Tag Archives: Illness

Living with Asthma

It sucks. The end.

Just kidding. Living with asthma does indeed suck though. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 4 years old. My mom had already lost a daughter (More in a blog post here: ) and when I was sick and wasnt getting any better she had to know why.

I was so young when this happened but my mom has told me stories and there was photos of when I was in the hospital. I was in there for nearly a month right around Christmas. When she had first taken me to the hospital apparently I was given 13 or 14 masks in a row. This was something they strapped to your face (Not nearly as bad as I can explain it) which had special liquid that was turned into a gas that you breathed in. It was super challenging for me to breath. My parents begged them to take me home for Christmas because having to deal with this in her first daughter she knew how hard it was to have a child in the Hospital for the holidays. I was only then allowed to come home to relax when my parents had gotten their own system to deliver the mask. I remember that as I was growing up and routinely sick around Christmas (I was allergic to Christmas trees, See the blog for that here: ) That I would continuesly be getting up every 4 hours with either my mom or dad to sit on their lap and have the mask administer the medication.

Growing up as a child, I loved the hospital. Going in with asthma I never had to really be poked with needles or anything. I had to have some oxygen machines on my finger and things but never was I poked and prauded with things. I also loved the fact that I was given popsicles to eat since I would be coughing so much my throat was a bit dry. And on top of it all, having a younger brother and sister, I loved the attention! It was nice that also when I would go to the hospital with my mom more often than not we would be taken in right away due to it being breathing issues. That was a great thing instead of waiting to be seen for hours and hours. As I look back now as an adult, I do anything to avoid going to the hospital. I do not want to be there under any circumstances not to mention there probably is times that I should be going but I avoid it and hope I get better.

I would say that there is people with far worse asthma than myself. However when I get bad and are in the middle of a sickness or attack it is never fun. Something as enjoyable as laughing could put me into an asthmatic attack where I am barely able to breath. Growing up as a teenager if I was walking too fast to school I would start to cough so much that I would throw up. Same with laughing or talking or being too loud. I would constantly have to check myself and relax my body to stop the coughing fits and hopefully it will pass without running to the bathroom and coughing.

As far as medications go, I was always on puffers. I started with the blue and orange ones (Forgive me for not knowing the older names because this was so long ago). they were used with the tube since I was so young it helped to make sure i was getting a full mouth full before breathing it in. After that I moved up to a brown and blue inhaler. These were the “L” shaped ones where you push the top and they have a burst of medication that you breath in. After this I was moved up to turbo inhalers which have a powder medication in the bottom of them. You simple twist the bottom and you breath out away from the opening and then you breath in. Twisting the bottom with each dose. I started on the blue and brown one of these. Currently I am on a turbo inhaler that is red called Symbacort. I should be taking this every day in the morning and at night which I don’t and should really try to however not having a family doctor here I really need to conserve how often I use it since I don’t have any refills. Lastly, by extreme emergency’s I am put on a medication called predisone. This is given to people who have cancer and a wide arrange of illnesses. It is basically a steroid for your lungs. I get this when things are very bad and my puffer would not help. My family doctor has always said to me, if I start to feel sick take my turbo-haler every 4-6 hours. If I do this for 4-5 days and feel no better and are starting to feel worse, I need to get a predisone prescription. Luckily, since moving to Quebec I have only needed it once and the walk in doctor we went to trusted my judgement and prescribed me this. Most walk-in doctors would try to give me an antibiotic which did nothing and I would end up back at my family doctor with him wondering why I am this bad! Normally a walk in wont prescribe it since it is a steroid for your chest and they don’t know your file even though I know and have told them it really is needed! The only time I get this is if my doctor so happens to be the walk in doctor and I am able to get in to see him.

Living with Asthma sucks. There is no way around it. However for the amount of time I am sick it really isnt that bad. I just have to be mindful and really know my body and symptoms so that I don’t let it get that bad. I know my aunt also has Asthma which is a bit more tricker than myself. She is more sensitive to scents and can get sick easier than myself. I consider myself lucky in terms of how manageable my asthma is, There is a lot of people who are unable to do a lot or medications have no effect on them either.

