Today I was in Epsom - cold and tired, with 8 minutes to wait for a bus. So I went to get a hot chocolate. As Starbucks' hot chocolate powder contains EVIL DAIRY PRODUCTS and there's no Costa in Epsom, I was forced to go into Caffe Nero. Which is mixed smoking & non-smoking.
Pretty much as soon as I walked in I felt my lungs starting to fill up with snot, and the 2 minutes while the guy made my soya hot chocolate was progressively more and more painful. By the time the drink was ready I felt like just flinging a couple of quid at him and running for it rather than waiting for change. I then proceeded to cough my lungs up for most of the trip back, as well as getting a wave of nausea every time I smelled the smoke in my hair or on my scarf.
This fucking sucks. 2 minutes in a coffee house that is not even completely smoky should not make me ill for over an hour. Really.
And I'm totally wound up, because I want to go and see Freezepop when they play here in a couple of weeks. They're the only band I bother to go and see these days because I can't deal with the smoke, and I was ill enough the last time. I had to go outside (in December!) during all the support acts because I couldn't breathe, threw up at least once, and spent the whole time Freezepop were onstage desperately trying to keep my nasal passages clear with Olbas Oil and tissues. After the show I could barely even speak where my mouth and throat were so dried out from an hour and a half of mouth breathing. I'm even more severely allergic to smoke now than I was then. My asthma medication doesn't deal with it, because it's a different reaction - not just wheezing, but massive overproduction of snot that clogs up my entire respiratory tract and makes me extremely nauseous. (Imagine swallowing copious, thick mucus for a couple of hours, and you get some idea what it's like.)
I take my inhalers and completely avoid smoky environments, except for special occasions - which these days means Freezepop gigs and nothing else. I don't know what the fuck else I can do. I've tried going to the doctor and explaining that my smoke allergy is ruining my life, and they just don't understand. I get advice like "Don't go to smoky places, then." I'm 29 years old, and I haven't been able to go to a nightclub in over 5 years because I can't fucking breathe in them. I love music, and I've been to one gig in the past 18 months.
No, there is nothing you can say that'll make this better, except for *hugs* and roll on civilisation.