on breathing and lifelong asthma

Asthma is filled with circles, cycles, spirals… and stairs, a lot of stairs

I’ve had asthma all my life. Nothing uncommon there — so many people have asthma now it’s staggering. For a long time it was labelled bronchitis, because I had the classic small town Norman Rockwell doctor. My asthma is bad enough to effect my life on a daily basis, but not so bad as so many others I see when I go to my pulmonologist. I am very lucky that it’s not worse.

There are as many types of asthmatics as there types of people — from people who get it from time to time and just need a rescue inhaler now and then to people who can barely move. Olympic athletes to desk workers like me.

Odd thing with asthma is the triggers. They are different for everyone — some are common and overlap. Really bad strong perfume, or a leaf fire in the fall… those will bring just about anyone down a bit. My triggers are stress, bad perfume, moving too much, sometimes laughing, and I have knack for choking when drinking or eating. A cold will usually last longer with me — and often descends into my chest.

Something specific to me is I’m allergic to several categories of the major long term meds. Which doesn’t leave much to take.

Every November, like clockwork, I can pretty much count on a bad month. With harvesting the fields, people burning leaves, changing over from air conditioning to heat, the days where temperature fluctuates so much and all that… I grew up and lived most of my life in Central Illinois and now live in Northern Indiana — which is basically the same except colder and with lake effect snow.

I’ve gotten this far and still haven’t touched on circles, cycles, spirals… or lots and lots of stairs. Or the most important aspect of little steps. Yes, you’ve heard it before and in many different ways, but living with asthma is about little steps — and after a couple of years of falling down all those steps… I need to start climbing back up one at a time.

I’ll save that for another day.

John