Planning a wedding is a joyful and exciting time for couples, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. For those with asthma, the planning process can be even more daunting. For Cróna Tansey, wedding preparation was focused on finding accommodations for her asthma and making compromises. Should she let asthma control her big day? Or how she spent her honeymoon? Would asthma always appear as an uninvited guest?
Brendan and I had been together for seven years when he proposed at the Wineport Lodge in Glasson Co. Westmeath in 2019. The proposal surprised me as I wasn't expecting it at all. Of course, I said yes, and we really enjoyed our engagement celebrations.
When COVID-19 struck in early 2020, this put on hold any wedding plans as everything was so uncertain. We decided to hold off booking anything; in the meantime, we focused on building and moving into a new house.
In 2021, we decided to start planning our wedding. We booked Segrave Barns in Dunany Co. Louth for our big day in November 2021, giving us about a year to organize everything. We fell in love with the relaxed, rustic feel of the venue when we first saw it. It felt magical.
When we went to view the venue, it was a dark winter evening. The venue was cozy, relaxed, and beautifully decorated, so we chose to go ahead with a winter wedding!
For Brendan and me, 2022 was a year full of wedding preparations. One key goal was going to the gym and getting into shape for the big day. I've been active over the years, but I know that exercise is one of my asthma triggers.
Thankfully, sticking to a routine and my medication regimen as the doctor advised meant I could exercise with peace of mind.
One gym I joined was in a large, dusty warehouse without any ventilation. After a few sessions, I realized this wasn't the healthiest environment, so I changed gyms. I'm sensitive to asthma triggers such as mold, dampness, and dust, and dealing with asthma for years has made me hyper-aware of their presence.
My asthma management and exercise regimens didn't clash too often. Heavier cardiovascular workouts sometimes made my chest tight, and I felt wheezy for a few hours afterward. When this happened, I'd give myself time to rest, have a hot shower with plenty of steam, or follow my doctor's advice with my medication.
And I recovered well! I found that the fitter I got from working out, the faster I recovered. I also had fewer asthma flare-ups as my fitness level increased.
We had many exciting day trips in the run-up to the wedding, from dress fittings to choosing my wedding perfume.
I loved the whole process. It also meant lots of time spent with friends and family organizing the big day. My bridesmaids organized my hen party in Palma, Spain, in October 2022. We had the most amazing weekend, and I will cherish (and laugh about) those memories forever!
We got married on the 9th of December, 2022. The weather had been relatively mild up until the week of our wedding. Then, suddenly, the temperatures dropped considerably. Our wedding day was very cold but bright, with lots of winter sun.
My worst asthma trigger is cold air! I have never been able to manage it well. It makes my chest tight, so I'm more concerned about my asthma when the weather becomes cold or icy. We had chosen a venue in the countryside, nestled amongst trees and fields. I knew most of our photographs would be taken outside, so I'd be in the cold air for long periods.
On the day of the wedding, I was in excellent health. My asthma was well-managed, and I wasn't too concerned about an asthma flare-up. Still, it is always something I must consider and prepare for in case something happens.
My sister, Sarah, was my Maid of Honour and was terrific during the planning process. She is a very organized person and has always been supportive. She's been there during many of my asthma flare-ups, and I knew I could rely on her to help me if needed. On the big day, my sister stood close by and had my reliever medication in her handbag should I have needed it.
Thankfully, everything ran smoothly. Although I was freezing in my wedding dress outside, my asthma remained under control for the day.
Our wedding was magical from start to finish. I couldn't have enjoyed it more. Having everyone you love in the same room is the most fantastic feeling. My brother Brian, and his girlfriend Aisling, flew home from Melbourne to be with us. It meant the world to us to have them there.
We also had my relatives from New York, who we hadn't seen in three years because of the pandemic. All these guests added to the thrill of the day, making everything extra special for our families. We had our ceremony in a barn onsite and continued into another barn for food and the party. We stayed at the venue for three days with our loved ones and friends, and it's a day we will relive in our minds for years to come!
After our wedding, we went to Vietnam for our honeymoon for three fantastic weeks. As we were traveling from Hanoi in the North of Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh in the South of Vietnam, we took backpacks rather than luggage. We had to pack light, which isn't usually my strong point!
I had concerns about carrying my asthma medication and having room in the backpack for everything I needed. Air pollution can cause asthma flare-ups in my case, and it’s prevalent in many bigger cities. But I remained consistent with my asthma routine on the trip and followed the preventative regimen as my doctor prescribed.
This worked well. My asthma was mild throughout the holiday, with only a few minor flare-ups - nothing I couldn't manage.
I feel fortunate to have had such an amazing trip. I'm so glad my asthma was well-managed enough to thoroughly enjoy it. A few years ago, my constant asthma flare-ups made me think I'd never feel well again. I'm very grateful to be where I am today with my asthma under control.
Of course, this doesn't mean I can become complacent, but it reminds me that I can enjoy life. With enough forward planning and accommodations, asthma can't keep me from living life to the full.
The information presented is solely for educational purposes, not as specific advice for the evaluation, management, or treatment of any condition.
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