Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Things That Make My Lungs Feel Worse: Strong Scents

Last week, I posted about things that make my lungs feel awesome. Actually, it started out as a blog of me talking about various things, but I ended up writing about exercise for so long that I just made it a blog focusing on one thing: Exercise. If you missed that blog, you can check it out here (you should check it out just for the memes I included). In the months to follow, I plan on writing blogs about other things that make for #awesomelungs, and if you'd like to be involved in that, please let me know!

Anyway, on to the topic at hand. Now, I've already pointed out the number one thing that I believe make my lungs feel awesome, so what about the number one thing that make them feel worse, or not so awesome? The most obvious answer is a lack of exercise or treatments, but I wanted to get a little more micro-focused (is that even a word??) with this blog and talk about one thing that others may not think about that could make their lungs, or the lungs of their child, feel worse.

That my friend, is a strong scent of pretty much any kind. (Maybe I should rephrase, a strong chemical scent of any kind, roast beef is okay) Now, notice I threw the word strong in there. This doesn't necessarily mean that just a little whiff of something fragrant in the air is okay for my lungs, but I can tell you unequivocally that the stronger the scent, the worse my lungs feel. What do I mean by worse? Usually tight. There are some scents, or scent dispersers, namely burning incense, that make my lungs feel like a deflated balloon that cannot take in air.

I do realize that the smoke burning from the incense stick could, and most likely is, contributing to the tight lungs, but I assure you that whatever is being burned into the air to create the smell is not helping.

Same goes for strong wall plug-ins, perfume, cologne and please listen if you fall into this category cigarette smoke on clothing.

**Steps on soap box**

I know, I get it, you smoke outside only. You have been addicted to nicotine since you were 14 and even though you now have a child with a terminal disease that primarily impacts the lungs, you still continue to smoke.

I won't address the fact that IMO it is an entirely selfish decision to continue to smoke when having a child, period. I won't even talk about how disrespectful it is to your child or the community they are a part of. Lastly, you're an adult, so you know the negative way that cigarettes impact your health, so no need to go there.

What I am going to address is this: If there is smoke anywhere present - car, house, clothing, mouth, skin, air, patio, etc - it can, and most likely is, harmful to your child. Please stop. I know it's hard, but so is watching you smoke. Your child may not feel disrespected now, but I promise, they will. They may not think your smoking is impacting their health negatively, but I promise, it is. Just stop. Please.

**Okay, give me a second to step off of the soap box...Alright, back on solid ground.**

Back to the rest of the scents and scent related crimes. Here is another one, if you are a respiratory therapist, please don't come into my room smelling like a bottle of perfume or cologne. I have to sit there and breathe it in for an hour. It doesn't feel nice. I'm glad you smell pretty, but your here to help make my lungs clear, not smell nice for the new doctor who just started working your floor.

I know, candles make you feel relaxed, but do you need to burn 41 of them around the house? I have a pretty strong candle detector and my lungs start tightening up around candle number five.

I like chlorine in my pool water, but pool water mixed in with my chlorine? Tights lungs here I come!

Okay, I can see this blog starting to become a diatribe of every scent I've ever encountered and what I think about it so I will stop. I'll just leave it at this, if you have to question whether or not the scent is too strong, then the scent is probably too strong. If you don't need it, don't use it.

And lastly, please stop smoking.

If you want to get involved in the conversation, leave a comment here about what make your lungs feel worse or tweet me @RunSickboyRun! I'd love to link to any blog you write about what can make your lungs feel worse, either now or over the years. Send me a link to your blog so I can share it!!