Do You Make Backup Plans?
I have been dealing with allergic asthma for 47 years now. Like, I’m an expert, of sorts. I know that if I stay home I’ll probably be fine (unless I get a cold). But, if I visit people, there’s always the risk I’m allergic to something. So, I’ve taught myself to make alternative or backup plans. Allow me to explain.
I love going to my dad's cabin
But, the cabin doesn’t always love having me. I personally have had some of my worse asthma attacks there. So, I’ve had some horrible nights at the cabin. I could write about them, but I don’t want to bore you with my sob stories (ah, but I still might some day).
Sometimes I go there and I’m fine. Sometimes I go and sniffle and sneeze. But, sometimes I go there and have a full-fledged asthma attack. I had a severe asthma attack back in 2011. Like, I was up all night struggling to breathe. So, going to the cabin has always been a gamble for me.
Ideally, I wouldn’t go at all to the cabin. But, then the allergy/asthma beast would win. I don’t want those “beasts” to determine what I do with my life. So, I plan. Two weeks before going I make doubly sure to take my medicines exactly as prescribed. This helps to prepare my asthmatic lungs for any triggers they might be exposed to.
Then I create backup plans.
So, what are my allergy backup plans?
Well, I make sure I have a ride. That’s plan A. So, if I stay at the cabin I’m going to have a drink. I’m going to have a beer or two or seven. So, what if I have a horrible allergy attack after I start drinking. I definitely can’t drive myself home. So, what next?
Well, I have a plan. My brother David does not drink. I discuss this briefly with him. He says, every year, “Just wake me up if you need a ride.”
I love visiting my brother's homes
But, my brother’s homes don’t always like me nor my kids. Like, my daughter Callie has horrible allergies too. Right now they are way worse than even mine (if you can believe that). She is best friends with Rory, my brother’s daughter. They love to spend time together. So, Callie was very excited to visit my brother Dan’s cottage this summer.
“Dad, I think we should just visit for a while. Then I think we should go home,” she said to me BEFORE we went. "Dan has two dogs. I’m sometimes allergic to dogs. I don't want to be miserable all night."
“Understood!” I said. And I surely do. I have had many miserable allergy nights due to dogs. So, we decided to just visit.
“But,” she added, smiling, “If the dogs don’t bother me, then we can stay the night. So, we’ll just kind of monitor the situation.”
“Great!” I said, “We’ll just play it by ear.”
So, we had a back up plan. We both created it together.
God blessed us on this trip. Neither Callie nor I experienced any allergy or asthma symptoms. We wrapped our beds in clean sheets and pillow cases. We both took our allergy medications, just in case. And we experienced no symptoms. So, we decided to spend the night. We had a blast. The allergy/ asthma beast did not foil our plans.
But, we had a backup plan, just in case.
What to make of this?
I am a little hesitant visiting other people. Obviously, my kids are now the same way. It’s not because we don’t want to have fun. It’s because we have allergies and asthma. Together, we have learned to cope. We have learned to devise backup plans, just in case they’re needed. What about you? Do you ever devise backup plans. Let us know in the comments below.
How does your asthma change with the seasons?