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).