Unsafe drive home when asthma attacks

I headed for home early today. Normally I stick around till evening on a Friday to make sure everything gets done that can be done so I can have a relaxing weekend but I have felt a cold taking a grip over the last couple of days. Whilst I have had a cough on and off for a good while, it is things that really attack my chest that worry me the most.

I had really ratcheted-up the doses I was taking from inhalers but was still not getting good control of my asthma. 

Many of my colleagues head off Thursday-night or Friday lunch time. I have never really done this. I am not clear why anyone else feels they can do it either but maybe that is just me not being very good at getting myself organised. I have managed teams spread throughout the world in the past so I do not lack the skills for remote management. I guess it is just the role I have at the moment really needs me on site feeling the pulse of what is going on directly. Things change fast.

At the start of the project, I used to aim to leave between 3pm and 4pm if I could but I quickly realised that this was a bit pointless as traffic was pretty much at its worst by this time. (Earlier or much later are usually better times to leave.) Despite leaving with good reason, I still felt somewhat guilty about going. I feel this when I am off ill as well. Weird.

The journey proved somewhat unsafe because as my breathing was not good, when I had coughing fits, I lacked oxygen so much that I felt somewhat faint. There were a couple of times as I got nearer home that I had to move onto the hard-shoulder very quickly and come to a stop as there was a real risk that I would faint at the wheel. Horrible.

As it turned out, I never did faint completely. I took several breaks on the way including one very close to home when I nipped into a Blockbuster store for a while.

I have to wonder at times like this though what risk I am taking for myself and others. Perhaps I should have stayed in the hotel over the weekend to recover rather than trying to drive home.

The trouble with asthma though is that unless you are having a dramatic attack and writhing on the floor, most people do not realise how debilitating it can be while trying to fight it. Most people will hear me as a heavy breather most of the time and a good part of that will rightly be put down to just being unfit and overweight. What they will not be aware of is how much effort goes into breathing consciously a lot of the time when I have a cold or a cough. There have been a few times in the office when I have come very close to fainting but I have not yet been embarrassed so.

I suspect this cold will take some shifting. I certainly feel that my reserves are somewhat depleted at the moment. It has been a difficult last few weeks and I have found a couple of things particularly difficult. Asthma is partly psychosomatic and always worse when under stress.

I have a ball to attend tomorrow night and the better half will be extremely upset if I do not attend (not least because she has been working furiously to make herself a ball-dress).

One thought on “Unsafe drive home when asthma attacks

  1. Still breathing hard and coughing all of the time. Really getting frustrated sitting at home though. Must get back to work – think I will see how I am doing tomorrow and if not too bad, will drive down to the hotel in the evening. My boss did tell me that I needed to get myself sorted out and that it was partly psychosomatic but sadly there is no cure for asthma just treatments to ease it. As for the psychosomatic part – well, yes; I have the meditation techniques and they help. I do seem to be having a lot of problems this year though starting with the prolonged cough.

    A significant number of colleagues also seem to have been suffering with bad coughs and colds – not usual at this time of year. I am beginning to suspect sick-building syndrome: certainly the building we are working in is over-populated plus I am working in the Heathrow area which is not well know for good air quality.

    Still, I love my job and am really enjoying the current project (frustrations and all). Fingers crossed on a reasonable recovery.

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