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Hurricane Katrina Rememberance Day 8/29

August 28, 2007

Two years. It doesn’t seem like two years have passed, but then again, there isn’t a day that goes by that I still don’t think about my time spent in New Orleans doing pet rescue after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

It’s ironic, too, that I just spent almost two hours in a doctors office, specifically a pulmonologist (lung specialist), to get my lungs checked out. I developed mild asthma just before I went to NOLA and now it’s to the point where I can’t breathe deeply without wheezing, nor can I be active like I used to be. Oh, I still go to the gym, and sometimes force myself beyond my limits, but I always end up paying the price with my lungs physically hurting for a day or two.

I’m praying it’s just minor, like perhaps I need to exercise and strengthen my lungs, but deep down I’m afraid it’s worse. What if I really was exposed to toxic mold and other pollutants that were floating around there in the constant dust you could visibly see? I had friends who were over there with me tell me that doctors have found all sorts of nasty stuff in their lungs and that they are permanently damaged. We’ll see, I guess. He’s ordered a set of X-rays and a lung capacity test where I have to run on a treadmill with a tube over my nose and mouth. And that’s just to start. "The basics", he called those tests. Where we go from there depends on what, if anything, he finds in those tests.

No, no, no. I’m fine. I have to be fine. After all, I eat super-freaking healthy, I scarf antioxidant-laden food and teas like crazy, I still do yoga and I can still climb a set of stairs without getting winded. What’s there to be afraid of, right?

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow…

July 28, 2007

Most of you who regularly read my blog know that I’ve been going to school to become a veterinary technician and have been since 2005, off and on. Off, because I took a semester off to live in New Orleans for 3 months to do animal rescue post-Hurricane Katrina.

So, flash forward a year and a half and I’ve been going part-time to school and working part-time. It’s a two year program, so I finished half of it. Over the course of several months, however, I start to develop some sort of allergic reaction to something. It was so bad, that it causes me to develop eczema and moderate asthma (enough so that I have a "rescue" inhaler sometimes).

Of course, it took me forever to make it to the doctor, but I finally went in for a blood allergy test. I get my blood taken, sends them to some lab somewhere for testing and says she will call with the results when they come in. Three weeks later, on the way out of town during Memorial Day weekend, I get a call from her. The top three things that I’m allergic to:

#3 – Dust

#2 – Dust mites

and now for the kicker….

#1 – Cats

So, you see, I had to put my dream of becoming a veterinary technician on permanent hiatus. Sure, there are treatments for allergies to cats, like getting regular shots to build up an immunity, but that only applies to ones own felines, not patients I’d be treating. At home, I’m mostly okay, because of two very powerful air purifiers and a Roomba who does my bidding. 😉

Since it’s asked of me often when someone finds out… no, I will never EVER get rid of my cats. A few tweaks in my environment and a couple of shots are more than worth the love and enjoyment they give back in spades.

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