Friday, May 20, 2011


Many, many years ago—long before blogging or Facebook—I was asthmatic. At high school I used to carry around so much medication in my pencilcase that I was called a walking apothecary. My triggers were a list of allergens including dust mites and cats, as well as vigorous exercise. I missed several weeks of school in Year 11, because I simply couldn't sleep properly; lying down exacerbated my asthma, so I spent all night and much of the day sitting more-or-less upright in a lounge chair.

As I left my teens behind, I gradually found I needed less medication. And then one day I read about the link between sulphur dioxide (additive 220, used as a preservative) and asthma, removed it from my diet, and what little asthma I had left stopped almost overnight.

Or so I thought.

Over the last ten years or so, I've had asthmatic symptoms maybe a handful of times. On most occasions a hot shower was all I needed, the warm moist air alleviating my discomfort within a few minutes. (And on every occasion I prayed!)

Until this year.

So far this year I have had several significant asthma attacks. So much so that during Easterfest in Toowoomba I  bought some Ventolin and I have actually used it more than once (for the first time in over ten years).

Apparently I'm not alone. I have read and heard from many others with allergy / hay fever problems that this year is a very bad year. The reason may be that due to the flooding that has broken the drought out west, there's a whole lot of plants (mostly grasses) that are suddenly flowering for the first time in, oh, probably at least ten years, releasing pollens to drift around the continent on the wind.

I'm not looking forward to August and the westerlies.