(my pets must be able to breath underwater)
I’ve decided to post this to my blog… because it is very important to me. After suffering for years and years with repeated bouts of bronchitis I have learned there are limits to what I can be exposed to if I wish to remain healthy. Any airborne particles can cause me breathing issues. I am under the care of a doctor and on meds that seem to keep things at a more even balance, finally, and since becoming a full-time Vandweller, I have avoided getting bronchitis again. I have this fear/feeling that if I get it again, I will die.
SO, to those of you NOT camping with animals, my thoughts originally were to find people I could enjoy camping near without troubling myself or others with my health/lung issues. I thought if I could find a few, and we decided to gather... we could do so some walking distance away from the "animal" camp... and therefore be able to walk there and visit outside for a short time, or others could leave their animals home and come join us for a quick campfire or a meal.
I realized after camping with a couple of people/pet pairs... last year... that that was a doable situation and for weeks at a time with them, I never got sick. The pets pretty much stayed in their camps and even when we were all together, there was plenty of fresh air and I had no breathing issue. And I might add they were both short haired dogs which could have made a difference. I love animals so much and I can't be around them with out interacting and petting them, but I am always careful to go wash my hands afterwards and I try to keep them off my clothing. They didn't seem to have any problem learning their boundaries... that they could play with me, be petted by me, but could not jump up on me on my clothing. It was a very comfortable camp situation and one I will cherish for a long time.
My education continued with camping in other locations with larger groups of people and more pets. I did not faire as well in the more populous setting for a number of reasons and know I will avoid those situations in the future. When weather is bad and folks take to visiting inside... I shouldn't go in but have in the past. I won't in the future... and so found myself being/feeling left out, or at risk health wise. I took the risk last year due to my very strong desire to socialize and be with my "chosen" family. I really really HATE being left out of the fun. It's really unfair... but no one's fault and something I will have to learn to accept.
So, for me it will be easier to stay far away from large groups so I don't even know when people are gathering, laughing, having fun, etc. That way I won't know when I'm missing out on something. Last year when I tried that from a short distance, each time I heard laughter, I was drawn to it... only to realize awaiting me there would be furry critters... sometimes inside other's van homes. There really was never a happy solution to this dilemma. Maybe I have to accept it as just something I cannot do in the future.
I know I am not the only vandweller out here with COPD/Asthma/allergy issues... so I'm still trying to identify you guys... so maybe we can gather in a satellite camp not far from the furry camp... and at least remain part of the tribe at arms length.
Again, this is no personal attack about anyone else... it's just explaining my history and planning for my future. I don't want to be totally alone all the time... that's not fair... but if I must, then I shall.
If any non-animal campers wish to write me, I welcome your email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone in Florida this winter who might like to have a small gathering, let me know. I will be meeting one Vandweller in January for kayaking. Happy to also meet up with the “animal” folk as well as long as they understand, my health comes first with me.