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It’s the most wonderful time of the year; unless you’re asthmatic!

Sorry to keep posting on here but I’m feeling really down and fed up with my asthma and on here you just get it!

I’m just not ‘bouncing back’ this time and it’s really bothering me as I just feel tired, achy and weak. This time of year is also rubbish for asthmatics; cold, damp weather, central heating, real Christmas trees ( they set my asthma off ) dusty decorations, the stress of Christmas, the list goes on! Just once I would love to go to a Christmas market or not have to worry about making my work’s do because my asthma isn’t behaving! My asthma has always been bad at this time of year ever since I was a child.

I know I sound like a proper scrouge and should probably go and decorate the tree!

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Omg I could have written that myself.

I think the thing to remind ourselves of is if we don’t have enough oxygen getting in it affect everything we do.

I could cry today so I really get it.

I have another month on steroids and they aren’t helping this time.

So pretty sure you and me are far from alone.

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Sorry to hear you’re having a tough time. It really does affect everything and the knock on effect is hugely underestimated! There’s nothing quite like an asthma attack to remind you that you’re not invincible! Hope you feel better soon xxx

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Thank you, I hope we both do.

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I like Christmas but I know the feeling even though I don't have Christmas-specific triggers, other than weather - which appears to set me off unless it is in this very narrow range of not too hot, cold, humid or changeable... (I should be called Goldilocks!)

For me it's difficult because there's a lot going on and I really want to do it but I'm also worried about my lungs getting in the way. I have been very fed up recently with how they make me stay inside and not do things. Now I have things to do and feel like I'm getting a bit of a life, but the risk of them going off on one is real and I would REALLY like it if they could not do that this month! I feel like there is more scent around at Christmas too.

I'm looking forward to my work do as well, but then worrying in case I have another sudden attack and don't go, then miss out on other stuff too. Last week I went with a friend to the AUK carol service and both of us had deliberately waited till the day to buy tickets in case lungs got in the way lol! (We were SO pleased with ourselves for getting there hehe.)

I'm also quite worried about Christmas itself because I will be with family/family friends and they, er, don't really know all the details of what my lungs get up to (I don't live with family and I don't tell them much because they hate hospitals and they'd worry). I really don't want them to find out all about my asthma attacks from a trip to their local resus on Christmas Day! Nor would it be my preferred choice of where to spend it.

I know these might seem trivial and others have major worries at this time of year, but I completely understand how it's the apparently little things that can really get you down and the uncertainty, when it would be nice to just enjoy the season and what's on.

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It’s not just me then!

I decided a year or two ago that I would go ahead and make arrangements, despite knowing that I would have to cancel some of them, otherwise I would be marooned at home from November to March. I guess this approach has worked better than I had hoped and my friends understand that they may be cancelled at short notice (and have to go and buy a take-away if I should have been cooking for them!).

I do have a looming problem.... I soon have a ‘significant’ birthday and my family keep asking me to choose from a raft of celebratory ideas. The thing is that my birthday is next month and for the past three years, I have been ill with a chest infection and asthma on my birthday. The thought of a reservation being cancelled last minute (they’ll be ten of us) or an arranged party called off adds to the worry of possibly being ill at this time of year, anyway.

My husband has suggested I swap birthdays with him (his is in July) which is an idea but the rest of the family still want to make ‘big’ plans for January.

I know I am moaning about a ‘third-world’ problem but it is a bit of a worry!

What do fellow asthmatics do in similar situations? Go ahead and book something or follow the head and on past experience, not?

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My birthday is in January too and I had a party for my 30th, it was a bit touch and go as I was in A&E the week before with my asthma but I think that was partly due to the weather and partly due to stress. It’s a difficult call to make, is there any way to do tea and cakes and people drop in? That way it’s easier to cancel. I like your husband’s idea of swapping birthdays and it’s understandable your family want to do something for you but it’s much better you’re healthy and not feeling pressured.

