April 3, 2014

Tess Lindsay

THE PERILS OF PASSIVE SMOKING

Now 84 years old, Tess looks back on her career as a nurse, and her early bouts of lung problems from childhood on to which she as a non-smoker, attributes to the years of pervasive passive smoking.

My name is Maynel Teresa (Tess) Lindsay. I was born in 1926 making me the age of 84 years. I believe I suffered ‘bronchitis’ frequently as a small child, but recovered when I commenced swimming at about the age of six, living in close proximity to the ocean at Maroubra, where my husband and I now reside.

However when I was 24, I again had ‘bronchitis’, and then at aged 42 – ‘Pneumonia’, which was overcome by a new strain of Penicillin to which I am now allergic. My husband and I have never smoked – but as most people of our generation, we became passive smokers, being exposed in work-places, public transport, shops – well, just about everywhere as smoking was avery popular habit.

Fourteen years ago we moved away from the ocean, but only to Randwick, to a very busy, traffic-congested street, where I suffered ‘bronchitis’ continually for two years, and eventually a serious case of ‘Pneumonia’. I was hospitalised, and cared for by a new specialist, who prescribed an antibiotic, and diagnosed ‘Bronchiectasis’ and possible ‘Emphysema’. Now my illness is chronic, but with the regular visits to the same specialist, using the same miraculous medication when necessary, and belonging to the amazing ‘Easy-breathing’ group, conducted by the Lung physiotherapy department at Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick, who monitor and assist us to keep well – I enjoy a normal life-style – for my age! Also we moved back to the ‘wild and wooly’ Maroubra! I still swim, but gently in the ocean rock pool, and not as frequently as I would like – just when the weather permits.

When I become ill, I feel desperately down-hearted, but bounced back quickly, with all of the above assistance, and the care of my wonderful husband, who suffers lung disease to a lesser degree, but is also kept well by regularly attending the ‘Easy-breathing’ walks and exercises. The Respiratory Care Team – at P.O.W. is invaluable to us, assisting by phone, or even visiting the home if required, and liaising with the specialist.

Nursing was my career, and I loved it. After our children were old enough, I returned as an R.N. to nurse the mentally handicapped and Geriatric. I retired from that at the age of 67.

We have four children and thirteen grandchildren, six of whom, we help – a lot!! We look forward to many more years. Thank you for your kind interest and your wonderful work.