Monday, February 7, 2011

Average or Best Measure

You can describe me as mild asthmatic. Don’t imagine the asthmatic kind where an attack takes away all my breath in an instant. Instead you have to think about an unobtrusive and almost not to be noticeable decline of air during certain periods, comparable with a car tire that we do not maintain and gets softer over time. I am always late recognizing and treating the change. It can literally take me days to weeks to figure out that my feeling more tired has to do with decreased oxygen.

Out of Control

For the longest time I have not been able to grasp when and why it happened, even though I had my speculations about what influenced it. Last year I finally figured out that when I increase the hours I sleep, my breathing probably is getting worse.

It was clear to me that these symptoms were related to my intolerances for certain foods like milk and environmental things like spring hey fever. But following that theory, I found inconsistencies that were undermining it and was not sure how to measure the effect of what influenced my breathing.

Airflow Meter

So, when I saw the digital airflow meter for sale, I knew that I found something that should be helpful to get a better handle in this area. Now I could measure my airflow and relate that to how I was feeling.

Over the last three or four weeks I slowly started the use of the airflow meter. The idea is that I measure every morning and evening, but in the beginning I was not consistent at all. With the help of Mark Kaufman’s articles, I found the motivation to do better and now I do most of the measurements.

Calibrating

The idea is that you use the meter for circa three weeks to get an average idea of the airflow. Then depending on where you are on the scale of breathing (challenges with breathing – in very good health) you can influence the outcome by making changes one at the time. For example: using and inhaler, making a change to your diet etc.

The instructions of the airflow meter tell you to blow a couple of times and that the reader will automatically record the highest score. The idea is that you blow better after one or two practice blows, and the reader keeps track of that. The higher the score the more airflow you have and the better you feel. Very simple and effective I thought until this morning.

Cheating

This morning I blew and the number displayed was way lower than normal. I was surprised and tried again. The rate was low again. I blew for another five or six times until the score got into what seems to be my normal range and then I put the reader aside satisfied.

Fake Feeling Good

So, looking back at this situation a couple of hours later I realize that I have been faking feeling good. I did sleep overly tight last night and have been more tired over the last days, which are indications the reader was right. And now I am ignoring the measurement so I can feel good about me feeling good.

What a crap!

Ok. I promise myself that I will only take three measurements in one session from now on, and that's going to be it. No more cheating!

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