Mindful breathing has brought my SpO2 from 88% to 92% and my pulse rate from 88 to 78 bpm. The man that I and my backyard neighbor spoke with just before Spring Cleanup Week about his burning metal in a barrel next to his garage has merely moved his burning time to late in the night, which means to me that I walk out into toxic smoke unaware on rainfree nights when I take our dog into the back yard for her last outings of the night. (Three hours later: I have dragged out the blood pressure monitor and recorded BP and Pulse: 105/76 and 68 bpm. The SpO2 reading is still 92%.)
It troubles me especially because my body’s reaction to the smoke from the plastic-burning (burning the coatings off of copper wires before selling the salvaged metal) closely resembles a stroke, I think. The muscles on the right side of my face and neck lose their strength, and so my mouth is not responsive when I talk and my eyes do not focus well enough to see without much exertion. My throat, jaw and tongue on that side feel as though dental anesthetic were wearing off; when I touch the skin, it is as though I were touching someone else’s face, and I have trouble swallowing without breathing in particles of food. The same thing happens with laundry products and fragrances in the air, but it’s more prolonged. Also, I am sleeping more than I am awake.
During the prolonged rains, there was no smoke. Our next string of rainy days and nights is to begin on Tuesday. Until then, I shall try harder to avoid going outside at times when there is likely to be smoke in the air.
Until I cease having trouble getting onto the exercise bike, there will be no real exertion, no “aerobic exercise” more strenuous than walking up and down stairs for laundry duties. (We also got seepage in our basement, but not enough to flood, and it’s dried up in short order. Keeping the humidity below 35% is easy with two dehumidifiers and the air circulation from the new central air system.)