Successful People With Asthma - Cathy Grieve
Cathy Grieve is a journalist and owner of Red Diamond Media, based in Dublin's Digital Hub. She's had asthma since her 20's.
"I was first diagnosed with asthma just after leaving college. I played camogie during university and was quite fit then, but in the winter months I always suffered with colds and coughs and would have found training that bit more difficult. As I got older the re-current chest infections became more troublesome and I started on both preventer and reliever inhalers.
I would then have periods when my asthma was well controlled and I could get on with life and my work without any problems. I was the Ireland producer for BBC News in Belfast for most of the 1990's. This was both a busy and difficult period and there were times after long and stressful periods when I was run down and tired, covering stories like the Omagh bomb, the Good Friday Agreement or President Bill Clinton's visit – times like that when chest infections would take hold and my asthma would flare up again.
I spent some time in the USA as a BBC producer in the late 90's and the weather and atmosphere there definitely made a big difference to me in terms of my breathing. It was so much better.
In the late 1990's I moved to London and commuted back and forth to Dublin a lot as my son was living here and going to school. I would also fly for work at times, I found this to be really bad for my asthma. For about six winters in a row I really struggled with very bad chest infections. I had pneumonia on a regular basis during that time, I had to have a portable nebuliser with me a lot. I was hospitalised at one stage during one of those really bad bouts of pneumonia. I dreaded the autumn / winter weather.
Thankfully in the last few years with the help of a great respiratory team, and a good asthma management plan, I have been relatively infection free and have very few asthma attacks. My asthma is now controlled. I have also totally re-done my house to make it asthma friendly. No carpets or curtains, all replaced with wooden floors and washable blinds.
I have mattress and pillow protectors on my bed to keep the dust mite at bay. Books, my great passion - which would have been found everywhere in piles are now in a bookcase behind glass doors, so no dust gathering around me there too.
It is important to get to grips with your condition, understand what is triggering it - if you are allergic to dust or pollen or cats and to be pro-active in dealing with it. Talk to your doctor and your asthma team. But above all don't let it stop you doing what you want to do, sure it might slow you down some times and it might frustrate you, but keep at it and don't let it limit your life."