Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The Joys of Asthma -- a Rant
I have a cold. Now no one wants a cold, it's nasty, messy and it hurts.
In our enlighten times, to have a cold is to be a social pariah. You don't want to give your cold to anyone, but there is the little thing called working for a living. Strangely enough, corporate America expects you to be at work all the time, even if you feel miserable and you are a disease vector. So going to work becomes a choice between pissing off your peers or not getting paid. Or you can sacrifice a vacation day/ call in sick... but you only have so many days so that option isn't always there.
So you hunch over your desk, try not to contaminate anyone, and try not to cough ( disrupting your co-workers) or make distracting snorkeling noises just trying to breathe (and disgusting your neighbors )
Usually you fail at all three. Last year some person gave me an anonymous note asking me to stop coughing/wheezing/snorting/ etc or leave my desk when I absolutely had to make noise.
WOW. That's so practical! If I had followed that plan I would have been at my desk for 5 minutes the entire day, the rest hiding in the bathroom trying not to disturb my peers. I wonder what my boss would of though of not working but getting paid for it? I was out of vacation and sick time both, so I had to be at work.
Notice the coward left it anonymously.
Now, sprinkle Asthma on top of this cheery little life cupcake, and it really gets fun.
Not only do you feel crappy, and you avoid everyone at work trying not to infect them, you are constantly worried about having an attack because you can't breathe and everything and anything can trigger it. Hairspray. Someone's lotion. perfume. Smoke smell on someone 's jacket after a smoking break. These can trigger problems for me on a good day. A day when I have a cold and my chest is already feeling pressured? It's like walking in a landmine field wearing flashing lights to attract the snipers.
So This morning I ran my peak flow numbers ( a nifty little gadget for asthmatics, it gives you some quantitative idea how your lungs are doing besides they feel "tight" or "too tight" ) and I'm 100 liters down. This is after I've used my morning inhaler and my emergency inhaler.
I took a day of vacation. I still have vacation. One of the reasons I don't have vacation at the end of the year is because sometimes I take vacation when I'm sick.
I might just burn another day tomorrow, depending on how I feel in the morning.
Most colds last 7-10 days, even without the added excitement of asthma. I'm on day 3 or 4 depending how you count. 1 or 2 days is all I can afford to burn of my vacation at this point. So when I go back to work I'll still have the cold, but hopefully I'll be on the other side of the bell curve.
1 or 2 days not stressing about how everyone at work reacts to one's being sick should help. 1 or 2 days in my home, which is more or less free of my asthma triggers should help. I'm chugging Vitamin C via orange juice and plenty of other liquids and I'm sleeping as much as I can stand. I'm using my netti pot almost non-stop and I've packing my inhaler. (course I always pack an inhaler)
OH Yeah, here's the kicker... I caught the cold at work in the first place.