Commuting, an Asthma Test

Last updated: February 2021

I have had a summer of asthma ups and downs. I thought I had finally turned the corner, feeling somewhat decent and having my symptoms under control. Then one morning came my asthma “test”. The commute to the office, since I had been in the field most of the summer, I had not been taking the commuter train into the office.

I had a meeting, downtown in a bustling part of town, with notoriously very little, and very expensive parking available. I decided to take the train. I am usually a bit early as it can take some time to walk/run from the parking lot, down the stairs to the tracks and then back up to get to the platform.

Commuting with asthma with added hurdles of construction

Of course on this particular morning, I forgot that there was construction at the commuter lot and I had to park in annex lot, with not a lot of time to spare. This caused me to do a mad dash across the parking lot and down the stairs and then back up the stairs to the track level that my train was departing from. Even with morning meds on board, a sprint of that nature was going to be a bit of a struggle, I ran for the train and made it, almost literally flinging myself onto the train. This particular train was an express train, so it is was packed with sleepy-eyed morning commuters. Since I had been mostly driving to the office I think encountered “ All” the triggers, the person spritzing an awful concoction of body mist, like seriously, who does this on a public train? We are are talking very tight quarters for all involved. Then there was also the smell of breakfast, summer sweaty bodies on a very humid morning. I simply forgot about how many triggers there could be on a 36 minutes ride.

I was completely out of breath by the time I got on the train, hoping that my wheeze was not audible and trying not to cough. The train was packed and I was squished in between people.  Part of me wanted to ask the person, sitting in the courtesy seats to get up but I didn't. I had some rescue inhaler and I was mostly fine.

Maybe some preparation would've been a good idea

This morning experience felt like a test but also reminded me that because I had not been exposed to commuter life triggers, that this, possibly has been a really good thing and kept me able relatively stable.

This reminded me that I had received a commuter survival kit from Badassmatic Kerri. In there were masks, why did I not have my mask on this day?

While I still take the train occasionally, I'm mostly back to driving to the office, I think my lungs are appreciating it more.

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