After a relatively healthy Summer filled with lots of dyeing, traveling, shows and – perhaps most stressful – MOVING – the cold that had been dogging my compromised immune system finally caught up with me and has settled in for a longer visit than I’d like.
I have damaged lungs due to some stupid choices I made in my 20’s. Nothing fun like huffing or drug use, just refusal to ALWAYS WEAR A RESPIRATOR (or at least a mask) when using sprayed particles or spray paint while making props and costumes.
I could do a PSA about the damage and how it’s impacted my life. Since my late 20’s I’ve had severe asthma, exacerbated by cold, humid weather (especially after a hot spell) and it’s impacted many aspects of my life. For many years I was unable to get health insurance due to my condition, and would end up in the ER at least twice a year. Bronchitis was my yearly visitor, getting a case of it at least once each year.
Things changed significantly for the better for me with the advent of the ACA. I can FINALLY get health insurance, and at a relatively reasonable rate. Because of this, I’ve been able to see an allergist on a regular basis, thus controlling the triggers that set off asthma attacks, and I’ve greatly benefited from monthly injections of a drug called Xolaire, which allows me to breathe almost like a ‘normal person.’
I can honestly say that I’m breathing better at 55 than I have since I was 27.
So when this cold finally came to settle in my lungs last Wednesday, and settled in for a long run, I felt unprepared for the sensation of losing control of my breathing yet again.
But, as I constantly have to remind myself, where a cold usually runs one week for most folks, for me it runs for two weeks, and this is proving to be the case this time around. I had a respite a few days ago when I thought I’d lost the cold, but after overdoing it with a long bike ride*, then a few longer days in the dye room, I have to admit that the cold was NOT gone, just lurking and waiting for me to give it the opening it needed, which I foolishly did.
(*I actually think the cycling was a benefit, my rides have been all on lightly graded bike trails, very low energy, just a chance to stretch my lungs and get some fresh air in there. Or I could just be kidding myself.)
Kathleen and I are in Fosston, MN at the 2nd Annual Fosston Fiber Festival. Rather, I should clarify that Kathleen is AT the festival, and I am in the hotel, sitting in bed, watching TV and blowing my nose. And coughing. Always coughing.
I feel guilty, but powerless, and didn’t even wake up to say “Goodbye!” to Kathleen as she headed off to the Fest this morning. I thought I would be a help on this trip, but I’m not. Not really a burden, either, just sort of a neutral presence.
Since I’ve had this cold for more than a week, I’m hopeful that I won’t be infecting Kathleen, but that’s always a worry, too. She offered to make the trip alone, but I hated the thought of her making an 8-hour round trip on her own, so at least I’m a second body in the car. Inert, dazed, but I am a body.
So I doubt I’m going to make it over to the festival today, I doubt if I’m going to make it beyond the foot of my bed. But I have lots of tea and a ready source of hot water, cold meds and some knitting.
Enforced rest in a [surprisingly comfortable] Super8 might be just what the doctor ordered!