Well, soccer season is over this week and I think daughter Kitty has missed more games and practices than she's played in. Thanks to wildfires burning non stop somewhere in our state, we have had to stay inside. The latest fire is in another state, about 300 miles away. But the winds changed direction and blew the smoke from their fire into our state.
I checked the Division of Air Quality website, and today is listed as
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups - The following groups should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion:
- People with lung disease, such as asthma.
- Children and older adults
- People who are active outdoors
Last night, there was a story on our local TV station about people with asthma ending up in the hospital because of the air quality was making it very difficult for them to breathe. (By the way, did you know that asthma kills 9 people in the US every day?)
Woah! It's been 4 years since one of my kids has been in the hospital due to asthma (a record for our family) and I would like to keep it that way. We had 12 separate hospitalizations due to asthma. In fact it feels like we paid for part of the pediatric wing of our regional hospital.....
So, we are doing all we can to avoid another hospital visit. Today I had to send a letter to Kitty's gym teacher to allow her to stay inside and exercise on the stationary bike while the other kids go outside. Kitty also had to miss last night's soccer practice due to the smoke and will miss tonight's game. And if things aren't cleared up by Saturday, she'll have to miss the last game of her season.
That's the most frustrating thing about having asthma. Other people can carry on with their lives and don't have to think twice about air quality or being around someone who is sick. If you have asthma, you know how your lungs over-react to things that don't bother other people. I call it the "drama queen" effect. It's a physical reaction our bodies have to irritants, allergens and illness.
There's nothing we can do about the smoke other than stay inside, but here's another plea to those of you who come to work, school, etc while you are sick. To you it is a cold, to us it's pneumonia and another expensive hospitalization. You'll never understand what it feels like to not be able to breathe. Take my word for it, it's one of the scariest things you'll ever experience. (Try jogging in place for 30 seconds, then plug your nose and try breathing through a straw. That's what it feels like for us who have asthma to try and breathe. If you don't have asthma, you can take the straw out of your mouth and breathe normally. I can't. I have to wait for the swelling to go down in my lungs. That can take a LONG time.) You can help by staying home if you are sick and not spreading your germs to those of us who can very easily end up in the hospital (again!) Please help us stay healthy!
Now about he smoke.....well nothing I can do about that. Except spend another day inside. And hope for rain!