Life with Asthma

Most of you will know what Asthma is, but for those who don’t it is a chronic respiratory disease. Basically when your airways are branded as ‘sensitive’, meaning they easily become inflamed and are itching to react as soon as they come into contact with something they don’t like.

CL1My dad has it, my brother has it and of course I have it. I was diagnosed with Asthma before I was five, extremely young for such as serious disease. My Asthma as a child was awful verging on severe. In all honesty, I know so many people that underestimate the disease and how deadly it can be. But it only takes a quick look at the stats to change this.

‘In the UK every 10 seconds someone has a life threating Asthma attack with a death rate of 3 people per day.’

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Don’t get me wrong as a child I loved a wee spin in an ambulance every few months. Isn’t that every child’s dream to be speeding up the road with the flashing blue lights on and the serine blurring feeling like a VIP. Mummy not so much. The water works were on and the worry was through the roof. I knew it was bad when even the out of hour’s doctors knew my name.

Everyone has their own triggers and their own ways of dealing with it. Anything can really set it off. For me it ranges from the cold, winter air to damp, dusty carpets. Not ideal when you’re living in a student house. Even little things have me struggling, e.g. cleaning my room without the dust getting to me. Luckily, my mummy comes to the rescue here which is a big win as my room has seen some states. When I can feel an asthma attack coming on I always find that breathing through/into something helps me to focus on my breathing whether it is into a paper bag or an anti-allergy pillow. 

On the downside one of my triggers is hay. An absolute nightmare with my grandparents and 5 out of 7 of my uncles on my mum’s side being farmers. Having to stay out of sheds and not being able to go away up the farm with my cousins had me tortured as a child. You wouldn’t have wanted to see the tantrums I had, especially when they were feeding pet lambs. Worse yet, have you ever riden a horse? Because I haven’t.

Trust me plenty of people with Asthma smoke but it really depends on how bad you have it. Me? Well if I took one puff out of a cigarette I’d be wheezing for a month or two at least. Personally, other people smoking around me doesn’t bother me as long as the smoke isn’t blowing in my face but I think that’s a pet hate for a lot of people. Just a quick heads up, if you see me on a night out please don’t be that one annoying person that keeps offering me a fag. There’s only so many times I can say ‘no’ nicely.

But that’s not even the most annoying thing.

It’s that annual Asthma check-up. Oh how I dread it every year. Only because of the Peak Flow test. Yes, it looks simple. Yes, all you have to do is blow into a tube. And yes, I still suck at it. Leading to that endless row with the nurses about how I could never do it, for them to tell me that I should be scoring better and giving me the same rant as the years before. SO ANNOYING.

TOP TIP: If you want to infuriate a person with Asthma then here’s an easy way to do it. Tell them that you had it or your sister had it and it was cured. Yes, sometimes Asthma can disappear in children or settle down for adolescences but there is NO cure for Asthma. So, we really don’t want to hear it.

Lucky for me my Asthma has settled down over the past few years. I no longer have to constantly worry about the activities I’m doing or where I’m going and I’ve had no recent spins in an ambulance. But I still do keep my inhalers close just in case that changes. On that note I’ll leave you here with a photo of my younger self, how cute was I?

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Claire Loughran is a final year Bsc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/claire-loughran-959871169/

Cheating Your Way to Instagram Likes

Here we are in the Digital Era where social media rules the world, well not exactly but it does play a massive part in society. Today I’m taking the leap and blogging for the first time, sure everyone’s got to start somewhere. I decided instead of telling you about myself (which will come in my following posts) that I’d give you some helpful tips to keep those likes rolling in on your Instagram. There’s more to it than just uploading a post, there’s an art to posting and I’m going to share with you the four key factors.

  1. Prime Time

If you are into ‘Likes’ and getting as many as possible, well then I hope you already know this one. But if not let me tell you a bit about prime time. It’s probably the most important thing for getting likes. Knowing when to post not even what to post. Although, this does change from time to time. At the moment prime time is on Thursdays, both around 3pm and 9pm. Whether it’s the day when everyone’s got fed up at work or if it’s a night that people decide to sit in and chill either way people are checking their feeds that bit more.

It’s simple the more people that see your posts the more chances of getting likes you have.      

go like my post

  1. Golden Hour

If you’re in the selfie mood make sure you don’t miss golden hour. Lucky enough depending on the day there can be two golden hours. For those who don’t know this is the hour shortly after sunrise and just before sunset. Although, we can’t take all our photos at golden hour when the natural lighting is actually good it’s important to make sure the alternative lighting is actually working for you. Get moving, check all angles, try flash on and flash off until you find the perfect spot and lighting.

Lighting in photos is key, you don’t want to be using too many filters. However, if you need to use a filter, be smart about it. Make sure it improves the image as a whole not just cover the fact your face looks a bit red or makes that spot less obvious.

Oh, and be aware it doesn’t always last an hour. So get snapping when you can!

golden hour

  1. Think Square

The most annoying thing about Instagram, well apart from the fact you can’t add to your highlights without having to add the picture to your story, is the fact that most of your images don’t fit in the box that Instagram provides. Leaving most people having to put silly boarders around their photos. To be honest, I’m always this annoying person. You know yourself that on nights out it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when taking a photo.

Tips to avoid needing a boarder are to take the photos from far away so that when the Instagram box crops them they’re only cutting out the unnecessary parts of the image. Another trick is to take your photos using the square setting on IPhone’s. Sorry, I’m not quite sure if this is called on other phones. If you’re really stuck try taking the photo directly on Instagram.

fitting

  1. Captions

Captions can make or break a post. It’s easy just to choose a smiley face and post, but that’s not the best thing to do. There’s an art to writing a good caption.

Take your time thinking. Show your personality. Use your humour. Don’t be too formal or serious. If you make people laugh or smile then your post is giving off a positive impression and that’s what you ultimately want. Trust me it can be harder than you think. If you’re unsure keep it brief, no one goes on Instagram to read an essay unless you’re an influencer.

Personally, I tend to avoid going for too many emoji’s. The same goes for hashtags as I only use a personal Instagram and have it on private. However, if you are using these make sure they’re relevant and you only use a few, 3 or 4 max. Plus, check your spelling (and grammar) as this will be one of the first things people notice and trust me people will be cringing for you.

Remember a good caption encourages engagement.

grandma

By following the four hacks I’ve suggested to you above you can increase your engagement, likes and followers. A final tip I can give to you is to post often and frequently, keep those followers updated. I’m hoping these tips get you them much wanted likes and spruce up your Instagram. Fingers crossed I start to pay more attention to them on my own page and get rid of all those boarders.

Claire Loughran is a final year Bsc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/claire-loughran-959871169/