Annelie on asthma, humor, and the world.

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Whiff of perfume could kill me – Lord Simon –

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Interviu with Lord Simon in House ofthe House of Lords:

Whiff of perfume could kill me

“Like five million other people in this country (UK), I suffer from asthma. In my  case, allergic reactions to perfumes, tobacco smoke and chemical fumes have  forced me to make huge changes to the way I live.

The last time I went to the cinema, for example, was to see Crocodile Dundee  in 1986, and I can’t remember when I last sat in a crowded restaurant, or took a  train or bus.

Any of these “normal” activities will expose me to triggers which could set  off a potentially fatal attack. Just the slightest whiff of a woman’s perfume,  some aftershave or someone’s cigarette can bring on an attack in 20 seconds, and  leave me fighting for breath.

Three years ago, I collapsed and needed oxygen simply because a Baroness tried  to sit beside me after washing her hair that morning with a perfumed shampoo.

And last October it even caused a sitting of the House to be adjourned. I was Deputy Speaker that day when a message was handed across the chamber.  It was on a piece of faintly perfumed paper – and I inhaled a tiny whiff of the  scent.

In an instant, I was gasping for breath, as the bronchioles – the small  airways that carry air in and out of the lungs – became inflamed and  swollen.

As a result of my condition, nothing is left to chance. I have an oxygen tank  and mask in my office at the House of Lords, another in my bedroom at home and  one behind the driver’s seat of my car.

Although I live a full and very active life, asthma has changed my existence  beyond measure. I can no longer fly or travel on public transport. I cannot stay  in a hotel in case a smoker is in the room next door, or the pillowcases contain  residues of dry cleaning fluid.

I can’t go to the theatre, restaurants or the cinema. My wife, has had to change every brand of shampoo, deodorant and make-up which  she used to use.

Any guests to our country home are given a list of strict instructions about what they can and cannot wear.”

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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.

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