Coughing in the Time of Covid


Spent the last two days juggling work & Dr apts at the hospital. Work did not win. I arrived at my Mon apt at 9, almost an hour and a half away from home. Answered the “yes I have cough” and watched the horror on their faces at check in. (Cut the asthmatics a break people!) Ended up back home after four. I thought it was going to be a 15 min apt. Turns out the asthma specialist does what you go to a specialist for – a two hour discussion and every test in the book. Turns out I am allergic to nothing! Which I knew, but Dr wanted to see for himself to verify the battle plan. Basically he upgraded my medicines to things 30 years newer than what I was taking. He gave me his cell number and my own emergency card of prednisone. From now on I call him anytime. I should not have gone thru the last six weeks of struggle trying to battle asthma complications with cold & flu products and outdated antibiotic protocols. Amen.

I have to make one big lifestyle change. I need to exercise. To the point of sweating & breathing hard. Breathing hard = asthma attack, which is why I have to seriously increase my use of the “rescue” inhaler until the new meds kick in – about 20 days. I have been settling for just enough air. Very common with asthmatics. He told me of a world where I will have much more energy because I won’t be scared of no air or getting sick like I did. He also said dropping my BMI even by a little bit, one man went from 425 pounds to 400 pounds, and the asthma gets better. I didn’t totally follow, but the gist of it is adipose tissue releases a chemical that inhibits energy/oxygen in the lungs.

I really threw him off when he asked about alcohol and I said I was an alcoholic. He asked his CAGE questions anyways and I got 3 of 4. He was so confused. He said he had never had someone tell him they were. Everyone he had were in denial and lie or tell him how long they were sober. His first inclination was that if I told him I was, I couldnt be one. He went on with his thoughts about drinking. I just nodded and smiled. Then he stopped and looked at me and said, How can you just calmly tell me this? I said, I have dealt with the shame. If my sharing helps someone that’s great. Then he asked if I had heard of a wonderful woman named Brene Brown? Lol He said I have challenged his whole perception. Then he told me he wasn’t going to put it in my chart so I wouldn’t be embarrassed. I said I didn’t care. I tell all my doctors anyways.

I am starting to see the connections. I knew when I had to drop my asthma medicine because I couldn’t afford it, my weight started creeping up, then I started moving less, and then I couldn’t even walk around the block because my chest hurt so bad. I really did a head trip on myself that it was my fault when it’s a chemical imbalance in the lungs. I have only heard of this as to mental or something like diabetes. Then when he said he has this terrible disease too, I was like, wtf? I most certainly have not treated this as a disease, but as something to be ashamed of – cough shaming. In college, the dorm even asked to move home for a while because my night coughing was so disruptive.

I think this is my asthma rock bottom. The treatment is lots of broncho dilation now and then cut back to a maintenance level. There will be a few weeks of more coughing as I change drugs & my lungs adjust. Coughing in this case, is an adjustment, like your eye learning to wear a contact lens. I have always thrown out the dream of having energy & air. This is going to be an interesting journey.

The weekend


Ugh, what a bust. I just couldn’t keep the good momentum going.

I don’t know if it helps that I know why. I acknowledged my fear and anxiety, I did some good self care, but in the end it took me down.

I have to go to the hospital for tests the next two days. One apt for my lungs and the other for a pelvic ultrasound & 2 biopsies. In a normal world these would feel more routine, but now it put me over the edge.

Also, in taking a break from work, I am now overwhelmed. I can barely face what I need to do. This is one I can’t ask for help with, I have not trained or hired anyone who could replace me. I just have to get back on this horse and ride.

I’m finding myself with the “If only… then I could….” excuses. That victim mentality is creeping in. Poor me…

This too shall pass….It’s so hard to have patience when I have troubled sleep. (And there it is – if only I could sleep, then I could handle stress) I’m cranky and my kids new line is “Are you watching the news & crying again?!” I truly don’t watch too much. First 10 minutes of the local & national news once a day.

And so begins another week of things I can’t control. So I will try not to over control the things I can.



Got in another 5:30 am yoga. I could only do half of it but at 9:30 I did the chair yoga which is the same stretch/flow just modified and I got it done. As I sat on the edge of the bed and watched the pretzel poses at 5am, I kept picturing myself at the end of May when the session is over, being flexible enough to try them. And then I gave myself a what if – what if at 90, instead of being in the nursing home, (where she zooms chair yoga) what if I’m able to stay in my own home & garden & cut my own toenails & wipe my own butt, all because I continued doing yoga. Folks, that is appealing.

