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Asthma Decisions: Should I or Shouldn't I?

As a seasoned asthmatic, there are moments when tough decisions become inevitable. It is a contemplation that goes something like this: "Should I or shouldn't I?"

So, there is this crud in my chest. I feel fine otherwise, but there is definitely something off. Maybe a cough and some wheezing. I find myself reaching for my inhaler every hour throughout the day.

The puzzle begins: Was I exposed to an asthma trigger? If so, which one? Is it a cold? No runny nose, no congested head, but something's happening. Or is it? My gut, as a seasoned asthmatic, tells me I might have to brace myself for some tough decisions ahead.

Tough decisions because of my asthma

The cabin

Dad's back from Florida, and my brother David's in town too. They, along with the other guys, have been at the family cabin all week, and they are really keen on me joining them.

It's a tricky call because, honestly, I really want to go. The catch? The cabin is a haven for asthma triggers. Dust mites are practically partying on every surface — beds, sheets, blankets, you name it.

Fine, I think, I can combat that by bringing my own clean sheets. But then there's the added challenge of mold spores lurking around. Can clean sheets and my maintenance dose of allergy shots shield me from this trigger? Is it worth the gamble?

On top of that, there's the temptation of enjoying a drink or 2 around the campfire. I don't have to, but it's such a classic part of the cabin experience. Yet, alcohol tends to dry out my lungs, potentially making my current situation worse.

After much contemplation, it was a tough decision, but I ultimately decided against it.

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Raking leaves

Today is one of those stunning fall days — the kind where there's no wind, the sun is beaming, and it's a cozy 51 degrees. Believe it or not, it's shorts weather for me (gotta love Michigan). The urge to rake leaves and tidy up outside is strong, and I really want to tackle the job.

But... come on, raking leaves means waltzing right into a potential mold spore party lurking among the dead leaves. Who knows what other asthma triggers are hanging out there? I have already made the wise call not to go to the cabin, so should I postpone this job too?

It is a dilemma because, let's face it, if it snows in the next few days (Michigan, right?), I might be stuck with leaf duty until next fall. I don't want to play that card with my future self. Despite the internal tug-of-war and the fact that I do not feel THAT bad, my gut is nudging me to hold off. And so, that's what I decide. A sensible call, I reckon.

Working out!

The itch to hit the health club for some aerobics is strong today. The idea of hopping on the elliptical or going for a run around the neighborhood sounds tempting, especially with this beautiful weather.

But...I have already nixed the cabin and the leaf-raking plan. So, maybe the health club isn't the brightest idea either. Sure, I could lift some light weights, but tomorrow's meant for upper-body workouts. Aerobics might not be the best call today, especially after what happened last night.

Last night, I helped set up for my daughter's gymnastics meet despite feeling the way I do now. I assisted the guys in moving some hefty bars, and it left me feeling winded – like that out-of-shape sensation you get when you're not really out of shape. But I have been keeping up with regular workouts lately, so it hit me: It must be the asthma.

So, the health club is a no-go.

What do I do instead?

There might be other decisions surfacing in the days ahead. If this feeling that something's off with my lungs persists, how long should I wait before giving my doctor a call? And when is the right time to give in and reach for the steroids tucked away in my medicine cabinet?

Interestingly, I paused writing to pick up my 15-year-old daughter. As we rolled back into our driveway, she casually suggested, "Dad, today would be perfect for raking leaves." I chuckled, explaining I had just written about why I am skipping that task today. In a heartwarming turn, she volunteered to blow the leaves for me. What an amazing daughter!

So, instead of the cabin, leaf-raking, or a workout, I am here writing this article and gearing up to watch some football. It's Sunday — a football day, perfect for staying indoors in the fresh, clean air. I think I made the right decisions.

What do you think? And what about you? Ever have to make such difficult asthma decisions? Please do share with me your thoughts in the comments below.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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