Ciggies for Wheezies?

October 20, 2011

…..I can’t quite believe this poster! And I’m not entirely sure I’m supposed to!…..

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Whilst, I whole heartedly love watching TV Series such as the BBC’s Victorian Pharmacy, I don’t remember having seen such a cure advocated or advertised. If only asthma cigarettes were truely a cure! There’d no doubt be a lot less wheezy smokers or COPD sufferers out there. And at a time when everybody is advocating a ‘smoke free’ lifestyle too.

I particularly love the ‘Not recommended for children under 6’ line!

I suppose back in the Victorian times children did pick up the habit very young. Oh Well, that’s history!

…..I hasten to add though, that I think I have got wind that this poster was a spoof from a campaign in the 1970s. You may even know the truth behind this? Interesting talking point though!…..


Airless Indian Summer

September 30, 2011

…..Its currently hotter here than in Hawaii!…..

And whilst it isn’t hot by some people’s standards, namely my friends in Palm Springs, where it is still in triple digits, our 84F is certainly out of the ordinary-about 18F above average.

We are currently having a really hot Indian Summer spell. They’re even talking  about it reaching 90F later in October! But of course, I keep getting AirTexts about the moderate air pollution levels that are also hanging around.

It has certainly hit my lungs at school, particularly yesterday. I had to indicate to my classroom assistant to instruct my class to clear up after lunch and she had to dismiss them for me as I simply couldn’t breathe. I always teach with the door open, but with no fresh air coming in it was like sauna meets steam room, and apparently we have air con? My lungs love dry desert heat but hate England’s almost Flordian humidity. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I have an invisible illness anymore, it’s rather obvious I clearly can’t breathe at the moment. The guy who came to fix the blind yesterday tea time commented on my asthma “are you really ok?” “that’s the worst I’ve heard anybody?” He must have asked me 5 times if I was ok. But I really was gasping and had just pulled out the sofa bed so he could get to the window easily. Shucks!

Thank the Lord we forked out for our full house air con system this summer. Julian is on Nights and has his bedroom set to 20C which is perfect for him sleeping in the south facing brick front of the house. He has had no idea of the melting pot going on outside all day.

So after multiple extra nebs, a bit of added physio as I was really inflamed and producing more mucous yesterday afternoon (sorry), and a bolus dose of Pred last night, I am ready, I hope, to face a long hot gruelling airless and no doubt very breathless day at school.

All I can do is dose up, and take it very slowly. And keep as many doors open as I can in the educational greenhouse I teach in.

…..Going to be a hot airless weekend out there too…..



London’s Burning

August 9, 2011

…..We have woken up in NW London to a beautiful blue sky…..

But for a third night in a row, all over London last night vans, cars buildings shops and warehouses belched black smoke into the air.

This is London, this is where we live and it’s like a warzone.

Like everybody reading and hearing the news reports, we are equally shocked.

As a teacher I have one question: Where are their Parents? Yes we fear for the safety of the police. Yes we can only hope that this will somehow fizzle out, although I believe there are still many targets still to be hit. I truly hope not.

will continue to drive J up to work at 10pm if it is safe for me to do so, although if not, I would fear more greatly for his safety on the tube at night.

To my friends due to visit London this year and next for the Olympics: this is not the London we know. These people have come in from elsewhere and are anarchists not proud Londoners. The areas this all stems from are the poorer ghetto areas which you as a tourist would not visit. Please still visit our beautiful city. The LA riots of the early 90′s did not stop my family returning.

….But of course I not only fear for the safety of friends and relatives here, I fear personally for myself, as the air quality is sure to deteriorate with all these fires-it’s been very windy…..



“Killer Pollution in London is coming from the Continent” (article)

June 9, 2011

…..I just read this article in yesterday’s Evening Standard newspaper…..

I have printed the article below:

Toxic pollution is blowing across the Channel and harming Londoners’ health, MPs were told today. On unusually high pollution days, up to four fifths of a dangerous pollutant seeping into parts of the capital and the South-East may be from overseas. The alarming warning came from a leading environmental health expert. Professor Frank Kelly of King’s College, London said: “A large proportion of the PM2.5 (particulates) associated with loss of life expectancy in the UK arises from neighbouring countries.

“The UK should press for significant reductions in emissions from neighbouring countries and in turn should commit to similarly significant reductions in its impact on other countries.”

Professor Kelly estimates that between 3,000 and 5,000 people a year in the capital die early because of pollution. Some will have had their life cut short by up to 10 years. The worst particulate pollution is normally from traffic in London, especially diesel-run vehicles, or from heating homes. But Professor Kelly told the Commons environmental audit committee that a “secondary” source is created by power stations and industry. Easterly winds blow this air pollution from the Continent into southern England.

“Long-term exposure to this type of air pollution underlies many of our chronic diseases and results in people dying earlier than they should do,” he said. “The EU needs to tighten controls further on these pollutants emitted from power stations and industry.” Labour MP Joan Walley, who chairs the environmental audit committee, said: “Londoners are entitled to clean air and we’re going to be fighting their corner on this neglected issue. “We know that the UK and other EU countries are breaching safe limits of particulate pollution from cars, lorries and power stations.”

