So I think you know I live in the States, but I also live in NJ, as in directly in the path of Hurricane Sandy last week. It's been surreal. Anyways, my asthma was great until the hurricane hit, then with no heat or power, candle smoke, and massive amounts of mold stirred up through the falling of all Autum leaves...and well water, not only has my asthma been well...interesting...but working as a hospital social worker, one of the highest areas of admission we've had is in asthma attacks, and newly diagnosed children.
So day 1 I took like 6 puffs of my rescue inhaler and upped my inhaled steroid right off...which seemed to work all right. Pretty well really, with no electricity at home, and little in the hospital as we were on back up generators. Also no running water or dialysis, as it was contaminated. Which was interesting, because all of these children in the U.S. tend to use nebs at home, so spent a lot of time convincing parents that spacers were the way to go, as it doesn't matter if you have electricity at home, and you don't have to walk to your nearest warming station.
And then finally on Thursday, 4 days in with no heat or electricity at home, I sort of lost it. Really it was a matter that I was d*&m cold, I've never been able to breathe well when it is that cold, and pretty much all the food I had on ice was all of a sudden not very edible. At which point my friend called and went on and on about her wonderful heat that was back on...so on Friday I went to stay with her. Which was a good thing! As I was about to get more sick due to the mold count and cold. Oh, but of course my friend used to have a dog, so by Sunday, the asthma really kicked in.
All this to say, I am grateful for my action plan that actually worked. I'm on a whole bunch of meds now. Inhaled steroids 4 puffs twice a day, 40 mg. oral steroids, 4x day nebs...but it's working. And thanks to my pari portable neb., I was able to charge the battery at work, so I could use it at home without power. And I also finally located my car attachment, so I can use it in my car as well. Funny how when things go missing in the dark, it is hard to find them with your flashlight :).
So there you have it. I seem to have survived pretty well. I got really good at boiling water to wash my hair, and a smart friend recommended I use my hot water bottle to go to bed with instead of freezing to death! I got my heat back on this Monday morning and am sooo grateful for that. I'm very tired, but at least I can still breathe and didn't end up in the ER with my own patients. I did have to call my lung specialist to find out how to taper the pred., but I think that's something that makes some sense. As I'm not a doctor. Just a patient with good tools to use that have worked.
And tomorrow I will be going to vote, which should be interesting as well. A lot of our polling places have moved due to storm damage or lack of electricity. They are doing some good things to make this go smoothly though. Like opening the polls for the last several days, and letting displaced persons vote through fax or e-mail. So the adventure continues. Every day is different, and has new challenges. But today I'm grateful for heat and being able to breathe O.K.