Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Of Slugs and Smoke and Asthma.

The smoke seemed to have cleared up a couple of weeks ago, but the asthma has remained. There is still a haze over the city to the point that it's often hard to see the mountains, so I think we're still getting smoke from out of town. The smoke just isn't settling into the valley like it had been awhile back, but I don't think the air quality is what it should be just yet. Maybe by the end of summer, if we don't get any more fires around here. Maybe.

The fires have had my asthma more out of control than it's been in years. At the height of my breathing issues this summer, I'd been doing 7 breathing treatments a day for a couple of weeks. That's a lot. Too many. But at least doing the treatments kept me out of the hospital. The treatments combined with the massive amounts of steroids I'm on, anyway. It's taken forever to see any major improvement in my breathing, but I am finally down to only 5 treatments a day again. Considering I started the breathing treatments at the end of May, I'm a little bit frustrated. I'm trying not to be, but it's hard not being able to do much of anything around the house. 

I've been a lethargic slug for weeks now. I can't seem to do much of anything without needing another breathing treatment, and it's sort of getting old. The house is a complete and utter mess, and I'm doing my best to not let it get to me. Needless to say, I'm not getting a lick of dehoarding done. I know it will come in time, and that I will be successful, but I want so badly to get to work on it. It's just that I can't right now.

I did go into the doctor this week. She changed up my inhaled steroid to a different one, hoping it will help. I was at the highest allowable dosage on the one I'd been using for years. Unfortunately, when a person is at the highest possible dose, and they go into a major asthma attack, it tends to be much worse than it would be at a smaller dose. So here's to hoping that the new steroid will kick in and make a difference, because this is the worst attack I've had since I was in respiratory failure almost 20 years ago. Not good. Not good at all.

We sprung for a new filter for our portable air cleaner and got it installed the same day I went to the doctor. Several years ago, someone gave us a really, really good air purifier. An Austin. They're super expensive. Over $500 expensive. And the filters are over $200. But, from the reviews, they're worth it. The filters can last up to 5 years, which is amazing in and of itself. If the filter doesn't last that long, you can get a discount of up to 40% on the replacement, so we felt it was worth it. 

The person who gave us this filter several years ago used it in her aviary. When we got it, there were feathers sticking out everywhere, and it was in bad shape. But I donned a mask and vacuumed it out where I could. Then I took the air compressor and sprayed the dust out of the HEPA air filter. It literally took a couple of hours to get it clean, but I felt I got it fairly clean. Clean enough that we used it off and on for several years. It's just that it's been putting off a nasty smell since we turned it on after the fires started up this year. It was just plain time to replace the thing. No ifs, ands or buts. So considering that we've used it for probably 8 years, and the only cost we put into it was the $214 for the filter this week, it's been a good thing.

Now I'm hoping for greatness from it. 

I feel better this morning that I have in quite awhile. I'm hoping I can decrease the number of treatments I have today, but we'll see. I had to go out for doctors' appointments 3 times this week, and that means I was exposed to anyone and everyone who had coughed or sneezed in the doctors' offices. I am just praying I don't end up getting sick with anything I may have been exposed to. Steroids greatly lower the body's immunity, so if I do get something, it could be serious. 

I really need to get some vitamins going again. Anything that can strengthen my immunity. In fact, I think I'm going to go order some now...

The sooner I get started on them the sooner I get well...