Hi - hoping for some input. My doctor & I noticed in mid-August (1st in-person appointment after office had suspended in-person visits in March) that my blood oxygen level drops significantly when I wear a mask for an extended time (reproduced in her office). At this point, I wasn't wearing a mask often, and definitely not for long periods, as many things were still closed down, and I was most often at home. I have tried about 10 types of masks, and even with the one where I find it easiest to breathe, I can't keep it on for long. I've had a handful of long shopping trips (Target, a couple of long grocery shopping outings) and, by the time I reach the check-out, I am light-headed, barely able to stay upright, and walking like I am completely drunk (usually these symptoms prompt me to end the shopping trip, even if I'm not totally done). In late September, I was diagnosed with pneumonia - started treatment with a week of oral antibiotics, after being done with the antibiotics for about week, I really hadn't improved, and was admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics - I was only discharged this past Wednesday and am still on oral antibiotics. Post-pneumonia, I am still regularly experiencing shortness of breath, and it definitely doesn't make wearing a mask any easier. (And did I mention that I have pretty severe asthma; before this I had started working with a new allergist to see if it can be better controlled.) Where I live, in NY, almost 100% of businesses, restaurants, etc., will not allow you in/serve you if you are not wearing a mask; not wearing a mask while walking down the street can get you nasty looks and even commentary on your "choice." My fellow people with difficulty breathing, what are you doing in a world that continues to require masks? Obviously, not breathing to the point where it's obvious that my oxygen level is too low isn't a good solution, but it's hard to prevent all situations where extended mask wear is necessary... I want to be clear - it is not the idea of wearing a mask that bothers me. I'm all for helping to protect the community and contributing to herd immunity; everyone wearing masks, myself included, is also protective for me, as I would be extremely high risk if I contract COVID-19. So, how are others striking that balance - I need to breathe and there are also times I need a mask for a long time. How should I be walking this very fine line?
#Lifestyle #WearingAMask #difficultybreathing #ImmuneSystem #autoimmune #Asthma #Pneumonia #fineline #hardtobreathe