The recent bad weather across the country has hit everyone hard. No one has been immune from it but for me it hit me in a different way.
Since the supposed smoking ban came into force across NHS sites in Scotland I have found it near on impossible to get into the hospital and then out of the hospital without at the end of the day without being exposed to smoke or people smoking.
I felt pretty angry after my second long day of working where I was working a longer hours to help out so was already feeling it and not feeling the best but as soon as I stepped out the lift it was like being hit by a cloud of smoke. I hadn’t even got out the building at that point and already I could feel my lungs tighten up. To make matters worse of the 2 sets of double doors only one was working so couldn’t even avoid the smokers and they were all gathered right outside the door way and you had to shuffle/ take a big gulp of air and run to make your way past them. They were oblivious to the impact they were creating and the negative effect it was having on people.
I do harp on about smoking but it bugs me even more when my lungs are more twitchy and vulnerable than usual and then to get an added trigger which I couldn’t avoid unless I decided to camp out in the hospital, there was nothing much I could do. Sometimes I wish they could know what it is like to struggle to breathe, to be gasping and not able to get any air in or out and really fight for life being surrounded by Drs saying words like intubation, ketamine, intensive care, blood gas, acidotic etc. Part of me wouldn’t mind the smoke if it was me doing it. I seem to be able to rationalise my asthma more and accept attack more if it is something I had done wrong. For example if I for some reason thought it was a good idea to smoke a cigarette then I would only have myself to blame for making my asthma worse and causing me a problem but when I have done everything I can to keep myself well, prevent getting attacks and then something I cant control but other people can control I find it really hard to be ok with the effect it has had on me.
I keep thinking and coming up with ideas on how to get around the smoking issue. I often think as I am driving to work in my car that today will be the day I get up the courage and ask people to not smoke by the doors as it can cause a lot of issues for people but then I get nearer the door once parked and all I can think about is getting inside as quickly as possible breathing in the least amount possible!!
I wish I was creative as would try to find some sort of device or something that would extinguish peoples cigarettes if they are smoking in the wrong place.
I do understand that those who smoke probably have no idea the problems they are causing people and to them they have the craving so need to cigarettes and don’t want to get wet or be out in the cold but not everyone wants to be exposed to smoke even those who don’t smoke and don’t have a health condition that has a negative effect when they are confronted with it.
The only thing we can do is hope, keep tweeting about the smoking ban and the lack of enforcement for it and maybe just one day things might change as a result.