Paranoid or prepared?

September is ‘Back2School’ time of year. It’s when social media floods with photos of children in over-sized school uniforms they’ll probably never grow in to. It’s when Clarks turns in to school shoe war-zone and it’s the month you see more cars on the motorway that are full to bursting with IKEA’s finest selection of student basics. It’s a time of new stationery, new routines and good intentions.

Paired with all of the above is a change in season. The leaves start to turn beautiful autumnal colours, they get a little crunchy under foot and there’s a bit of a chill in the air that means I have an excuse to buy more knitwear. The weather changes, we start to dust off our boots from last year and take our brollies around with us like a piece of useless armour that has absolutely no chance of shielding us from the elements if it’s windy AND rainy.

September is a month of colds, coughs, sneezes, bugs, high temperatures and wheezes. It’s when you hear people being struck down by “fresher’s flu” or have most of the class wiped out by the same cold. It’s the month that seems to mark ‘ill season’ for me. A period of around six months where I feel I cannot rely on my body to be ‘well.’ It’s a month where I take extra precautions to try to beat the somewhat inevitable hospital admission.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and know, to some extent, it’s normal for me to worry about getting ill. Nobody enjoys it, you’re kind of meant to feel pretty grim. Therefore it seems natural to not want to feel poorly. I just don’t want to spend too much time worrying about it. Then again, the pattern (oh I love patterns) over the last decade seems to predict some kind of certainty that I’ll be pretty unwell again. Even the doctors tell me to expect it.

So, this leads me on to precautions. The stuff I can do to help prevent the inevitable. The tiny little elements that I can pretend to take control of. Medically, I’ve started taking antibiotics and will continue to do so until March 2019 at least. I take my medication almost religiously. I’m consciously keeping my beady eye out for the NHS text message telling me to get a flu jab and I’m absolutely slamming the multivitamins and probiotics.

What else? I bulk-bought mini bottles of hand sanitiser for my bag, car and desk at work. I’ll be wearing a scarf over my nose when I go outside in the cold. My Grandma is strongly encouraging regular consumption of honey (’cause she read it in one of her magazines) and obviously I try to steer clear of anyone with the sniffles.

When I’m feeling well, I try really hard to move and exercise more. This is something I want to keep up but again, when I can’t breathe it becomes a marathon-like task to make a cup of tea…let alone go for a run! This is quite important because any extra weight puts a little bit more pressure on my chest so I try to eat well and move more to prevent weight gain and encourage weight loss. This gets tough on high doses of steroids too, but I’ll keep trying.

Does this make me paranoid or just prepared? Would appreciate hearing thoughts of others as I keep flip-flopping between the two!

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Are you wondering what I’m talking about? Read my first post where I am to explain all about tracheomalacia.

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