Just the facts, Ma'am

The noise you hear is my cape fluttering.

I have been swamped the last two days at work, running on a little less sleep than usual and trying to do enough to keep folks happy. My house is half a mess, laundry is half done, presents are half wrapped and I have to get up for the presentation tomorrow at like 4:30. I had a meeting today that precluded me finishing a last minute powerpoint for tomorrow. I do have a display board in my trunk however. I'll make an outline tonight and probably do a pretty decent presentation at 6:30. I'm hoping to bug out of work a little early tomorrow though. I think I want to come home and make tomato lentil soup. At times like this, it's beneficial to recharge instead of getting run down and risking a visit from the asthma fairy.

For those of you reading without asthma, I thought I might try to do a Joe Friday and keep it really basic. There's all sorts of emotions that go with asthma like denial, avoidance and frustration, but we'll set those aside for now.

I am very lucky as I have non allergic asthma. This means I can live with 3 dogs, 3 cats and about a bazillion dust mites and have no issues. I could fall face first in a field of moldy leaves and tree pollen and be just fine. Whereas most folks have allergic reactions to environmental crap, I don't (yet). My airways do react mightily to VOC's (volatile organic compounds). These are found in paint, perfume, hairspray, shampoos, scented candles, air freshener, cleaning products, laundry detergent, fabric softener, etc. Many building products will have VOC's such as older kitchen cabinets, insulations and new carpet often off gases VOC's as well. I also respond negatively to weird stuff like air pollution, auto exhaust and smoke of any kind.

  • Biggest fear: being trapped (in a theater, elevator, line at the bank or in a meeting) with someone doused in perfume.
  • Most embarrassing: having to explain to people that they are literally making me sick
  • Greatest challenge: admitting that I can't climb higher, hike further, bike faster or paddle longer. Sometimes just admitting I can't breath
  • Places I can no longer go: Bed Bath and Beyond, Bath and Body works, any Macy or Nordstrom, race tracks, casinos, my in laws (big smokers), the spa
  • Things I can't do: Not much. Can't breath well above 6000-7000 feet but can do just about anything else at a different pace.
  • Things I miss: perfume, candles, aromatherapy massage
  • Things I don't miss: cleaning the oven

I'm hoping that active living will keep the lungs healthy longer, so I do hike, climb, bicycle, kayak, fish, whitewater raft and just about anything else through much of the year. This isn't so much a proven theory as it is an act of defiance, but I continue to hope for positive side effects.

So there you are. A little snapshot of asthma. Speaking of snapshots, today... no dogs. This shot was taken this summer from about 4500 feet. One of my favorite hikes.