TeeTotally Fit coach Alison found a book 52 Lists for Calm, and thought of me and the joy I find in list making. So, I bought them all. And am doing all 4 at once. And it makes me happy.

Some of my other happy hour activities this week:

  • got my Overdrive (library app) restocked with books
  • did a coloring page
  • decluttered my closet
  • played yahtzee, kismet & triple yahtzee with my son.
  • planted seeds
  • napped in the sun during a zoom work meeting (oops – but best nap ever)

Wednesday Finally


That was two long emotional days. I shared here and on FB. I definitely feel lighter for writing out my frustrations. Now, I’m wondering why it was such a big deal to me! The power of sharing, even if no one reads it.

I have created a schedule for myself with room for 2 hours of movement a day. I’m up to an hour a day easily, this next hour will be a lifestyle adjustment so it will take several weeks to create a new habit. Through all the work and sickness I have changed my focus for the future. I’m investing in my health and happiness.

Alison from TeeTotally Fit is working with me on the harder exercises and the sober happy hour. For accountability I chose to blog.

Tuesday Modifications


I’m already regretting daily blogs! Lol In fact, I’m regretting a lot of my self promises, but for this week I will push myself.

My regular yoga instructor is zooming and offering us unlimited classes this month, so I’ve gotten to try different ways to do yoga. For every single pose or movement she shows a modification. Sometimes I take the nursing home class so it’s wheelchair yoga, there’s kid yoga, 5am HIIT yoga, bedtime yoga, meditation & mantra yoga, to name a few. “Make it your own” “Do what feels good” “This is your practice” are a few of her favorite lines. I can’t wait everyday to see what’s next.

Modification has become my new mantra.

I first got sick 6 weeks ago – before it was scary. I went to the doctor as normal. I have been to the doctor every week. Antibiotic (me in a mask), then antiviral (me & staff in masks), then prednisone & stronger asthma drugs (telehealth call, then another antibiotic (had to go to hospital & staff in full PPE). Because of my severe asthma complications I was put on a 12′ quarantine, so it was pretty pointless to see people. We just got our second case in our county, so it’s not big around here yet. They did a test even though I have not had the correct symptoms and as suspected, came back negative yesterday. Official diagnosis, regular respiratory flu with asthma complications & exhaustion from tax season. I can go back to normal 6′ distancing in 8 days.

When I first got sick I stayed in one office with my son as receptionist (his college job). I kept all my staff at the other. I saw no clients, I only worked on a drop off basis. The next week I had to see clients in both offices and my staff wouldn’t work with me because I was sick. This was right when things were changing. They thought it was funny to tell me to stay away. So, I let them all go. I own the business, I do the work that clients pay for. If I don’t get paid, I can’t pay the staff. By the end of that day, 12 million other owners had done the same thing. We put our friends and family (my own kid included) out of work. It has been hell emotionally. And obviously physically. I locked my office doors and have seen no clients, I work by digital or pick up & delivery drop off.

So, modification….How I stretch, how I do business, even how I no contact order groceries or visit the doctor, it all still works, just in ways I never thought to utilize. I’m leaning in to these new changes.

It’s Monday


First I will start with WHY I’m here…I made a promise to myself to get out of my head and get my thoughts on virtual paper. It’s part of my asking for help and accountability.

Next is WHAT drove me here….(the short story) my health, or rather my not health. The shame of being sick.

Finally is HOW I’m moving forward….lots of yoga, water and rest and a plan that is focused on me. I spent the last few months trying to please staff & clients, which is a good thing, but I did it at the expense of my health.

I recognized too late that clients and staff lashing out were the result of their fear and not my work. I dropped my boundaries (out of my own fears) but by then I was too sick to fix anything.

The RANT…..Today I have to head back in there, even with a fever, and deal with three days of raging phone messages about the stimulus payment. I’m not alone, there have been reports of clients waiting in mobs outside of tax offices because we have locked our doors in fear. We don’t have answers. It’s not my fault that I prepared your tax return correctly. It’s not my fault that they change the PPL form at 1:30 am. Please leave me alone. Don’t tell me that your friend knows more than me. I only deal in facts and law and it is not okay to rewrite the law overnight.

Just writing this gives me anxiety. I am going to spend some time on the yoga mat before I face this day.