poor sleep, headaches, and that cough from the medications that are supposed to stop my asthma cough.

    If it is defined as certain symptoms, and then labelled "asthma", and then the symptoms disappear, do you then still "have" asthma? I say no. I reject the label.