Surviving With SOB

December 19, 2011

…..So many people remark they are SOB, but I think we all deal with it and suffer from it differently…..

Whilst there are varying degrees of any symptom, there are also some pretty uniform ways of self helping your SOB. I do not profess that any of these truly work for the most severe of symptoms but on a day to day basis this is what I generally try to do to cope with mine. If like me you have a COPD element to your asthma then these steps will make sense and you may have already been taught them and/or PLB techniques.

  • I get myself in a comfortable position with the medicines I need to hand, and take them, an extra dose or two is not an overdose in this example!
  • I try to calm myself down and prevent panic. I reassure anyone I’m with so that they don’t panic and set me off. I always let them call for help if I feel I’m not getting my breathing under control. ((You can always cancel the call if you don’t need assistance.))
  • I find I like to go outside, or anywhere where the air quality is different-by a window for instance. I know that even if I’m gasping for air, there is still some oxygen going into my lungs. I tell myself I will be okay.
  • I try to relax shoulder and neck muscles. ((When we panic our muscles tighten and make it more difficult for the diaphragm to do its job of drawing air into our lungs.))
  •  I also know that I can’t draw air into my lungs if I already have stale air in there. So I stop trying to breathe for a moment-I actually practise breath holding for as many seconds as I can manage to slow myself down, it helps to relax and calm me.
  • I also slowly squeeze all the air out, using my stomach muscles as well. I try and breathe out for about a count of 8 to really empty my lungs before  I inhale as deep and as slow as I can manage. If it doesn’t feel like the air is going all the way in, I don’t worry about it – I know to just breathe out slowly, and breathe in slowly again.
  • Hopefully, after a few regulated breaths, I should start to feel things  are calming down and my lungs are “opening up” “better” and the air  is getting to where it’s needed. Remember this is how I deal with SOB episodes and not asthma attacks as such-I’m not talking about coping with the tightness, just the horrid air feeling of “air hunger”.
But please be wise and seek help and advice from your Doctor. I’m not a Doctor these are only my first hand ideas of how I get through the tough SOB times.
…..Peace of mind is worth a lot, and if your shortness of breath is caused by illness, early detection is your best bet for dealing with any problems that arise, oh, and maybe a trip to the ER for BiPap….

It’s The ‘Pepper Nose Feverish Coldy’ Time!

December 14, 2011

…..I have a cold!…..

But not that you’d really notice, I just feel utterly crap as opposed to those who sound coldly crap or look it with their noses running down their face. Mine never does that. It’s the low grade fever and headache and my itching peppery nose that makes me feel so  bleugh!

Having survived almost the whole term dodging germs of all sizes, we went to Mark and Kate’s wedding on Saturday and it seems I’ve brought more than memories away with me. Somebody I hugged or air kissed has breathed the lurgy of the moment over my persona and I’m now riddled with a pepper nose (feel I want to sneeze all the time), ear ache and a fever.

Oh well, nothing I can do really except take the Lemsip to school with me and keep warm-fat chance in our ‘practically below the legal limit music room that I’m teaching in first thing!’-and drink loads to wash it out of me. Doesn’t feel like this is anything more than a head cold, so I shouldn’t be fussing, but it’s already got me in a quandary over my Pred reduction. I’ve been struggling on 30mg-and already so SOB that things are really tough and very uncomfortable-and to think, the plan was I was actually going to go down to 25mg on Friday-big problem there, me thinks that may have to wait. I’m racked with aches and pains as it is and feeling yeuch from the less Pred, how simply dare a cold now show it’s ugliness. As if I haven’t got a big enough case of the reduction blues already.

…..Oh well, off to school to mingle my germs with those of approximately twelve hundred others!…..

Post Script: The second this hints at going south I’m bringing in the SAS!

 


Foggy Birthday Party!

November 21, 2011

…..Yesterday we had an incredible day of thick, cold fog…..

We went to visit my Sister in Esher as it was Oliver’s birthday, and I tried to take photos coming round the M25 whilst J was driving-but you could barely make out the dot matrix boards. The Christmas lights in Ruislip were seemingly invisible as the cloud was really down to ground level.

One of my dear friends, Michelle put this picture online a few days ago and I asked to borrow it.

It gives a really good indication of how fog can affect me. Although we did celebrate Oli-Will’s birthday and managed a very foggy walk around my Sister’s estate.

