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Posted By:bunnielocks on: 2/19/2010 10:04:00 AM

Author: Thread: Concerning Health
Posts: 5

Concerning Health
Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 10:04:00 AM
I'm seriously in need of advice and/or moral support.

(Sorry, its a bit long)

A quick overview:

Over about the last year I have noticed that sometimes during or after a long/busy day at work my chest feels really tight and it becomes difficult to breathe for a while. Recently it has affected me outside of work, during exercise or other exertion. Now, when it happens it becomes *markedly* difficult to breathe.

I got a minor cold between Christmas and New Years Eve, the same that many friends and co-workers had. They all said it took about two weeks to get over, and it was awful because you kept thinking you were getting over and then a new phase would start.
When my cold lasted three weeks I thought nothing of it, it always takes me longer to recover. When it had lasted through most of Jan, I thought it might be partly due to stress [my boyfriend lost his job on the 1st, and it took him 3 weeks to find another].

About two weeks ago I called the local health clinic to make an appointment, of course they didn't answer and never returned my call. It was Friday, so I figured I would just go in Monday am and make an appt. Afterwards, I looked in the mirror [I had not been coughing longer, harder or more than 'usual' that day] and I realized that I had broken all the capillaries in my face, I was covered in tiny red spots!!

So, long story short I went to the E.R. for five wonderful hours, during which time I was subjected to a series of breathing treatments, chest x-rays and other tests.
Result? I'm developing severe asthma due to [most likely] sensitivity to the chemicals I work with. I'm not surprised about the asthma, but apparently I already have fragile/weak lungs, so it seems to be developing rapidly. The asthma, combined with the chest cold has turned this into a 8+ week ordeal.

I have an appointment with a different doctor on Monday, and there I will get a referral to see a specialist. My primary care, the E.R. doctor and the respiratory therapist have all suggested that I may need to leave this industry. Especially since it is so severe, and seems to be progressing rapidly.

I have been put on Singulair, to see if moderating the asthma will allow me to kick the cold, but no one, especially me, wants this to be a permanent solution [its $135 a month, with my discount!]. I plan to monitor the situation with a specialist over the next few months, and see where it goes. I'm also going to apply for the county medical coverage, since I rent I have no benefits.

I am so upset about the possibility of having to give up my career! I came home from the E.R. and cried half the night. I just got to a place where I'm renting and making pretty good income for how often I work [I'm very part time, about 15 hours a week average]. I really, really love what I do, and I just can't bare the thought that I may have to stop. I always figured that when we have babies I would take some time off and just do friends and family, but stopping because I *want to* and stopping because I *have to* are so different!!

I'm sorry this has gone on for so long, but none of my close friends are hairdressers and I really need to vent to people who understand.

Posts: 18

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 12:29:18 PM
Im sorry your are going through this. I hope your health improves. As much as I am not a fan of the "chains" you might consider a place like sport clips, they don't do any chemicals there and you maybe able to get insurance.

Best wishes

Posts: 88

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 4:58:26 PM
Have you tried using face masks? I have a girl I work with who has asthma and she wears face masks. But I wish you luck...i know this is difficult.

Posts: 88

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 4:58:27 PM
Have you tried using face masks? I have a girl I work with who has asthma and she wears face masks. But I wish you luck...i know this is difficult.

Posts: 1196
Platinum Member

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 10:06:47 PM

have you by any chance recently started using 'keratin straightener'? it is causing a lot of respiratory problems,due to some of the fumes that occur during the flat ironing portion of the process.

ventilation and fresh air are extremely important in our industry, and taking care when mixing powder bleach so the dust is not inhaled is a caution as well. as others have mentioned, you can still do your career,but maybe not chemical services. make sure you take all safety precautions when handling these products, and above all, protect yourself...and don't smoke!

Posts: 5

Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2010 1:54:32 AM
Thanks so much for your replies. Sometimes you just need to talk to other people who can relate, you know?

A lot of friends have suggested the face mask, but being an instructor I do know that with *most* of the chemicals, a typical face mask really isn't effective. Also, I had to wear a mask when I was in the hospital [anyone with a respiratory issue had to, because of the h1n1 thing] and I am SO claustrophobic, it was torture.

I have used a few relaxers before, but not in about a year. No one else in the salon offers them.

As far as ventilation, our salon has no widows that open [?!] and the front door is set so that it faces perpendicular to the rows of stations, and only opens into the reception area.

My boyfriend and I have been discussing the possibility of buying a house and putting in a salon there. That way I would be able to control the amount of chemical services, what chemicals, air flow, etc. It wouldn't be a super easy task to undertake, but I'd rather do that than quit my job.

Thanks for the support and I hope to find out something encouraging on Monday!

Posts: 1196
Platinum Member

Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2010 6:18:56 PM
i hope you find some answers too. as far as zero ventilation in the salon, that's against state board regulations. there needs to be a certain amount of exhaust fans or fresh air per square foot of salon space. maybe even using an air purifyer near your personal space would help, if it's possible.also, some salons are departmentalized, so you can stay away from color etc and just cut and style hair if need be.good luck and be well.