Hope that helps xxx

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I also decide to just go ahead usually but it does make me wary when the activity is expensive and can't be changed and/or other people are involved. I might be ok but I might not - so annoying and I do feel I miss out.

Rubbish that you're often ill on your bday - I like RD23's idea of having something at home though if you can and get others to help- that way you can also have a higher chance of making it as you don't have to go outside or travel?

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Goldilocks! That made me laugh! Our airways are certainly temperamental/contrary!

Yep, there are definitely plenty of scents/smellies around at Christmas! I always walk quickly with my head in my scarf through perfume departments!

I love a good carol service, glad you got there. I’m tired of telling people, ‘I’ll be there so long as this (points to my chest) behaves’.

Everyone deals with things differently, despite being in my 30s I always want my mum when I have an attack as she bloomin’ brilliant and can gauge how bad my attack is by making me smile at her. I’ll also appreciate I’m very lucky to have that. The rest of my family and my partner don’t cope as well but sometimes I think I underestimate how scary it can be for other people as I’m used to it.

Heating, the oven and lots of people is the other thing that gets me on Christmas Day. I have been known to stick my head outside the door! 😂

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We're such a variable lot, no wonder people find it hard to keep up with triggers! Hot weather triggers me but so does cold air and a cold house -I had some terrible nights in Sept when our heating was broken and the temp was dropping a lot at night (I later found my window was open a little at the top from the heatwave and I hadn't noticed). I also don't do well with warm to cold and vice versa. Same with scents as some are fine and some are not and I'm still working it all out - then other asthmatics have issues with just the opposite scent I can handle!

Your mum sounds great in an attack, I'd ask to borrow her if you didn't need her lol. Mine never really wanted to acknowledge where things were so I didn't tell her much, and she hated hospitals anyway (which I did understand, and I think it's pretty hard to watch even your adult child in hospital - I know I find it harder to see others than be the patient). My colleagues are actually great and have had to step up a couple of times when things kicked off at work - I think I also forget it is scary for them because I'm used to it! Hugely appreciated how great they were.

It's selfish but I can't handle people who can't handle watching the attack. I get it, but feel like I have to protect them when I just don't have the energy, and so I usually go alone or with someone I know can handle it, if they're available.

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You’ve hit the nail right on the head there, I feel exactly the same and that’s why I don’t want my partner there panicking as I worry about him when actually I need to focus on me!

Lol, you can borrow her, she’s ace! She’s helped me learn how to manage it over the years and I couldn’t ask for better. My dad is great too, he just doesn’t hide the panic as well as my mum!

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Timeshare parents for asthma attacks! I can get behind that idea lol. I think in the US they have patient advocates in some places which seems like a great idea - for when the drs are being annoying and you don't have the breath to argue. If no helpful, experienced family member is there to step in this seems like it would be so useful.

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Well she needs something to do now she’s retired 🤣

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On a totally unrelated asthma note, I’ve just realised where your screen name comes from after Goggling one of the Greek Classics I did at uni but couldn’t remember the name of; it was this play! Good choice!

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I also studied this play hence the name! Though I'm thinking I should have gone for Cassandra given my experiences with some doctors etc. ;) Good to hear of another classicist (though I ended up in science later).

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I don’t know what I’d go for 🤔 I will have to have a think, mine would probably end up being ballet related in some way. Yeah I did drama and history and now work for a water company! Go figure!

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Ondine! Since you work for a water company lol. And the Ondine breathing curse, although she didn't have that herself.

I try not to feel too much like the Queen of the Wilis with doctors as it's unproductive, but the thought is there in dark times... ;)

Have you done a lot of ballet? I like to watch it but have zero skill myself. Must be so much more frustrating with the asthma if you're used to being able to do that.

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Well we all have to suffer for our art, although that might be taking method acting/dancing too far! 😂

Swan Lake is my favourite ballet! Luckily exercise has never set me off unless I’m bad anyway, plus I started when I was five so maybe my lungs have just got used to it, if that makes sense? I haven’t done ballet for years, mainly because it’s hard to find an adult ballet class, but I’d love to get back into it. Sadly I’ve never had pointe shoes and always looked with envy at my mum’s old pair.

