Back in April or so I had a cold which was so severe it felt like flu. I was left with breathlessness when I recovered and new that it would take time to pass. It was a bit worse when I walked with Ogden because my city is hilly and even when you’re going downhill you’re going uphill.

I have perennial rhinitis which is mostly to do with an allergy to mould. Mould is everywhere, literally everywhere.

Recycle question waste? There’s mould in it after a few minutes.
Live near a park or have a garden? It rains, it dries out, it rains – mould develops.
Walk by trees that have been cut down? There’s mould in that there tree.

This means that I have at least three boxes of tissues in my flat at any one time and I can’t go out without half my pockets being full of them.

Panic attacks have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. It’s the most awful feeling when you’re convinced that you’r having a heart attack yet you can’t breathe to alleviate the symptoms and stop the panic.

Since the cold came and went I’ve never shaken off the breathlessness and this past week or so it’s got so bad that it’s happening almost constantly. It’s happening now as I sit here. I’m not gasping for breath but I am spending a lot of time holding my breath and then wondering why I can’t breathe.

I’ve been to see a nurse practitioner today and talked it all through with her addling that both my father and his father died dur to heart failure and that my dad also had Stage IV lung cancer when he died.

I’ve had the big check over and I’ve got so much oxygen in my blood that if I cut myself and you waved a match close to the wound I’d go up in flames.

What I’m experiencing is a mix of panic attacks and mould allergy. I’m stuck with the mould allergy and I’m getting all the treatment I need to handle that. The panic attacks are different kettle of fish because, even though they’re not something that can be cured, the effects can be lessened. I’ve practised mindfulness for 15 years – long before people “discovered” it and made it a fashionable fad.

In the meantime I remain breathless.