January Small Stone# Fifteen

Coughing my way home

A slightly strange stone today, nevertheless it was the observation of a possiblity of change for me. I have asthma. It was diagnosed around ten years ago, after many, many years of coughing! It isn’t severe, just irritating and must drive other people crazy. Sometimes in public places people will come up and offer me a glass of water, when I haven’t even registered that I’m coughing.

I have inhalers of course, but if I use them as prescribed I get a sore throat and oral thrush. So it’s a fine balance. There are quite a few things that trigger a coughing fit; aerosols, some perfumes, dust, things that have a bad smell, pollen, too much dairy etc, etc. I try to avoid exposure when I can.

A change in temperature, like leaving a warm place to go out in winter, is a real pain, especially when I rush to leave work each day. You know how it is, the freedom after a long day and you just want to go home as quickly as possible!

Recently I’ve tried a simple breathing exercise when I leave. It’s just inhaling through my nose and then exhaling through pursed lips – it’s supposed to slow breathing down. It works for about 200 metres and then I lose it. So today I invented my own version, breath in slowly through my nose (and very cold air hits me), then breath out through pursed lips – but in two stages – it slows me down more. I also walked a little slower than usual, so the walk took 20 minutes instead of fifteen.

Guess what? I made it home without a single cough. I’m hoping it isn’t a fluke, the next few days will tell.