I have quite a tight wheezy chest today, and whenever I take a deep breath it hurts right through to my back, beneath my shoulder blades. It’s a bit of a family trait, so I’ve experienced a lifetime of having a tight wheezy chest on and off – thank you, long-standing childhood asthma, for lurking around behind the scenes just enough to remind me of your lingering presence every time I get a cough or a cold, or breathe in too much house-dust, or get hayfever or whatever.
The absolute worst my chest has ever felt in my life to date was when I had pleurisy when my kids were small – and OMG at its peak that reached an easy 11 on a scale of 1-10 of laboured lung discomfort. So since that time I generally tend to judge the relative ease or otherwise of my breathing on that particularly unforgettable experience, with zero being no chest tightness at all and 10 being almost as bad as having pleurisy.
Today I’m maybe only at about a 4 on the old internal wheeze-o-meter scale, so enough to make me conscious of my slightly restricted breathing but not anywhere near enough to warrant freaking out or anything like that. Nevertheless it is making me even more aware of the importance of not catching Covid-19 for the time being, so apart from a nice little wander around our garden getting some fresh air, I’m staying at home while my husband fetches and carries as necessary.
But I must admit it all feels slightly weird in the current climate – however ‘normal’ this irritating wheezing and coughing lark may be for me I can’t help but worry a little in the present circumstances. And of course worrying just tightens my chest even more and I know I can easily start to hyperventilate and bring on a full-blown panic attack. So instead I’m keeping myself calm and breathing through it, gently and evenly. Nice slow deep breaths of cool, clean, fresh Scottish air…
See, my chest feels slightly easier already… 🙂