Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Social Adversity of an Allergic Asthmatic #2

As I was writing my last post about asthma,  I kept wondering how an asthmatic who's determined to swear off asthma medication is going to deal with potential health setbacks.  It made the idea seem even more unreasonable.  Is there going to be an open discussion about the ups and downs of one's health, or are we going to applaud health and shamefully hide noticeable symptoms of asthma.


I didn't think the topic offered much to talk about until my last asthma attack (thankfully, the only one in February) and the events leading up to it seemed to ludicrous to relate.  In short, I didn’t think I could talk about it.  In hindsight, it’s really disconcerting that I considered suffering quietly because what happened was too crazy to tell anyone.  You might ask how I got myself into this state.  I got cornered by a dog—not on my walk (something I'm always afraid of)—but in a bar type establishment toward the end of a night out.  And it wasn't just any dog, but a large Rottweiler, who to my surprise, was roaming freely inside the building.  I first noticed the animal when it came into the room and made a beeline towards me.  As it approached, I climbed onto my chair and then onto the wobbly dining table. 
I was wondering if I should I scream for help. 
Will the dog jump at me and bite if I do?

Luckily, at this point the waitress come down the stairs and into the room and raised her eyes when she spotted me standing on the table.  The dog leisurely walked off and urinated on the top of the staircase in front of me and the waitress.  Yes, you read this correctly.  This story involves animals urinating in public places.  I was not only scared to have an asthma attack, but I was horrified and I am still speechless about the fact the animal peed inside the building and the urine ran down the stairs and dripped from the ceiling into the poolroom below.  This is so disgusting!

Of course, I suffered a massive asthma attack that night as a consequence and I felt shitty for days, but still, the whole story sounded just crazy.  And what an irony it is, that something this unusual and disgusting happened to the person who's allergic to dogs.  I am not reckless and I don't stumble un-informed through life.  I know there are many, many places that are simply off-limits for me because there will be dogs.  I have to take great care in planning my outings.  On this particular night, I made a big deal about not wanting to visit any grubby dive bar and everybody agreed on this location to accommodate me. 

If anyone from Salt Lake City is reading this and wonders what bar I’m talking about—it's the Beer Hive.  From the way the situation was handled, I am assuming the dog belongs to the owner or one of the waitresses and they think it’s no big deal to have a loose animal in a place that serves food and drinks.

I know making a choice to speak against allowing dogs in public places isn't a popular topic for discussion, and I certainly don't expect many others to share it.  On the other hand, there are health codes in place that prohibit pets (with the exception of service animals) in restaurants, bars and grocery stores.  Why is it then, when it comes to dogs, that some people bypass the law and decency and do things just because they can, even if it creates problems for others.

Unfortunately, this issue really effects my health and makes it impossible to calculate potential dangers.  I can never tell if I might encounter a dog in my day even if I've researched and confirmed the pet policy of a location in advance.  So, partly because of it, even though my blog chronicles the efforts I make to manage my asthma, I know I'm going to get sick sometimes.  There will be times, in which I will be affected by symptoms of asthma and there will be times in which I will be struck down by a full blown asthma attack.  I can't predict my health or any health setbacks I might have, but I commit to being upfront about it.  I am sure, with time, I can joke and laugh about incidents like this one and for now, there is no reason to keep being sick a secret.

Right this moment, it is difficult to envision myself being actively effected by my asthma because I am feeling well.  On the other hand, I am very much afraid of being unwell and living through so much pain again.  With asthma, it’s the absolute fear of not being able to breathe, of loosing control, and ultimately, of dying.  Of course it’s terrifying!  Even though I fear I can't handle yet another asthma attack and I try so hard to guard myself against dangers and I carry emergency medication, the next asthma attack might only be minutes away.  I would never know!

I wonder, what are appropriate actions to report health code violations like this one?  I also noticed that many people who like to bring their pet with them at all times are unaware of disturbing or endangering others.  A pet in a public place is often a hygienic concern or could cause allergic reactions.  What is a good way to bring awareness to the issue?

StayHealthy♡ Nina


  You might also like...
  Social Adversity of an Allergic Asthmatic #1    

Disclaimer:  Thank you to everyone who takes the time out to read the things I have to say.  I am not an expert or professional!  My advice is genuine and based on my own experience as a severely allergic asthmatic.  I am hoping my writing can suggest reasonable solutions to anyone that may need it and maybe bring awareness to those interested in the topic.  Thank you!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much. That's very nice of you to say. It is a really bright and happy color, which makes it perfect for spring because it's still a bit to chilly to go without a coat :)

  2. Wow your blog is lovely :D

    looks so nice will defo keep reading :D here is my blog would be awesome if you would have a look

    1. Hi Jadiee, thank you so much for coming back to read my blog and leaving me such a nice comment. I really appreciate your interest!

  3. stunning photos!!

    1. Aleena, I'm so happy you like the pictures. Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment!

  4. Nina, thank you for educating me on the health dangers you and others face. You have a good voice and make a great advocate for this startling affliction. My hope is that you continue to enlighten us along your journey and that in doing so the environment will be safer and friendlier for those that suffer from this particular allergen. You should never isolate yourself. Kudos to you for your courageous advocacy.

    1. Dear Marianne, thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment. I really appreciate your encouragement! As you might imagine, keeping a written account on what it's like to have severe allergic asthma is not an easy or popular subject to share online. It's often difficult to put in words, but I think this explains the lack of relatable material online. Like I mentioned before, I have very severe allergic reaction to dogs. It's not the runny nose and eyes, sneezing and itchy skin (well that too) that one might expect. I suffer a severe and life-threatening asthmatic reaction. So, therefore it's not okay for me to unexpectedly find pets in places they shouldn't be (establishments in which dogs aren't legally allowed). And it's NOT okay if a dog touches me because he runs without a leash in public. It's not okay if he is friendly and just wants to jump up on me, sniff me or lick me. ME: "Please hold your dog back. Please don't let him touch me, I'm allergic!" To which the dog's owner responds: "It's okay, he just wants to sniff you."