Trying to stay healthy

For the last 3 or 4 years, I’ve attempted to keep fit over the winter by erging, but every year I get thwarted by a cold that turns into a cough that knocks me on my ass for 4-6 weeks right. One year I got the cough for 6 weeks, cured it, started to erg again, and two weeks later I got bloody whooping cough that stopped me for another three weeks or so, and by then it was paddling season again.

Over the summer, I’ve seen a allergist and a pulmonologist. Of course, it took 6+ months to get the first appointment with each of them so I wasn’t showing any symptoms. (By the way, anybody who says that only countries with full health coverage have waiting list problems can suck it.) But the allergist did a full panel and said I’ve got mild to moderate allergies to many types of dust and pollen and mites. So we took some steps to deal with mites, putting mite covers on the mattress, pillows and duvet, and some other stuff.

But when the erging season started in earnest, I immediately noticed that every time I erged I had a cough for a couple of days afterwards. It’s an unusual cough, because it doesn’t feel like it’s in my lungs or trachea, it’s more like I’ve got un-swallowed saliva at the back of my mouth. Ok, maybe it’s not related to the yearly “cold of death”, but it’s worth taking notice of. And my suspicions are pointing very strongly to how dusty my erg room is.

What clinched that diagnosis in my mind was Saturday, when I woke with a bit of one of those weird coughs from erging a few days previous, but then I went paddling outside, and that cleared the cough up! Absolutely no coughing on Saturday until this evening. Time to get serious about dust.

So I’ve revived the HEPA filter that we used to have in the bird room but stopped using because it would clog up so quickly with cockatiel dust that we couldn’t keep up with it. It’s now upstairs in the erg room, running at full blast hopefully clearing the air. I also tossed the old box fan I used to use to cool myself because the plastic grate on one side has completely disintegrated leaving a bare fan. I grabbed another box fan out of the upstairs guest room – it’s of similar vintage, but its plastic hasn’t completely deteriorated yet. And this evening I took the completely unprecedented step of vacuuming and throwing away a ton of junk. The room hasn’t looked so good since we moved in.

I guess now we wait to see if that helps. I’ve actually got a bit of the weird cough going on from stirring up all that dust while vacuuming. But tomorrow I’ll erg and see if it turns worse of stays the same. Fingers crossed.

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