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Old posts from the original Blackframes site

>Sweet Lady A: An Ode to Asthma

Lach Ryan

With the changing of seasons comes the threat of new attacks. Autumn (or Fall, for those readers who live in the country that is doing exactly that; Hi! America) represents a particularly dangerous time for humans. Falling leaves, corduroy pants and reckless overuse of the term 'Autumnal Hues' all have the capacity to maim and even kill.

Perhaps a more serious and 'real' threat (as Doctors keep trying to tell me) is the encroaching chill of the weather. This represents DANGER as I am a sufferer of Asthma. Good Ol' Asthma isn't the sexiest of afflictions. In the medical condition car-park, it is a Toyota Corrola with a baby seat, to the BMW X5 with personalized plates that read "CELIAC"
To further get your head around how prevalent it is, consider these startling facts:
  • Asthma Affects 14% of people under 20 and 11% of Adults, and 100% of people who play in their sports teams.
  • Like an unwanted erection, it is more likely to affect boys (15%) than girls (12%).
  • Asthma is also the leading reason children visit hospital, besides their parents making them.
  • Once I ate Yoghurt from a tub that I accidentally threw in the bin.
Shocking aren't they?
My battle started young. I was diagnosed with a nasty bout of croup ( a gateway lung affliction that builds you up for the hard stuff...Sweet Lady A), which quickly saw me visiting hospital for the first time outside my Mother making me. This later develop into full blown childhood Asthma. I graduated rapidly from the standard Ventolin Blue inhaler. It should be mentioned that the Ventolin inhaler is to an Asthma sufferer what a sturdy six shooter is to a Cowboy; a matter of life and death, at all times by your side and sometimes in a cool holster made by your Mum. I graduated from the baby blue reliever into the hardcore world of preventative, steroid based inhalers. These things came in colour gradings, and I can remember during my bad years between 8-10 moving through them like Karate belts, as well as developing perky breasts and a temper from the 'roids. The highest I got was a brown one after a series of test at the Royal Children's Hospital, but I once saw an old Asian man with a black one.
I have now officially "grown out of it". Like fingernail biting or wetting the bed, the doctors said I would. However, I still get the odd attack when the weather seasons change over and the air temperatures tend to fluctuate like a woman. The feeling of restricted breathing, like your lungs going on strike and shutting down, is something I won't miss. The worst times felt like concrete air was being poured into your chest and then squeezed out with every breath. I think the real issue with most Asthma sufferers is that their lungs are depressive, and have a tendency towards suicidal behavior. Exercise does them good because it gets them moving- that's how I became such a champion swimmer.
My big fear now is my child. He's 1 years old and just starting to get some sniffles and wheezes (not to be confused with Weezer, who we actually like). I made my Wife take him to the Doctor at the first sign of a chest issue. It was just a common infection, but that week I hovered over him like a CPR student on a dummy, checking his airways. I really hope he doesn't get his father's lungs and the subsequent visits from Sweet Lady A, but then I'd rather he inherit that than baldness!