Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
Like me, you may be tired of reading and hearing all the differing opinions about wearing masks. However, I had a personal experience yesterday that prompted me to do some research for myself, I’d like to tell you about my personal experience. You see, as a diabetic, I have six-month checkups with my doctor and my appointment is coming up. Before I have my appointment, I always have to get some blood work done so that he can see what is going on with levels of things like glucose, sodium, creatinine, and more to make sure my organs and medications are working as they should.
Due to the Covid pandemic, when I go to the lab to get my blood work done, I must wear a mask, and I wear the simple kind made from cotton material that has elastic to hook to my ears. Yesterday the lab was quite busy and I had to wait about fifty minutes until they called me to draw my blood. By the time the lab technician drew my blood, I was wearing that mask for a full hour.
A few hours after returning home, I received the results from the tests on my blood work, and there were two items on the list of sixteen that were flagged as being too high and of concern: one was my glucose, which for a diabetic happens frequently. The other was the CO2 (carbon dioxide) level in my blood. Normal range of CO2 is 21 – 31 mmol/L (number of millimoles per Liter, and a millimole is one-thousandth of a mole, which is a standard unit for measuring the mass of molecules). My level of CO2 was 32 mmol/L and was flagged as too high. Now, you might say, “That was just one mmol/L over the high end of the normal range. Big deal.”
Well, that was just after wearing the mask for one hour. Let’s think about this: if I went into that lab and my CO2 was normally 26 mmol/L, which is the middle of the normal range, in just one hour the CO2 in my blood increased by 6 mmol/L. If I had to wear that mask for an eight hour work day, by the end of the work day, if my CO2 increased by that same 6 mmol/L each hour, my CO2 level would be 42 mmol/L, a full 11 mmol/L. Then consider if I had to do that five days a week.
Now, do you know what having a high level of CO2 in your blood and body can do?
Well, I did some research to find out. Here’s what I found:
The early signs and mild symptoms of too much CO2 in your blood are:
drowsiness or inability to focus
feeling disoriented or dizzy
feeling short of breath
being abnormally tired or exhausted
These mild symptoms can be corrected by getting fresh air, but even these mild symptoms are considered an issue called Hypercapnia, and anyone with these symptoms for more than a few days is advised to seek medical attention from their doctor.
The symptoms can become severe, and when that happens severe Hypercapnia poses much more of a threat. Your respiratory system could even shut down.
Severe signs of too much CO2 in your blood include:
unexplained feelings of confusion
abnormal feelings of paranoia or depression
abnormal muscle twitching
Hypercapnia can lead to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), a term for conditions that make it harder for you to breathe. Two causes of COPD are Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema.
I have seasonal allergies and had Chronic Bronchitis which became asthmatic several times. Therefore, I refuse to wear these masks more than I absolutely have to, and prefer not to wear one at all. I do experience the mild symptoms of Hypercapnia if I have a mask on for two hours or more and prefer not to have such symptoms – I have experienced mild headaches, dizziness and being abnormally tired. I have even experienced feeling as though I were going to pass out on at least one occasion while wearing a mask in a large room with poor air flow.
Further study also revealed that too much CO2 in your blood not only causes respiratory issues, but also cardiovascular issues, and can also lead to nerve damage, and/or asphyxiation.
Too much CO2 in your blood can also cause a problem known as Respiratory acidosis, which is when your body fluids contain too much acid. This occurs when your kidneys and lungs cannot keep your body’s pH in balance. If your lungs, which normally remove CO2 while you breathe, are hindered from doing their job properly by something like wearing a mask, you can become inflicted with Respiratory acidosis. Acidosis can lead to numerous health issues and can be life-threatening.
Even perfectly healthy people could become inflicted by one of the above health issues by long-term wearing of masks which cause the CO2 levels in your blood and body to increase.
Many people in the world want to lash out in anger at people who don’t want to wear masks, declaring such people selfish, hateful, and uncaring. They tend not to believe that some of us really do have health issues that could worsen from wearing a mask.
The really sad thing is that many people with things like COPD are walking around wearing masks, risking more health issues to themselves simply because of the FEAR of Covid which has a 99% survival rate, and because they are forced to wear a mask, or are verbally, and sometimes, physically attacked by people who refuse to believe that anyone might have a real health-related reason for not wearing one.
If you don’t believe all of the things I’ve written here, I urge you to research the health issues I’ve written about here. If you choose not to believe me or research for yourself, I hope you will at least think about what I have written here that is my own personal experience, and think about how you should behave when you see someone who is not wearing a mask, but isn’t criticizing, getting angry at you, or verbally or physically attacking you because you are wearing one.