Monday, September 27, 2021

Wildfire Smoke Causes Breathing Issues

The sun is trying to send some joy through the smoke.

The other day, I drove down the mountain to Bakersfield to get  my lung function tested and see the pulmonary nurse practitioner, someone I hadn't met before. 

Her name is Kerry and she's just great. I got so much more information from her than I ever managed to get out of my doctor. I will never see him again if I can help it. 

The test results were so, so. Lung function was at 70% and had been reduced by 2% since I was last tested, a year and a half ago. Normal function is 80 - 100%. I think 70% is OK as long as it stays in that vicinity. 

And I was diagnosed with asthma. From the fires, said Kerry. I was so surprised, I didn't ask any questions about it at all. And started beating myself up about that as soon as I got in my car to drive home. But I will collect my questions, because I will probably talk to her soon again. She ordered more tests for this coming week. And a CT scan of my lungs for October.

So Kerry is very pro-active, smart and caring. So glad I was ill and had to cancel my doctor's appointment or I may have never met her. 

I enjoyed driving my Honda to Bakersfield and back up the mountain among the slow-moving trucks, so many trucks go up and down that mountain every day. 

The Washington Post, which I read on my Kindle Fire, had this to say about covid hospitalizations in Bakersfield:

They were comparing places with high vaccination rates to those with low. Only a couple of people I know here in the canyon are vaccinated, so this is not surprising to me. 

Compare this to:

I will let this data speak for itself.



  1. Hello,
    I am glad you found a health care worker that you like and trust. The wildfires have done so much damage, I hope the fires are out soon and you can breath some fresh clean air. Take care, stay safe. Enjoy your day and the week ahead.

  2. Inger, it’s comforting when you find a medical person you like and trust! I’m curious…why so many trucks on the roads home? Are they excavating? Do people there in your canyon believe in vaccinations or is it just the ones for COVID? We have that conversation a lot here at home and although I do know people that haven’t gotten it/them, the majority have. Stay healthy, my long-time friend…jp

  3. that is a scary sight to me, the sun through the smoke. I hope the smoke will clear soon and your asthma will go away. your new car is so pretty..

  4. I've left two comments and both disappeared before I could post.

  5. I tried again. Disappeared again.

  6. Trying again. Sorry to hear the lung issues. I had hoped the mountain air would be cleaner.

  7. I have the same problem as Bound, often when I type my comment on your blog, my comment disappear before I finish typing and I have to try several times.

    How fortunate to have found a caring doctor. Sorry about all the smoke that makes your breathing difficult. I hope that the smoke disappear very shortly.

    We are in our 4th wave of covid. There seems to be no end to it.

    Stay safe and well.
    Hugs, Julia

  8. That smoke can't be good for your lungs. I have COPD so I am concerned with the smaller amount of smoke we have gotten here in Ar from the Ca fires. So glad you found the nurse practitioner. I use one and love the fact they listen. Do write down your questions though. If I don't, I do like you and regret it later.

  9. Nurse practitioners and also physician assistants always seem to be so much more thorough! I'm sorry about the smoke effect on your lungs.

  10. Hi Inger - gosh I'm so pleased that Kerry is totally of the amazing person model - that's great news for you ... and excellent she's being pro-active re follow-ups and the asthma. That smoke definitely isn't good for you - I guess wearing a mask might help a little ...

    But happy news re the car - and that you can enjoy the drive backwards and forwards.

    The frustration of people not having vaccinations is so irritating ... we still have some - but most of the population has been jabbed, though there's no way of know who has or who has not.

    Take care and thanks for the comments on my blog - always appreciate your support - cheers Hilary

  11. I hope the air quality improves but glad you got to meet with a good person about your health. I love you new looks like you! Hugs!

  12. That is some very dirty air! I hope you can stay out of it. It's good to hear that you have an interested, caring medical person to help you with your lung function problems. Physicians can be so burnt out and disinterested! I guess everyone can, but it's more egregious in a physician!

  13. I saw in NSW they were opening a public swimming pool, everyone could go in, vaccinated or not!!! And Kerry, hang onto her, we travel about 35 minutes to our GP instead of a local one 5 minutes away. The driving there is so worth the special excellent care we get. Hope the smoke passes by for you all.

  14. It seems to me that nurse practitioners spend so much more time with patients, and are much more informative. I am so glad you found her. I sure hope she gave you an inhaler or something for the asthma! Maybe she is waiting for the test results. Continue to keep us updated on everything, please!

  15. Dear Inger, not sure why, but every time I come to leave a comment, it disappears. So I'll try again. Clearly, you have been having symptoms that are alarming. And clearly I have been out of touch and unaware. I apologize for that. I'm so happy for you that you found Kerry. Finding an empathetic listener can make all the difference in our stress level. As to the asthma: I was born with it, and so have some understanding of the way it affects our lives. Please do know that asthma tires you out. Struggling for breath is so tiring. Exhausting in fact. Getting air in and out because monumental. Mom used to tell me and I remember it whenever I'm having difficulties, "Dolores, distract yourself. Don't think about breathing." So I say the same to you, Inger. Peace.

  16. My comments disappear too sometimes before I finis typing. After another try or two it works. Today it worked fine.
    So nice that you have Kerry who is so helpful!

  17. I'm sorry you have developed asthma, but I'm glad you found Kerry. I hope the asthma will ease when the smoke does.


  18. the jet stream has brought some of the smoke from the wildfires over our state this summer.
    I just stayed inside. I cannot imagine how you all have endured it for so long!
    I'm so glad you found Kerry. I try to ONLY see the PA's instead of the doctors when I go.
    they LISTEN to me. I have no trust in the doctors. they seem to be all Ego. I used to think it was my imagination. but not now. too many have that attitude. I have COPD. and I have never smoked. but being around heavy smokers for 53 years did it's damage! smoke of any kind now is my enemy. I wish you Well dear friend! you have such courage.
    XOXO :D here's to Fresh Clean Air!

  19. Glad you found someone you like for treatment. The smoke finally drifted noticeably to our area a few days back - it was weird for sure - the haze and hue of the sky. We had fog today ..this morning and its' still here. chilly...which is good. take care and hope the skies clear up nice .

  20. How good that you found a health professional that you trust and who provides plenty of sound information. Isn't the smoke from fires distressing? Have you tried a room air purifier? I bought one to remove dust and pollen and it helps when the air is smoky too.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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