Monday, October 24, 2011

Asthma Stinks

I have adult-onset asthma.  I was diagnosed a few years ago when I was 40.  Before that, I would occasionally have a little asthma when I was around cats, but as I aged I began to have symptoms more often, for no apparent reason, and was eventually diagnosed with the full-blown condition of asthma.  And it's not a fun disease.  I get very frustrated when I have attacks and often don't know what causes it.  It can be anything from environmental allergies to a scented candle and before I know it, I'm struggling to breathe.

Yesterday was a particularly frustrating day for me. I was very excited to go my quilt guild meeting and learn how to use my fabric scraps and turn them into an improvisational quilt.  Everyone was asked to bring their scraps and we combined them to share as we worked.  I was digging through quite a few bags, enjoying myself thoroughly.  Then I sneezed.  I figured I had stirred-up some fabric dust and didn't think anything of it.  Then the all too familiar tightness in my chest began.  I asked that the door to the outside be closed, thinking my exposure to that was causing a problem. But I kept suffering.  Off to the bathroom for a hit on my rescue inhaler.  And that's when it occured to me-I bet some of the fabric scraps came from houses with animals.  Sure enough, cats and dogs were living with some of my fellow quilters.

I ended up having to go home and do a breathing treatment.  I felt ridiculous.  Sickly.  Weak.  And even guilty because my fellow quilters were worried they made me sick. (Which isn't true-it's MY allergy, so it's MY responsibility!)  It's unbelievable to me that I have to think about ridiculous things like who has pets and if I'm touching their stuff. 

But enough of my complaining.  I was very motivated to use my fabric scraps more often (pet hair free please) and was do you organize your fabric scraps?  Mine are a jumbled mess in a basket by sewing table.  I would like for them to be more organized and would love to get your suggestions.  (I'll take any hints you have for asthma too!)