Obviously I'm skipping the next piece on Orpheus. I also cannot comment on the results of the Stanford Study. They are holding a cytokine conference in March. Although it is geared toward medical professionals I think it would be of interest to patients. I would encourage people to print out the pamphlet and give it to your doctor to attend. One incentive is they get CME credits. If I can I plan on being there. All I can say is that it's important.
On to the crazy things. First the area where I live has been grey and cloudy for about 10-14 days (I can't remember). For the past week I've been having shortness of breath, dizzy spells, very low heart rate, blood pressure instability (going from low 110/50 to higher 148/90). I take Ivabradine to slow down my heart rate and Prazosin which lowers blood pressure but both my heart rate and blood pressure have been stable until recently.
I had to kneel down in Rite-Aid to avoid fainting. I pretended I needed to look at something on the bottom shelf. I've felt like passing out while at stop lights-always an indication the POTS has gone whacky. My headaches have been bad. The shortness of breath has been driving me crazy-it's worse in the mornings. The fatigue has been bad also.
I emailed my ME doctor who said the weather is likely causing an increase in inflammation.
Makes sense so I looked up air quality here in the area. It hasn't been good-"considered unhealthy for sensitive groups".
Other notable incidents. My housemate developed pretty bad food poisoning that kept him down for a week. I noticed he was/is coughing a lot. I've been worried he's had the flu rather than food poisoning. Then I realized I was coughing a lot.
Also, two people had heart attacks requiring stents. This in and of itself is not notable. However I know both of these people. One of whom I spent Christmas with. That is notable.
I've been reading comments on Facebook of people I know in the area such as: "killer headache from allergies". "My allergies have been driving me crazy". Or, "now I know why I've been feeling so shitty-I forgot to take my allergy medications". And so on...One of the unusual comments I've gotten from people when I tell them I recently moved here is "do you have allergies?" "No" is my reply (except for mold and chemicals). "You'll get them here!"
On the 'Spare the Air' page I looked up symptoms associated with various pollutants:
Ground-level OzoneGround-level ozone is formed when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) react with the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The primary source of VOCs and NOx is mobile sources, including cars, trucks, buses, construction equipment and agricultural equipment.
It is a strong irritant that can cause constriction of the airways, forcing the respiratory system to work harder in order to provide oxygen. It can also cause other health problems:
- Aggravated respiratory disease such as emphysema, bronchitis and asthma
- Damage to deep portions of the lungs, even after symptoms such as coughing or a sore throat disappear
- Wheezing, chest pain, dry throat, headache or nausea
- Reduced resistance to infection
- Increased fatigue
Particulate Matter (PM)Particulate Matter is a complex mixture that may contain soot, smoke, metals, nitrates, sulfates, dust, water and tire rubber. It can be directly emitted, as in smoke from a fire, or it can form in the atmosphere from reactions of gases such as nitrogen oxides.
The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles (known as PM2.5 or fine particulate matter) pose the greatest problems because they can get deep into your lungs and some may even get into your bloodstream. Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart.
Scientific studies have linked long-term particle pollution, especially fine particles, with significant health problems including:
- Increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing
- Decreased lung function
- Aggravated asthma
- Development of chronic bronchitis or chronic obstructive lung disease
- Irregular heartbeat
- Nonfatal heart attacks
- Premature death in people with heart or lung disease, including death from lung cancer
Short-term exposure to particles (hours or days) can:
- Aggravate lung disease causing asthma attacks and acute bronchitis
- Increase susceptibility to respiratory infections
- Cause heart attacks and arrhythmias in people with heart disease
Even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms, such as:
- Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
I'll have to do a separate post on the 1099-C craziness. It's important information for anyone who has had debt forgiven especially those of us who have had student loans forgiven. It's absolutely absurd.