I would like to talk about my health experience since I’m living in London. As you probably know I’m from Barcelona, the weather is very different compared to London but also the pollution is scarily higher in London compared to Barcelona.
I moved in on February 2012. I was super excited about my new adventure, new job, friends, house, life, culture… But suddenly one day I started to feel sick, at the begging I thought I was getting colds very often. All the time I had congestion, and and having the same symptoms as the usual cold. So I decided to pay a visit to my GP to make sure this cold it wasn’t something else, or getting worse.
After a general checking my GP told me what I really had was rhinitis, so he prescribed me some nasal spray to relieve the symptoms. I was very surprised to be honest after this diagnostic, I never had rhinitis before. But I felt a little bit more calm after knowing exactly what I had. But poor me, this adventure was just starting.
I was using this spray for a few moths I was feeling every time worse and worse, so my visits to the doctor where more often trying to find solutions. My GP decided to change my spray for something stronger, but unfortunately I haven’t noticed any changes.
One day I received a letter from my GP saying he was retiring and I had to change my GP. So I did some research trying to find a good GP for me. When I went for my first appointment to the new one I told to her the whole history. After checking me she decided to refer me urgently to the Otolaryngology at the Royal Free Hospital, because she thought I would need a nose operation. So she referred me to the specialist to check it, and see the next procedure. I was super scared at that point.
So the day comes out and I went the hospital on September of 2014. The doctor was super friendly, and she did a general check of my nose. She said I don’t need to have any kind of operation because what I really have is Allergic rhinitis, and she thinks it could be probably to Timothy grass and this type of grass it’s a type only from the United Kingdom. So the treatment will be the same, 4 sprays every single day, and if is getting worse some hay-fever pills. I felt more clam know what I don’t really need the operation, and having an approximate idea about what can cause this.
So I tried to see how it goes this time and trying to avoid the parks just in case. But every time I was feeling sicker and sicker. My energy dropped, the congestion was extreme. I started losing audition because of the congestion. I lost the sense of the smell and taste. I was sneezing all the time, like 10 times in a row. I couldn’t run anymore, each time I was doing my training it was an important effort and very hard. My last race was catastrophic, was a 10k and the last 5k I had to finished walking/running. I couldn’t breath, and I felt my muscles, my legs very weak. This was on June 2015. Just thinking about my passions, which are running, hiking, climbing, Yoga… having the prospect that I can’t do that as I used to, my heart stopped and I felt very sad and frustrated.
This was not happening to me, miraculously when I was in the Park I was feeling better. Very contradictory if I’m supposed to be allergic to grass. I went again to my GP asking for allergic tests to see exactly what I’m allergic to. The GP came to me saying what this are very expensive tests and because we don’t know what it is is a waste of time, so they denied them. This was around May of 2015. I felt super angry and very powerless after this. So after a month I decided to go again and insist, and this time after receiving a letter at home I got an appointment at St Mary’s Hospital for the Allergy department.
I was sleeping sitting on the bed trying to get more oxygen into my lungs, having the feeling of weakness and being not able the breath normally every single day is just horrible. All these years I went to the Doctors trying to find a solution and the majority of the time wasn’t useful. See how every time how my body wasn’t the same, and feeling weaker and weaker… this was killing me form the inside.
At the end of July of 2015 finally I got my Allergy test done, and guess what? All the results were negative! My assumptions where confirmed at this point, what was making me sick was the pollution. My father and my partner believed that what I really had was sinusitis and a simple operation would solve the problem, but I never believed that. Just listening my body and feeling what I was feeling was more than enough to think that.
This doctor saved me, she gave a shock treatment to unclog my nose. She said it was impossible to continue in those conditions. So she prescribed me 6 pills of cortisone a day for 7 days, and another nasal spray.
I went to Barcelona the next day to visit the specialist, the same one who did the sinusitis operation to my dad. And this time the doctor did a rhino scope which is a tube instrument with a camera to examine the nose from the inside. So he said I don’t need operation or whatsoever, I don’t have rhinitis or sinusitis, what is causing this in the pollution from London! I have to continue with the nasal spray, and be very careful with my lungs and this can also affect them and if thats the case I would also need medication for my lungs. This condition can just go away, get worse, or just continue like that.
The treatment the doctor gave me from the last visit and hiking in the mountains in Catalonia saved me! I felt healthy, alive and energised again! And after the visit I had in Barcelona, now I know the exact problem I have and what to do. So now I’m in London again and I’m taking measures trying to help my condition. So each time I’m going outside I’m wearing a mask to protect me. I hope I will be stable for now, and have my nose completely unclogged.
I’m writing this post to make you think about this, the pollution is very dangerous for us. And we must have to work hard to clean planet earth. Just google it and you will see lots of documents, posts, news… with an alarming number of deaths and respiratory problems British people are having because of the pollution.
Here I listed a few interesting articles, those are just examples of what you can find out there. Just Google it and you will find lots of information:
If you would like to check the forecast pollution click here.
I hope this helps to make people think about it and take action to clean our skies and respect our Planet Earth.