Do you or someone you know have Asthma?
Do they have trouble managing the symptoms?

Let me know in the comments below!


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Living with Allergies

It all started when I was younger and slowly getting sick every single Christmas. Til I was about 9 years old my family even had a real Christmas tree. Mind you I had already been diagnosed with asthma so my parents kind of chalked it up to that during the winter months however my symptoms would go away mostly after Christmas. When the tree was taken down I seemed to be fine. Piled on by a bunch of weird things I would do like snuggle a friends litter of kittens to playing in the woods my parents had no idea what would suddenly make me sick and then it would go away, Not without most times triggering an asthma attack though. It wasn’t until someone had suggested that I should get an allergy test and see what really is making me have these fits of coughing and sneezing and whatever else there was.

If you aren’t familiar with how an allergy test works I will explain. First of all I only really had this done when I was about 9 years old. I know they perhaps could have changed how things are done but as far as I know they still may be doing this. When I went I remember my mom had to take me. We had to wait for a specialist for it. They talked to my mom about things that could potentially be most of what I think was checked was environmental allergens. Like trees, grass, cats and dogs, maybe even peanut butter too. Just certain things that were typical of triggering allergies. I had to take off my shirt and lay down face down on a table. I could feel cool drops of what felt like water on my back. After I felt pin pricks. The specialist was then picking where different drops were. You leave the drops on for so many seconds and then when they are wiped away you can run your fingers along the dots to see which is raised for an allergic reaction. For me the biggest ones were, pine trees, cats, straw, freshly cut grass, dust and a few more which I think I have grown out of.

As a child, I think living with allergies was hard. Mind you I never had food allergies which I think would be even more challenging it was a bit frustrating not to have a real Christmas tree after I was 9. Now it doesn’t bother me as much since no one really has a tree that is real now a days, but before it did. It was frustrating to have friends whose cat had kittens and after cuddling them I would be wheezy and have the sniffles from them rubbing all over me. Especially if one of them scratched me while playing and that scratch was a raised bump as well too. Or having the windows closed while my dad mowed the lawn so the house wouldn’t become filled with the scent.

As an adult, I don’t think living with allergies was all that hard. I know that i just normally avoid things. When my boyfriend and I adopted our cat. For a while he made us both sneeze and sniffle. However now that we have had him for nearly 8 years he really doesn’t bother us anymore. Though when he cuddles up and gives me a hug (Yes, my cat really does that!) or he drools on my shoulders he does still make me a bit itchy or my eyes feel like sandpaper. As far as scents go, I am still very much allergic to the smell of a Christmas tree. I buy scented wax to warm in warmers and one is called “Iced Pine” I can very rarely put it on and even if I do it is only for a little while as I typically start coughing or sneezing a lot! But I still enjoy that.

My mom has an allergy to penicillin and phosphates as well too. At least that’s how I think you spell them both! One of them is a preservative in foods which I bet you can image it is in a whole load of foods. Whats worse is she could eat something many many times before but if something slightly changes in the food itself she could become allergic to it. She can’t or shouldn’t eat the coconut chocolate snow balls. However if she eats one she is normally okay any more and she will start to get hives or her allergies will be triggered. Though her allergy was and is far more intense then my own are for nature and the outside world. Something with too much of that could really be bad for her or have her throat even close over.

My dad also is lactose intolerant. Which is a type of allergy and was something the had start later in life. I remember him always drinking milk and enjoying milk all the time only to later in life not be able to eat it anymore or it really upsets his stomach. I think when it comes to food allergies it is one thing have them your entire life but another thing when you are so used to eating a particular food to have you unable to digest it properly. I know for me, if I was suddenly unable to have milk I would be devastated. Especially since I do drink and consume a lot of products that do contain it.

At the end of the day, as many allergens I have to things outside and in my environment I would much rather have those types of allergies then ones to food. That would not be a fun time I don’t think. Especially if you always had to check out food labels for the specific ingredient and ensure you are able to eat them though. And though I don’t really consider my allergies to be severe to live with, maybe even calling them mild would be pushing it too. They could always be a far worse and for that I am okay with it!

What are you allergic to? Do you even have any allergies? Did you know about them your whole life or was it something that you developed later?