…..Rather alarming for those of us who live in London, isn’t it…..


Weather-Related Allergies

June 6, 2011

…..AT LAST! It’s absolutely chucking it down out there!…..

The relationship between allergies and weather is an obvious one. But, the summer pollens and air pollution ones are the greatest for myself. The cold of winter brings different lung issues but not necessarily allergy ones. Even though it is raining, my nose is still streaming, and even with a low pollen count my eyes are still itching.

These are some of the common weather related allergies that we are all a slave too:

Wind:  Wind-driven plant pollens such as tree pollens and ragweed pollens are blown into eyes, mouth, nose and lungs and cause allergic reactions. Tree pollens are high during spring and ragweed pollens are high during fall.

Mild weather: Mild winter may cause early pollination for trees and flowers. This may result in an early spring allergy season. Mild or rainy winters can increase the mold spores, which is a main allergy trigger. Pollen counts are usually high in the air during a mild spring season.

Rain: Weather allergies are usually less in rainy season. It happens as rain can damp down and can wash away pollens that may cause allergic reactions. However, an allergy to mold spores may increase during this season. Mold spores usually thrive in damp condition. Large amount of rain in the Autumn may create higher counts of tree pollens in the following spring.

Cold: Cold plays an important role in weather allergies. Sudden cold or unexpected freezerscan bring early spring and increase tree pollen productions in the air.

Heat: Dryness or irritation of the nasal passages may occur due to a sudden spike in dry summer heat. It may result in allergic reactions and allergic asthma,that so many of us have.  When humidity increases, growth of mold spores will also increases. Higher humidity is the condition in which most allergy symptoms may worsen.

Air pollution: my bug bear. Temperature inversions and smog can severely affect those of us who suffer from weather allergies and asthma. High humidity, heat and stalled weather systems during summer all can contribute to such air pollution allergies.

(click picture to see it bigger!)

…..At least today’s rain is strong enough to wash away the problems, albeit temporarily!…..


We’ve all got Hay Fever!

June 3, 2011

…..All 3 of us are sneezing, even little Anna-Bell!…..

It seems the dreaded summer allergy season has hit Tow Towers all at the same time. Julian and I have got the same symptoms and Anna-Bell keeps sneezing like you wouldn’t believe when she goes in the garden to play!

The pressure is high but we have had no rain so the pollutants and pollen have become down right nasty here. Julian and I have both got these non stop muzzy heads, and sinus pressure and aching ears, plus of course, the sneeziness and wheeziness in my case and itchiness in all our eyes, A-B’s included.

I guess it’s a case of keep on doing the old adages, close those open windows at dusk when it all comes down, wash those net curtains weekly, shower off after being outside, don’t wear outdoor clothes laying down on the bed for a nap (very guilty), and stay out of the outdoors at the worst pollen forecast times.

We are both on Nasonex and A-B is having her eyes bathed with cold water when they get really watery. It doesn’t seem to bother her, but how would she tell me if she also had The Headache?!

It’s been such a glorious summer so far, and neither of us suffer that badly although I have noticed my SATS have dropped and I am currently really feeling much more huffy puffy than I was, so my chest is a bit off it’s recent good norm. I’m almost down to baseline Pred but don’t want to do that last 5mg drop yet as every time I plan it I have a chesty attack and get reminded I probably need more. It’s just a number so I’m not going to beat myself up over one extra red tablet!

…..So I’m off to wash my eyes out again-typing this in the garden has been a challenge too!…..


Wednesday Weevils Wobble!

May 26, 2011

…..I wobbled after school  last night…..

Couldn’t get out of that after school Faculty meeting yesterday afternoon quick enough-was pelting down the corridors of doom on the top floor on full speed-even poor Scootie was puffing!

I got home and thought I was going to faint. That weird blood sugar low feeling when you come over all shaky and sweaty and very peculiar feeling. Checked my O2 SATS: 83%. That explained it. I’m also now almost at baseline Pred so this is my wobbly crucial time too. Texted Julian-mini riot act was read to me-put your O2 on now and sit still. So that I did. An initial 10 mins of 5L and then down to my rescue me 3L level.

No walking AB slowly round the block so I let her run amok chasing pigeons in the garden whilst I sat on the bench with E.T. in the shade and breathed in deeply. And had a cup of tea and some marmite rice cakes to pick me up off the floor, energy wise.

I used to get so air trappy on Wednesdays as it is such a hard teaching day for me and I back up so much stale CO2 talking like that-add to that a rehearsal p5 and a meeting and I was literally on my knees.

I couldn’t even detect the pollen or the ash cloud-double weirdness-it was all just my dysfunction not that of the air outside for once.

Going to have to check my enthusiastic pace today-I’ve got my band and some musicians playing for a Eucharist first lesson and have to keep going for another after school session-detention duty.

 …..I really don’t want to come home in that fit for nothing state again today!….

((Half term in 2 days and counting!))