Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WTB* Bubble...

I can hardly believe it's nearly November!  Time has just flown by, and as usual the things I've had to neglect to get everything done have been those things I enjoy most... like blogging.  I'm working the Writing Center hours in the library tonight (5-8 p.m.), which I only do once a month right now because the GA's rotate, and since it's really quiet I thought I'd get a word in while I have a chance.  I actually have a ton to say, so much in fact that there's no way I can fit it all in one post without it being brutally, unsympathetically long.  So, I'll break it up, though I have no idea where to even begin because it's been so long.  Chances are, things will be forgotten because there's no way I can recount so much in so little space.  Fortunately, most who read here with any regularity are my friends on Facebook or Twitter, so they get my updates in fits and spurts.  Okay, enough with the introduction already, I'm getting bored with myself (never a good sign!).

I'm actually enjoying the cooler weather that fall brings, even here in Texas where fall is an illusion we pretend behind because it's still 85 degrees at the beginning of November.  In all fairness, it has actually been in the 70's most days, making the facade of fall easier to swallow.  Though I have been enjoying it, I've been sick for a month which makes it a little bit more difficult.  I suppose you can't really call it sick, but I've been something. It started with a sinus infection and I felt horrible!  I was sick for several weeks but started to feel fine, with the exception of a nagging cough and persistent case of laryngitis.  Talking is the biggest part of my job, so not being able to speak is a real bummer.  Matt finally insisted that I go to the doctor, which I did, and they said that I wasn't sick --something I knew-- but rather that I was suffering from some sort of allergic reaction.  Unhappily I started taking Allegra and Tessalon (cough meds), but the fact is, the allergy could be to absolutely anything.  I started to wonder how I might narrow it down, after all, I have a cat and dog, my husband smokes, the pollen count's extraordinarily high thanks to the lack of rain, my house is dusty, the offices I work in are dusty, the classrooms are dusty, I'm allergic to dozens of foods, and every time I get in the shower I sneeze.  Not good, at all.

The first thing the doctor asked me was whether or not I smoked.  I told her no, but that my husband (and everyone in my life) does. She said, rather rudely, that I smelled like smoke (bitchy old woman!) and I should tell my husband to smoke outside.  With that exchange in mind, I asked him if he wouldn't mind doing so.  Guess what, I started to get better.  This is both good and bad, since I really feel awkward asking him to smoke outside forever.  He helps to pay the bills, it's his house too, and I knew he was a smoker,and that I was allergic to smoke, when I married him.  So how could I now make him smoke outside?  It was a real problem for me, especially since he sort of made me miserable about having to go outside to smoke.  He'd make a big deal about how annoying it was every time he had to go out and it made me feel about an inch tall.  It's not my fault that I'm sick and suddenly developing a horrible allergy to something I've been living with for years, but it's not his either.  Still, he did it, begrudgingly and though I felt bad, I could speak again and wasn't coughing nearly as much.

Fast forward to this last weekend.  It was raining on Saturday (finally!!) and since we don't have a patio I couldn't very well tell him he had to go outside into the rain to smoke, so I thought it might be okay for him smoke inside.  By the time the day was winding down, I had almost no voice again and I was coughing like crazy.  More than that, it hurt to use the breath it took to speak. My chest literally hurt with the effort to force breath up and out.  Sunday, the sun was shining, but he continued to smoke inside and I continued to cough and my voice sounded terrible!  So, surprise, surprise, it has to be the smoke I'm having a reaction to.  In addition to a horrible allergy reaction, I think I'm developing asthma.   This is bad, especially since everyone in my life smokes.

Sadly, I'm not sure what to do about it.  There has to be some happy medium.  Matt can't smoke outside forever, but he can't smoke inside either because it makes me sick. He smokes inside when I'm out, or when I'm sleeping, and that seems to be okay, but I think the lingering bit of nagging yuck that keeps me coughing is probably a result of being in an environment where smoke has permeated everything.  It's also pretty depressing because all my friends are smokers and I can't very well ask them not to smoke around me just because my body  has decided to do something completely annoying.

Take for example last night, when I went out to coffee with two of my girlfriends after class.  I woke up this morning coughing like crazy, my voice cracking. Both of them smoke.  I knew they smoked, this is nothing new, and going out was my suggestion because I don't see them nearly enough. So, I'm frustrated and have no idea how to approach an answer that will work for everyone.  I can't very well live in a bubble, where no one smokes and the environment is filtered.  I want to be able to do the things I've always done and hang out with friends the way I always have, without having to worry about whether or not their cigarette smoke is going to make me sick.

On second thought, maybe I should look into a bubble.

Alright, enough complaining.  I didn't expect this post to turn into a pity party or a bitchfest, so I'm going to sign off for now. If, however, y'all have any creative solutions to my problem, please feel free to make suggestions.  I welcome any ideas.

* "WTB" means "Want to Buy" in WoW lingo.


