A General Update on the Cooper-Lermans
I have to start out by thanking you all for the overwhelming support I received after posting about my recent struggles with asthma. I received so much great advice and insight from you--much of which I have already put into practice (more on that in a moment)--but most valuable of all was hearing how many of you have gone (successfully!) through similar struggles and what you've done to get the best of them. Talk about inspirational! Please know that I do read every single comment on this blog, even if I don't get to respond to them individually. I don't know that I deserve all the unconditional support I get here, but I do strive to be worthy of it. :-)
This past Saturday I had the very great honor of appearing at a "campaign fundraiser" (actually a fundraiser for Animal Allies and the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria) for Hank, the cat who's running for Virginia's open Senate seat. I was able to meet many of Homer's and my readers and online friends (and it was SO wonderful to finally meet in person!)--and, of course, I had the enormous privilege of meeting Hank himself.
All I can say is that Hank's humans are clearly doing something right, because there's no way I'd ever be able to get Homer to wear that adorable little bowtie!
I am pleased to report that spending an entire day right next to Hank--as well as in a pet store with many cats and dogs roaming around--did nothing to trigger my asthma whatsoever. Even the time I spent hanging out in the store's storeroom with the four (formerly feral) felines who live there didn't produce the slightest sniffle.
Unfortunately, however, the second I walked back into our apartment late Saturday night, my chest started closing up again. Since I was clear as a bell in Virginia and DC, as well as a couple of weeks ago at our friends' home in Connecticut, I'm starting to think that I'm allergic to a) my apartment, b) Manhattan, c) recent changes in the weather (it was warm and dry in DC and Connecticut, chilly and rainy when we returned to NYC Saturday night), or d) some combination of the above.
So Laurence and I are attacking the apartment with renewed vigor. This week our new bedding arrives, as well as our new air purifiers. We've gotten rid of yet more stuff. And we're researching professional cleaning services that specialize in cleaning for allergies and asthma to give us a great, one-time shot in the arm.
I'm keeping up the changes in diet, exercise, et cetera, and am hoping that those will pay some longer-term dividends. I also took the advice that many of you suggested and researched the effects of various vitamins and herbs--including D3--on asthma, and have begun including increased dosages in capsule form to my daily vitamin regimen. Apples have become my new best friends. :-D
Tonight at sundown Yom Kippur begins, which marks the end of the Jewish High Holy Days. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, was just over a week ago. According to Jewish tradition, on Rosh Hashanah the gates of Heaven are opened, and God begins to inscribe the fate of all souls for the coming year in the Book of Life. On Yom Kippur, which is the Day of Atonement, Jews fast and pray and repent all our sins and transgressions of the previous year, the gates of Heaven are shut, and the Book of Life is closed, with the destinies of each of us for the coming year written and sealed.
I generally do fast every year, although I'm not sure how well fasting and steroids will go together this year. But I'm going to try. To all my Jewish friends, I wish you an easy fast. And to all my friends of every creed and denomination, may your names be inscribed in the Book of Life, and may you enjoy all good health, happiness, and prosperity in the year to come.