I find it frustrating that I build my fitness back up and then have to start again from scratch after being bad but I’m in a choir and I find it more frustrating that I can’t sing when I’ve had an attack as I can set myself off if I’m not careful and it just kills my ribs! Still at least I’m fortunate enough to be able to do them when I am well so mustn’t grumble too much!

I ended up in A&E again today! Silly me went back to work, 5 nebs and hydrocortisone later and I’m at home as high as a kite off it all 😂

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I love singing! Problem is my lungs are too unreliable for the sort of choir I want to be in (and used to be in) ie one which needs people to turn up regularly so we can sing interesting stuff.

Oh no to A and E :( so frustrating. I would do the work thing too and regret it. Hope they get back to some kind of baseline soon - sounds like they were ok this time? Hope no annoying paramedics.

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Luckily my choir are understanding, for now at least. It is difficult to manage hobbies and asthma, especially ones that require attending somewhere every week.

So frustrating and my ribs are killing me! Three attacks in two weeks! I’m just finding I get out of breathe doing normal things but there’s no chest infection as I had an x ray and bloods done and my chest was clear. I know if I go to my GP he’ll listen to my chest, tell me it’s clear and suggest I see my specialist which I am at the end of January as it’s the earliest they could get me in.

Paramedics were fantastic and totally restored my faith! They had a good sense of humour which I like as I find it distracts me. She also explained why they give me salbutamol and atrovent back to back as they open up different parts of your lungs so I might ask my specialist if it’s possible to have an atrovent inhaler as well as I seem to respond well to it. The hospital were great too and it was totally manic in A&E, they deserve a medal and people need educating on what A&E is for!

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Ovens being on are one of my triggers as well.

The joys the asthma

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We should all get together and have a ‘trigger free’ Christmas, if that’s even possible! 😂

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Sounds a perfect solution 😂😂😂

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With appropriate songs? ;)

'Last Christmas, I gave you a neb...'

'All I want for Christmas is blue...'

'Silent (chest) night'

'Ding dong merrily alarm, the resp rate is too high'

'You'd better watch out, you'd better not shout, you'd better not wheeze, I'm telling you please...'

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🤣 I actually just laughed out loud! My boyfriend just gave me the weirdest look and I had to explain!

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lol hope i didn't set your lungs off! Always feel I have to be careful on here since I set myself off once reading DamnYouAutocorrect compilations after getting home from A&E... :p

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Lol ohhh you all made me laugh.

Can you imagine us ordering food/drinks I alone have about a 100 allergies, that’s without normal day stuff.

We would be thrown out

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Don’t set yourself off laughing! We would be a nightmare!

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So funny though

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Only asthmatics know what it's like, it's there all the time dragging you down. As a kid I always wondered why all the other kids didn't seem to have a care in the world when I just felt rubbish all the time. I hope you feel a bit better soon.

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It’s always in the back of my mind no matter how much I try to kick it out! Still, I’m still here and breathing, relatively well so can’t complain!

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Can I join the trigger free Christmas 😂

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More than welcome! You’re all keeping me sane at the moment, we should do this more often 😂

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It’s been so good to read all this ‘fun’ about asthma and coping!! Thanks! It can all be so depressing if you’re not careful.

I had an early Christmas lunch with my sister &husband at the weekend, but of course, despite all past discussions, she wore her favourite perfume! When I started coughing, she wondered if I’d caught a sudden cold, then of course things got worse and I had to disappear to my bedroom ‘to find my inhaler’....in fact to stay a while in a clear environment with my trusty Dyson purifier going....had to stay there altogether in the end!

My sister (not my most sympathetic friend) said accusingly, I didn’t forget about your perfume stuff, so I just put a small spray on each wrist!! So often I feel like the baddie when things go wrong while with her! But she’s not alone at Christmas, with everyone splashing out with their new perfume! 🎄🎅🏻

Happy Christmas to you all, if poss!!! 🎄🎄🎄

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