Inflaty Flares, Fire-Alarms and a McFlurry!

I know this is a whole day after the events…

…but  considering I had a 12 hr school shift yesterday and was paralytic with exhaustion after last night’s Parents’ Evening, I just couldn’t blog.

I haven’t been sleeping well recently. Not that asthmatic lungs allow me to sleep like a dog these days, but even with pillow mountain I do manage to succumb to the exhaustion I feel. I’ve been aware that I am stuffed full of air more than I used to be. Discomfort and distention. I am a diagnosed moderate air trapper (nice to be moderate at something!) And I know in some ways I have slacked a bit from the physio I should do, drainage, huffing and using a PEP device, (the huffing drives J mad, the PEP device gives me a headache!) but I am simply always too tired and figure my swimming is my pulmonary therapy of choice these days so if I’ve swum and shifted a reasonable amount of air and lung junk, then hopefully I’m not backing up and stacking up.

But I have been swimming, lots. And I realise I’m hyper inflating more too. So after 2 or 3 incredibly severely agonisingly uncomfortable and anxiety packed air trapped nights, in the last week, I spoke to my lung docs (Team) yesterday, and told them. Realistically, I need to do Spiro when I’m in a hyper inflaty state. So I may well try to do hyper inflaty inducing things before my next routine Spiro (!) Their theory is that on my ‘home’ days I am under breathing. OK, so my idea of how I am breathing is not quite realistic. I shift less air, get used to shifting less air, feel tight, get used to feeling tight, fail to take the necessary deep breaths, go swimming and only use the top of my lungs, and exacerbate the process unknowingly. I keep taking in air, because that’s how I am, gasp, gasp-if you’ve spoken to me, you’ll recognise my  innies and not so much of the outies, because they’re just wheeze, wheeze and it’s hard to get the air out with the wheeze, wheeze going on! It takes me so long to get the full amount of air out that I don’t really manage to or in front of people, try to disguise the wheeze, wheeze, and will do my cough, cough thing!

And I’m always at my worst on Wednesday nights. My 3 worst hyper inflated nights have been the last 3 Wednesdays. My Doc’s suggestion is that my overbreathing to compensate my necessity for breaths at school then fills me up too much as I can’t spend the time to get it out again and by the evening I am like a barrel of over blown ballooniness.


I really need to find extra time to practice expiration techniques within the day on my working days. Hence the PEP therapy which can help splint the airways open on exhalation. If I’m tight I’ve really now got to stop then and there and deal with it. And not carry on thinking I’m capable of riding it out until I get a chance to deal with it. My lungs don’t wait they have their own time scale of events…….we’ll see. Next Wednesday will be my test. Oh, and due to the flariness of my lungs-((they’re not twitching, they’re just being dumb atm)), I am not allowed to attempt anymore Pred reduction. “Pants on the ground”. I was doing a Speedy Gonzalez here and now my Team have  kiboshed it!

Oh, and if you’ve been around on Twitter with me these last 2 days, you may have noticed me moaning about a certain school’s emergency alarm system………Dear Mr Fire Alarm, I know you’re often not needed but could you please  stop making your presence felt, every time somebody uses a kettle, solders wire in technology, makes toast or switches on the coffee machine. Gee your sensors are so sensitive I’m even scared my neb’ll set you off…

3 alarm drills in a week, actually equating to 2 in 2 days. All of them in the rain and freezing cold. All of them wasting 20 minutes of  time. Even though I was out there on the tennis courts lining up my form class on scootie like some kind of pink cowgirl, NONE of them were at all fun. The least fun and most ridiculous of all being the 3rd one which went off during last night’s Parents’ Meeting, at 5.30pm. Such pandemonium. Sigh. Did I mention my lungs detest the damp. 3 hours of constant talking-a fire alarm and dampness in my lungs. And I wonder why I’m inflaty and flary at the moment.

But anyway, my reward for lousy lungs and awful airways was a delicious ice cream. J took me for a drive after dinner last night as I said I’d fancied the new mint choc Mc Flurry, but  apparently that offer had finished-darn. So he got me this one……totally delicious (It’s sitting on my piano, btw!) The toffee crispiness was fine for me as it’s basically rice crispies so GF. And I added extra toffee sauce at home. Totally naughty and very needed. Plus I had a small glass of Belgian lager and a tiny valium. Just enough to lull my lungs after all that gaspiness at the Parents’ Evening. I definitely slept better, ok, so I coughed and was a bit puffy but  was much better than the previous 2 nights and the previous diabolical Wednesdays.

Other lungy suggestions-squeezing, squishing, measuring the amount of distention around my sternum….oh and full Lung Function, minus medication, the whole shebang coming up in March. Hate it. I always get worse numbers than I feel I have going on. In spite of busting my gut blowing the tests. Why do we bother, when…

…Life can be such a lot of hot (trapped) air!


7 Responses to Inflaty Flares, Fire-Alarms and a McFlurry!

  1. Rachael says:

    Hi Sus

    Hope this finds you as well as can be.

    Please be careful with McDonald’s Toffee Crisp McFlurry, the toffee crisp pieces don’t appear to be gluten free!

    Not sure how strict you have to be with you diet, but hope this is helpful.

    All the best

  2. Hi Rachael-good to hear from you again after so long!

    How’s things your end?

    Great Sleuthing too! That’s why J calls it Muck Donalds!

    Not surprised to find that out. I checked the other flavours and they all say Yes to Gluten too, but as it isn’t affecting me to eat one occasionally I think I’m ok.

    Didn’t suffer any side effects so there you go!

    I have a severe wheat allergy (Gliadin, Omega 5). It means I just have to eat GF.

    Thanks for the input,

    Keep in touch,


  3. Rachael says:

    Hi Sus – yes I am ok thanks, still chugging along!

    Glad that you didn’t suffer any ill-effects and I hope you can enjoy one, even if it’s just occasionally.

    I enjoy and recommend some treats from the following company:

    All the best to you and J,


  4. Elisheva says:

    What are builings made out of where you live? In the US we had firedrills all the time because houses are made of wood and actually can burn down. Here we don’t have much wood and everything is made of stones and concrete – making it impossible for a building to burn down. The worst that can happen is the contents of a room or a few gets burned out. Which of course does suck too. But I’ve never heard a fire drill here in Israel. We only have air raid drills.

  5. ….Bricks and Mortar, Elisheva, no wood here!

    We have fire drills all the time: hefty Health and Safety regulations call for them in schools. We are a school of 1,400 on a single new campus now-and it is all about testing the system and our ability to get out safely quickly and quietly before we burn!

    Unfortunately these new fangled sensors are set to the hyperactive end of the dial-they twitch at toasters, kettles, steam from the micro wave. And we keep having the shrieking piercing alarms go off!

  6. @mymusicallungs – you could always call the fire alarm installation company out and get them to alter the settings…

  7. Fire Alarms says:

    You can alter the settings on most fire alarms. You may also want to consider the positioning of them and see if they can be slightly moved as they are too close to causes of accidental alarms.

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