A Severe Asthmatics Holiday Report (Part 2)

This is the final part of my report of my recent holiday to Puerto Pollensa in Mallorca.

The first part of my report and other blogs about my holiday can found at the links below:

Asthma & Holiday Worries

Asthmatic Holiday Update

A Severe Asthmatics Holiday Report (Part 1)

I don’t intend to write a normal holiday report such as what you find on Trip Advisor but instead I aim to look at things from the perspective of that of a severe asthmatic.

Leading up to the holiday I had concerns due to the lack of control that I had of my asthma and also of the above average temperatures that were forecast. Amongst my usual triggers are things such as sudden changes of temperature and extremes in temperature (both hot and cold). Fortunately the potential effects of sudden changes of temperature were somewhat negated by the fact that the temperature at home in the days leading up to my holiday were in the high 20’s. This certainly helped a little though I did still struggle in the Mallorca heat of the mid 30’s, at least it wasn’t a dramatic increase.

We love Puerto Pollensa, it is ideal for me as it is quite flat, there are plenty of nice places to eat, it is quiet and relaxing. The resort is only about 1 hour from Palma and the flight to Palma from the UK is only just over 2 hours.

mallorca-karte

We chose to stay in the same apartments as we had done on previous visits to Pollensa, there were a number of reasons for this, the location is superb, the apartment buildings are only 3 stories high, the staff are great and one of the biggest factors was the air conditioning. During stays at these apartments I found that each room had its own separate air conditioning, the air con was superb, I am sure that I could set it up so cold that I had to de-ice the windows! I know that many asthmatics find that air conditioning doesn’t help their asthma, I am completely the opposite, I absolutely love it, strange really when sudden changes of temperature effect my breathing yet I find that going from the heat of outdoors to a cold air conditioned room actually helps me!

Upon entering our apartment I found to my horror that the remote controls for the air conditioning had been screwed to the wall with the temperature controls covered by a metal plate, in fact the only button that could be used was the on / off button. To make matters worse the temperature was set to 24 degrees, way too hot for me. So there I was, only minutes into my holiday and I was going shopping for a screwdriver, I soon managed to find one and the 3 euros spent on the screwdriver were well worthwhile. Within minutes of returning to our apartment the metal plate was removed and the air conditioning was set to a more cooling 16 degrees!

Unfortunately our apartment was on the top floor and so I had to climb 2 flights of stairs to reach it which in the stupidly hot 35 degrees and with my chest on fire I occasionally struggled with. The balcony was facing the pool and though the sun was facing the balcony for long periods of the day due to a lip on the roof of the balcony we never actually ever had the whole balcony decked in sunshine which was great for me as it was easy to find the shade. The rest of apartment was what we expected, spotlessly clean, quite spacious, and due to my screwdriver, nice and cool.

One thing that we have always liked about both Pollensa and the apartments is that they were always nice and quiet, no teenage kids and none of your 18 to 30 brigade (when did I become so old and a bit of a boring git?). This year though we were unlucky that there was one family there that were like an Irish, chav version of the Waltons, there were loads of them, they were very loud, very annoying and in general spoilt the mood of the place. I am far from a snob but these people would have looked more at home in an episode of the television programme ‘Shameless’. The kids were left to run riot around the place while the adults went out for hours on end.

The temperatures were way too high for me, I am not one for laying around the pool on a sun lounger but I do like to relax with a little bit of sun on my back. as a kid I used to love the sun and hot weather but as I have gotten older and my health has worsened I have struggled with too much heat and sun. We rarely go on holiday in June, July or August for that reason alone but this week in June was just about the only one where both the wife and I could get the same week off of work.

I knew that I would struggle with the heat and struggle is what I did, but we were prepared and accepted that we wouldn’t be doing too much on this holiday and the aim was just to relax. We spent a lot of time in our room (thanks to the air conditioning) and on our balcony, we listened to music and we read books. I never left the room without my nebuliser and it got quite a bit of use (multiple times every day) but I managed to get out of the room every day,,we had short walks along the stunning Pine Walk, we ate out every night at a range of different restaurants, all of which were good. We had a few drinks each evening (I didn’t dare drink too much alcohol due the cocktail of medication that I am on, potential dehydration and the need to be in control and be able to look after myself if the asthma got any worse).

So in general most of the day were pretty similar, we got up when we wanted to (it was nice not having to get up at 5am for work). We chilled in the room and on the balcony, reading our kindles etc. We would then have a short stroll and have a light lunch. We would occasionally sit at a table and chairs in the shade close to the pool and do a little more reading before returning to our nicely chilled room. In the evenings we would call into the bar at our apartments and have a relaxing drink before venturing out to have a nice meal somewhere.

It may not be everybody’s idea of a good holiday but we did what we wanted (and what my health allowed). We even managed a day trip to the stunning Port De Soller and a tram ride to the old town to visit the market followed by a bus trim into the mountains to Valdemossa. It was a brilliant day, the scenery was breath taking and the air conditioned coach was very nice.

soller-6

My asthma though was continuously giving me problems, as already stated, the nebuliser was getting used quite lot but the worrying thing was the amount of times that I needed my salbutamol inhaler. I was always short of breath and at times had an audible wheeze, the inhaler did help but I found myself relying on it way too much. My inhaler usually lasts me a month but I actually went through 2 full inhalers in the week. This wasn’t good but it was needed and it did help somewhat. It was hard walking anywhere in the excessive heat, the coolest day in resort was 32 degrees (the temperature plummeted to 30 when we went to Soller and Valdemossa). The night time temperatures were also stupidly high, never dropping below 25 which when you are a bloke from Yorkshire who suffers from severe asthma is bit of a shock to the system.

So to summarise it was too hot, my asthma wasn’t great, we had the family from hell staying at the same place as us and I didn’t get drunk once yet I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. It was tough at times but well worth it, I was sensible, I packed well, took plenty of medication with me, I didn’t particularly over do things and it was just what the wife and I needed.

We will certainly be returning to Puerto Pollensa but probably not during the month of June.

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