And then last night, as quickly as the fog had appeared, it went! When we went out again at 8pm to pick up some pizza express salads, it was largely gone. Not soon enough though, given the havoc it played with my lungs particularly in the late afternoon as darkness fell. But a bolus dose of Pred and the air con running on dehumidify all night long has now largely fixed things again for me!

…..And yes, sometimes it is ok to just sit and breathe, particularly if it is really foggy outside!…..

 

 


AB’s Allergy Attack (07/11/11)

November 9, 2011

…..Who’d have thought our Doglet would end up like this, 45 mins after her annual booster shot…..

Monday 7th November: Injection at 1.10pm. Anaphylactic reaction at 2.00pm

It’s sure looking like she is resembling her Mummy more than ever. And thank God that I saw her face and knew exactly what was happening to her, and that J was able to rush us all back to the vet in 3 minutes. This was only the second dog they had seen with this reaction at the practice and all 4 vets came in to witness AB’s impression of a Sharpei. Thankfully her tongue was normal as was her heart rate and breathing. We were praised for our swift action.

And so our baby dog received IV steroids, IV antihistamine and some sub cut shots of the stuff too.

It started to show visible signs of all going down in about 2 hours and by the evening she was exhausted, but eating us out of house and home thanks to the steroids! And her little pointy nose was nearly all back!

She was re-checked by the vet at 9pm and given instruction for further 1mg doses of piriton and pred if necessary.

How quickly these animals recover from such a nasty episode. Survival of the fittest, I suppose.

…..I’m more than grateful for my own experience with exactly the same allergy, in knowing exactly how quickly we had to react and for Cathy, our wonderful vet in acting so quickly, and not even charging us…..

 


To Jab or Not To Jab?

November 7, 2011

…..This is the question…..

I’m really in two minds about it this year. I think the deciding question is not going to be to do with my lungs but more  a case that I shall ask the vet this morning that if I got flu would the doglet be susceptible to it. I’m kind of sick of feeling lousy after flu shots. I’ve had bad reactions in the past and last year I got thoroughly lousily sick way before I had the jab so Lord knows why I bothered having it. Also I think my Pred is still too high. My Dr won’t do it if I’m on 40mg. So I’ve got to get the Pred down before I can have it.

This year I seem to have dodged the lurgies so far, and therefore, so far so good! And long may it continue.

Surely the best way to help my immunity increase naturally, is not to bombard it with nasties like flu shots. After all, nobody in my Family ever gets flu, they’re all so healthy!

…..Just hope my plan works out…..



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!…..


‘Mugged’ of air by Mist and Fog!

October 17, 2011

…..We woke up to a right pea souper yesterday….

Of course, the temperamental bellows knew what was out there even with the curtains drawn and every window in the house shut. I guess it comes in through the CO2 vents in the windows! AB wasn’t amused either-she sneezed when I took her out at 5.45am. We had to get up early. I was driving J to work at 7am-something which turned into rather an adventure in such horrid driving conditions. I had to get out the manual for his car as I didn’t know how to switch the fog lights on!

And all the way to the BBC, the lungs were protesting so. J sounded like a record getting stuck “You need a neb”  and “Promise me you’ll have a neb as soon as you are home” turned into “Make that a double neb, please!”

Actually when I did get home a little after 8am, I ended up on a triple neb whammy, a double ventolin plus an atrovent and then a super seven percent saline one and a spot of gunk clearing physio.

Fog is my worst enemy.

Forget Floridian Humidity, which in itself finishes me off, Fog is evil, with a capital E.

I may have done my good deed for the day in driving J to work to help him, but silly me, I didn’t exactly help my lungs in time. And then spent the day in bed, accompanied by my mini Furry Fajita who herself does not appear to like the Fog either.

It did lift mid afternoon-my friend Tasha saw to that by single handedly blowing it away, all the way from Holland 🙂 😉

Today the fog is lesser this morning-but I took the time to wrap a scarf around my face before I entered into the great beyond to water the dog at 7.30am. Thus doing a wonderful impression of a burkha woman.

I’ve had a rather broken night-up twice for nebs. Oh how these little barometers do annoy me so. I’m in for a bit of a duvet day again here, no doubt.

….Reckon the time of year has arrived to dig out all the scarves and gloves!…..