  1. I'm glad that you clarified what "WTB" stood for. At first I thought it meant "What the Bleep?!" And then toward the end of your post, I thought it stood for "Wants to Bitch." LOL

    My mom smokes and Clint's dad smokes, but it would NEVER occur to either one of them to smoke indoors. In fact, I don't know a single person who smokes inside the house. California has very strict laws now regarding smoking in public places (you can't even light up at a park!), so maybe it's that whole mentality that is actually seeping into the typical home-life. At any rate, I'm trying to be open-minded on this, but I find it incredibly thoughtless that your own hubby would not consider your health when lighting up. I realize that you married him knowing he was a smoker, but so what--that was when you were both self-seeking twenty years old. Things change over time, and you slowly learn to take into consideration the needs of your spouse. Even aside from your allergy issues, the second-hand smoke collecting within your home has been, and will continue to be, a constant depletion of your health. It's simple science. I know Matt is such a great hubby in other regards, but shame on him for this one.

  2. My parents smoked heavily when I was a kid and all through my childhood. They didn't give up smoking until about the time I grew up and moved away. I never had a problem with it but when I reached adulthood, I developed a bad allergy to smoke. I assumed it had to do with being around smokers so much when I didn't smoke, but I don't know for sure.

    Now any kind of smoke makes me sick - smoke from a fireplace, or smoke from a wildfire, cigarette smoke, cigar smoke -- I avoid being around any of it. A little exposure makes my throat sore, my eyes burn and might give me a cough. But if I get away from it quickly, I won't get too sick.

    I'm sorry you're going through this and that there is no easy solution! Good luck!

  3. I feel a bit bad, like I made him look like he doesn't care. He actually does care quite a lot (it was him that insisted I go to the doctor to begin with) and he's smoking outside, even though he doesn't want to. So, I have to give him credit. It was less thoughtlessness on Sunday, when he was still smoking inside, and more just simple habit. I know that something has to give soon and we're going to have to come to some sort of middle ground about the smoking inside. I accepted that he was a smoker, knowing I was allergic, so I feel responsible for dealing with it. It's just one of those things I feel like I went into with full disclosure and therefore represents a choice I made that I have to live with. It's just getting a bit more difficult to do that now, since it's making me sicker than usual. So yes, I'm annoyed with his annoyance, but at least he's actually going out.

    I know that California is pretty strict about smoking! I remember when I moved to Texas, being shocked in restaurants when they asked "Smoking or Non?" lol. Here, it's more just a reality of life. People smoke and Matt considers the right to do so a part of his civil liberties. It's legal, so I can't disagree with him. I don't know anyone who doesn't smoke inside here, in their homes, in restaurants, etc. Some cities are coming around to California's way of thinking though, issuing city-wide bans on smoking in public places or within 10 feet of state buildings. The restaurant thing is very well enforced, but the smoking near buildings, not so much.

  4. I actually never grew up around it. Everyone in my life was a non-smoker, with the exception of my aunts second husband, who I never was around much. All my friends and family were non-smokers, and honestly, I really liked that. Now, it's the opposite, all my local friends are smokers. I don't mind that they smoke, it's their choice, but I'm a little bit upset that it's making me as sick as it is now. I feel like a total social pariah.

  5. I think the solution IS simple. Matt needs to go outside EVERY time he smokes, and you need to not feel guilty about requesting this, because your health is more crucial than his cigarette fix. All this other stuff about it being his house too and him helping with the irrelevent. I understand he was already a smoker when you married, but this isn't your classic bait and switch situation. Your respiratory health has actually deteriorated since you said your vows. In a marriage, circumstances change, and spouses compromise. That's all there is to it.
    (By the way, my husband is also a smoker. He smokes outside, even when it is snowing).

  6. I don't think you had to grow up with smoke, but I think if you don't smoke yourself and are around it quite a bit, you can develop an allergy to it. Which doesn't seem to make sense -- one would think you'd develop an immunity to it, but I guess that's not the case with smoke!

    You can come to my house and won't feel like a pariah! :-)

  7. It sort of blows the whole idea that allergy shots help by building up an immunity based upon expose right out of the water. I never completely believed that anyway.

    We should get together again!! I had such a good time last time. :D Now to find a free minute or two. lol

  8. That's awesome that your husband goes outside, even when it's snowing. That's dedication to the cleanliness of the house and respectful to those who live and visit there. I think it would be easier if we had a covered patio... or a patio of any sort, really. As it is, there's no way he could have smoked out there. It's quite funny though, last night he said he might go to dipping which is a nasty habit, but better than the smoking. Still, it looks nasty and makes a mess, so I'm not sure I'd like it either.

  9. I agree with Shan (suprise, surprise); there is no middle ground here. If Matt developed a sudden allergy to something you love--say, cheese--would it be acceptable for you to keep making meals stuffed with cheese? Or to search for some middle ground in which you add only a LITTLE cheese to your casseroles? Uh uh. Of course, one might argue that a big difference here is that if you wanted to enjoy some cheese by yourself, no one would be making you eat it out in the rain. LOL

    Don't worry about painting a bad image of Matt. We all have gripes about our hubbies, and when reading other people's gripes, I always take it with a grain of salt. That is--I know Matt is a considerate spouse, and one story isn't going to marr his image in my head.

  10. Dipping is gross, but at least it will not affect YOUR health! Has he ever considered "Snus"? Jeremy managed to quit smoking for a few months before using that stuff. It is chewing tobacco, but it is encased in a teabag-type wrapper (which is placed under the lip), so it is a lot less messy. It also has a relatively nice, minty aroma--kinda like gum, but it fixes the nicotine craving. Jeremy only stopped using it because he was in the bar atmosphere where EVERYONE smokes, so he succumbed to the cigarretes again.
    By the way, I don't really know why, but I loved this post!