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Medicines solves all? – by Annelie Molin

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Take a pill!

Sometimes I get provoked. That happens when I get a comment like ” Take a pill and medicine”  and you will not have any trouble kind of attitudeabout asthma and allergy. This last time I heard it from NAV (Norwegian Social Security office).

There is a common belief that medicine solves all problems when it comes to asthma and that everyone and every place around can carry on like always and before. That is so further from the truth as you can come. And the worst thing is that even the professionals seem to believe medicine is the overall solution when it comes to asthma.

They are right in that medicines helps, so far so good, but it do not clear away any obstacle.

Like for me. I know (March 2012) take the highest dose of  one of the strongest available asthma inhaler Symicort Turbuhaler 160/4,5 with 3 inhales taken 3 times a day, and in addition to that I take SingulAir 10 mg x 1. Still I get heavy breathing, and even more when subjected to allergens and irritants. Like today I have like a cotton boll rumbling around in my lungs making it harder to breathe, and I just took my medicine 30 minutes ago.

So when NAV and the professionals, or any other say I will be all fine as long as I take my medicines, I get provoked. Surely they may not have asthma, and surely not my asthma, since they do not know better. Still on this high doses of asthma medicines I still get chokes from my asthma when I get in touch with (eg. inhale) any of the stuff I get sick from. This may hinder me to do some things. That make it a disability, and the disability do not entirely go away because of constant medicine use. It can also hinder me from doing some work, even if not every job. Sometimes I have to ask my colleges to do stuff for me, like going down in the basement and get toilet paper in the storage room because of mold there, I have been through not being able to start my route directly because of perfumed colleges who sat there, or passengers perfumed, but had to wait ’til I had aired out the bus/car, I have been forced to stay home from company events because of asthma and air pollution in form of third hand smoke and also fragrance, and probably I have to decline the offer to drive some tourist routes because of the tourists fascination of perfume, they shower in it.

I am only healthy when I take my medicine AND are able to AVOID and stay away from the chemicals and substanses that make me sick.

But of course, without medicines if would be A LOT worse. Without medicines I would be really sick everyday, and off medicines over time my lungs would probably suffocate me.

And again, it is also depending on what you get sick from. And how? It has to do with the situation you get exposed in. Is the allergen and irritant on every person or most persons? Is it all year around or only seasonal? And are the asthmatic person subjected to it all over? Long term is worse than really short term when it comes to being subjected to what make you ill. Those with seasonal asthma like against pollen are probably symptom free at least half the year, those like me who is sick from chemicals have to avoid it all year around everywhere. For example, only think of how many uses perfume / fragrance in any form? Or how many locations are cleaned with fragrance cleaning agents and strong cleaning agents?

It is a good thing listening to those who got asthma themselves.

Medicines do not solve all difficulties about asthma, but yes it helps oneself to not totally choke on it when you are able to avoid what make you sick. This means that even if you avoid what makes you sick when you do not take your medicine you would get sick. I have actually tried it a period of time a long time ago and I can tell you that is no good idea. I ended up with a hugh asthma attack. That is the brutal truth about how asthma works.

So I take my medicine and I try to avoid what make me sick as much as possible. If I meat it at you, I may have to avoid you. And still I try to do whatever I am able to, and I will not stop working, but yes asthma is a disability, and it strikes in a way others who do not have asthma can imagine. When you get affected by an allergen or an irritant you have to escape the premises, and then take your medicines, and you can not enter the place again before the allergen or irritant is gone. In a job situation that can be a bit tricky depending on the situation and location. Is it possible to escape the location and leave the person? Surely one would leave anyway, but just as well. Is it in-doors or out-doors, is it windy or still? Out doors when the wind is blowing allergens and irritants fly away faster. In-doors it is locked in the room, and not even a good ventilation is good enough to carry the allergen or irritant away. This is why I for example want a fragrance free and tobacco free world, it would really help a lot. Fragrance and tobacco is the two most common things, besides other chems that pollutes the air for me and commonly force me to escape the premises.

When an asthmatic tells you something is bad and pollutes, do listen, it is those with sensitive lungs that learn it the hard way.

And sometimes I turn the thing around on its head and say,

– It is not my asthma that is the problem, but he pollution that prohibit me from going anywhere and doing what ever I want or need to do.

It is like with stairs and a wheel chair. The person in a wheel chair can go about anywhere as long as the floor or the ground allows it. It is just the same way with me. Where the air is fresh and clean I can be any time.

Problem is that the air is not always fresh and clean, and I myself can not alone choose when it is, that others do for me.


“My ideas usually come not at my desk writing,
but in the midst of living.”  ~ Anais Nin


Author: Annelie

I like canoeing, photographing, friends, movies, food, humor, and going on trips. I dislike rudeness, dishonesty, violence, nastyness, and people not caring for others. I do not drink much, I do not smoke and I do not do drugs. I love friends who are kind to me and stick with me. If you want to give me a gift, the best gift is to stop smoking and stop using fragranced products. Then you give me health and that dear friend, is the best gift a person can get. It is a gift of love. I got asthma and I am hearing disabled.

One thought on “Medicines solves all? – by Annelie Molin

  1. Pingback: Dodging bullets | Annelie on asthma, humor, and the world.

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