Thursday, February 18, 2010


More and more people, especially children, are developing asthma lately. But with modern medical treatment that's usually not as serious a condition as mine was when I was a child.
I developed it a couple of years after my father had died because my mother became a chain smoker and our house was filled with smoke and tobacco odor.
Instead of coughing, I wheezed, almost constantly. Often during a bad asthma attack I'd be straining with all my might to breathe, get a cramp in my diaphragm, and have to continue forcing air into my lungs in spite of the pain.
I used my "adrenaline mist" nebulizer much more often than I was supposed to and the family doctor would sometimes scold me about that, but he'd still renew the prescription because I couldn't survive without my "breather."
Often my asthma would become so bad my mother would have to call the doctor. He'd come to our house and give me a shot of "adrenaline." If that hadn't helped in fifteen minutes he'd give me another. Usually that worked, but if there was still no improvement he'd pick me up, carry me down to his car, and take me to the hospital. My mother would follow in her car, I'd be admitted, and they'd put me on oxygen.
I know lots of children and adults with asthma now and the increased number of asthmatics may be due to air pollution. However none of the asthmatic people I know today have symptoms as severe as mine were. (I did know one teenager who had an asthma attack, kept exercising, and died, but that happened because he was high on illegal drugs at the time.) In general, most asthma is at least partially controlled by medications that didn't exist when I was a child.
But it's still a serious condition and I wish all nicotine addicts would get into recovery so nobody had to breathe second hand smoke.
P.S. I apologize for being off schedule this week. I'll be back to the regular Wednesday/Saturday posting next week.

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