Bunged up Bubbles!

October 26, 2011

…..This is one for Home O2 users who use a Bubble Humidifier…..

  1. Don’t use tap water
  2. Change/thoroughly wash/scrub out the bottle weekly
  3. Check the O2 flow rate is exact.
Yesterday afternoon, I had to call out the O2 Engineer. Julian discovered my O2 concentrator wasn’t giving out the right amount and the flow rate I’d been breathing the night before last actually wouldn’t go above 1LPM. Disaster. It made me think was this the reason as to why I have been feeling so rotten every morning for more than the last week. Maybe what I thought were CO2 headaches were in fact lack of O2 headaches, like I used to get before I went onto overnight O2.
The long and short of it was that I hadn’t been changing the bubble humidifier bottle and I had been using tap water in it.
Two No-No’s!
So the tubing in the bottle was lime scaled up, and the flow rate was radically decreased due to the bunged-up bubble humidifier tube.
We also checked the O2 tubing (50ft round the top of the house) wasn’t kinked, and it was all fine. So the solution was easy!
  1. Change Bubble humidifier for a shiny brand new one (see mine above!)
  2. Put distilled water in it
  3. Tell Susannah off!
  4. Provide Susannah with distilled water and a bunch of new bubble humidifiers.
  5. Lecture Susannah about not doing this again!
…..And the result-A good night’s sleep on the correct flow rate and waking up without a headache!…..!

‘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!…..


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…..



Meeting R2D2

August 19, 2011

….Musical, Yes-you should hear all the beeps he makes when you open the door, don’t belt up etc!….

….Lungs, Yes-they put brand new spanking charcoal and pollen filters in him, and his climate controlled cabin is superb!…..

So on Wednesday of this week, we picked up Julian’s new car. He has been waiting a long time for him-since March, that fateful day when a truck came round the corner too fast outside our house and whammed  into Flabby, his 22 year old sporty Peugeot and wrote the thing off 😦

And last week the dealer found us what he hoped were 3 cars and I went along and chose this one. And my Star Wars mad man aptly named him-well, he is kind of a ‘dustbin on wheels shape’ now, isn’t he?!

For the petrol heads amongst you, Julian wanted the 12v engine, and the 120 bhp model, but basically R2D2, as we’ve called him, is a 207 1.4 vti Sport. He is nippy and light-what Julian describes as pokey! and I’m really enjoying being the passenger and the driver.

He’s got a whole host of  ‘bells and whistles’, loads of airbags and side impact protection, and AB seems to like her little booster seat.

…..And best of all, he’s got that wonderful fresh valet ‘new car’ smell…..


@Asthmagirl’s visit!

June 30, 2011

…..They have been travelling around the UK and Europe for almost 3 weeks, and found themselves in London…..

So what do you do when you’re in London, have trudged around the Tower and now have a spare afternoon/evening then?

So Mr and Mrs AG hopped on the tube and journeyed West to our suburb.

We talked in the house-discussing drugs, asthma and of course, our Chihuahuas (they have 3!!) We watched a bit of tennis-played with AB heaps-boy was that fun for her and us watching Asthmagirl down on the floor with our baby girl playing tuggie-tuggie with her new Nessie toy (which now needs a few stitches in it!)

And Julian did a great BBQ-loads of food, loads of smoke initially-but AG and I survived-no spurny lungs as we were both so full of fun and merriment that the adrenaline kicked in! (Spot the baby doglet in the photo!)

And Mr AG got to try a pint or two of English bitter for the first time…

And at the end of the evening after we were all thoroughly stuffed and they needed to travel back to the hotel for their last night in London, Julian whacked up a tripod and we all posed on the lawn, in front of my Grandma’s hollyhocks! (Thanks AG for the photo!)

(apology-don’t know how to enlarge the thumbnail thingie!)

So we took them back to Ruislip station and I know they got home quickly and in one piece as AG Facebooked me!

Here’s to my online friends-who I have now met in the flesh-everybit as adorable as I thought! Long may our friendship and our Chihuahua fun times continue.

…..and hopefully one day we will be able to visit them in Seattle too!…..


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!))