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Stories from May, 2013


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Spring 2013 Newsletter

For Spring 2013 Newsletter, please click here

Spring Newsletter 2013 – The Marathon Quiz Answers

Q. What is the official distance in kilometres for competitive marathon races?
A: 42.195 km

Q: The six races (previously five) that make up the World Marathon Majors are New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin and ________.
Q: In recent times, competitive marathon races have been dominated (in number of wins) by runners from which continent?
A: Africa

Q: Women marathon made its official Olympic debut in which year?
A: 1984

Q: True or False.Marathon was one of the medal events at the first modern Olympics (1896). A: True

Hay Fever – It Gets Right Up Your Nose

What is Hay Fever?

Hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis) is an allergy to pollen. The pollen season separates into three main sections:

  1. –  Tree pollen – late March to mid-May.
  2. –  Grass pollen – mid-May to July.
  3. –  Weed pollen – end of June to September

To get the latest pollen forecast, view the met office weather map which provides aUK forecast of the pollen count and provides any hay fever sufferers with an early warning.

Who Gets Hay Fever?

Hay fever is very common. It affects about 2 in 10 people in the UK. It often first develops in school-age children and during the teenage years, but may start even later in life. Hay fever tends to run in families. You are also more likely to develop hay fever if you already have asthma or eczema. A tendency to these atopic illnesses can run in families.

Hay Fever Symptoms

  • Common symptoms include sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes, mouth and throat. Less common are headaches and hives. 
  • Asthma symptoms – such as wheeze and breathlessness, may get worse if you already have asthma. Some people have asthma symptoms only during the hay fever season.
  • The symptoms may be so bad in some people that they can affect sleep, interfere with school and examinations, or interfere with work.

Hay Fever Prevention

Although it is very difficult to avoid exposure to pollen, there are a number of measures you can take that will help you to minimise exposure and ease the severity of your hay fever symptoms. Following these steps may help provide some relief from your symptoms:

  • Keep windows closed when at home and overnight. Most pollen is released in the early morning and falls to ground level in the evenings when the air cools.
  • When outdoors, wear sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. For any outdoor tasks, such as gardening, hay fever sufferers should wear a mask.
  • Avoid drying clothes outside when pollen counts are high. If you do, shake items before bringing them inside. 
  • Keep car windows closed when driving and fit a pollen filter to reduce the impact of pollen spores.
  • When indoors: vacuum regularly, avoid bringing fresh flowers indoors, and be aware that pets can bring pollen in on their fur.
  • Don’t allow smoking in the house as this will irritate the lining of your nose, eyes, throat and airways, making your hay fever symptoms worse.
  • After being outside, shower and wash your hair to remove pollen.

Hay fever sufferers can benefit from a wide range of medication which can be prescribed by your GP, or alternatively purchased over the counter from your local pharmacy.
Your GP or hospital consultant can help you find the most appropriate treatment for you especially if you also have asthma and other allergies. Treatments include antihistamine tablets or nasal sprays, corticosteroid nasal sprays and drops, nasal decongestants, eye drops, immunotherapy, and alternative therapies.

Treatment for Severe Symptoms

Rarely, a short course of steroid tablets is prescribed for a week or so. For example, for students sitting examinations,   A short course is usually safe. However, you should not take steroid tablets for long periods to treat hay fever, as serious side-effects may develop.

A Tribute to Nesta Wade

My mum was a hard working loveable and caring person and nothing deterred her right up to the last admission into hospital.

In August 2012, mum was diagnosed with breast cancer quickly followed by a left mastectomy soon after.  She started her 6 cycle chemotherapy treatment in september which would be followed by herceptin.  As soon as mums first cycle of FEC started, mum experienced breathing difficulties and was admitted into hospital and treated for infections, this was ongoing after every cycle of chemo. After 2 cycles of FEC, her oncologists changed her treatment to Docetaxel as it was believed it was affecting her heart function and where her breathing difficulties lied. During this time, mum was being checked out by the cardiologists having echos, X-rays, CT scans and a lot of antibiotics for infections in her lungs.

Eventually, mum was referred to a lung specialist in October 2012 where, in December 2012, after lung function tests and a biopsy, she was diagnosed with early institual lung disease, believed to be caused by chemotherapy.

Four weeks after her lung biopsy in February where she was sent home with no oxygen, 80% sats and low blood gasses, mum was rushed into hospital and put on life support. She fought for 4 1/2 weeks overcoming all the hurdles that was put in front of her!

Unfortunately, mums lungs never recovered and she passed away on 2nd April 2013. We were told that her fibrosis had progressed aggressively whilst she was on life support and she had died of multiple organ failure, severe septic shock, chest sepsis and progressive interstitial lung disease.

This disease is by far the most misunderstood and unforgiving and needs all the funds possible. I still do not understand how something so devastating has no help or cure.

My mum was a diamond and would help anyone and everyone. It kills me that nothing could help her.

Tribute written by Toni Pym, youngest daughter of Nesta Wade

Grandmother, great grand mother, sister, mother, cousin, niece, aunt and everybody’s friend xxx

Portable Oxygen Concentrators – Comparison Chart

Leading up to the summer holidays, Breathing Matters have been asked about the different portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) available for purchase. 

We thought we would put together a table of POCs on the current market to make it easier for you to make a considered opinion on which to buy.

Please click the following link: Comparison table of oxygen concentrators_2012

We hope this helps.