The Precious Air We Breathe

I’m into the second week of a winter asthma attack.  It has been a while since I truly got sick here in New York, and actually quite a while since I had a real asthma attack.  By all counts, my asthma is more of an allergy compared to others.  I don’t take any maintaining medicine and only resort to my inhaler when the attack overtakes me.

I have had asthma since I was a baby.  My sister and my brother had it from birth as well, that is why we grew up sleeping in airconditioned rooms even if we were not really that well off in the beginning.  Our parents made sure our extra curricular activities were relatively sedate so as not to risk our health, and perhaps more out of caution than choice, none of us grew up to be smokers.

There were old wives tales that said I would outgrow it once I gave birth.  I gave birth last May and here I am coughing deeply to clear my throat or expel what congestion has built up inside me.  I wonder if it’s because I only had 15 minutes of pushing and Angel poked his little head out my wazoo and said hello to the world.  So I guess it was an old wive’s tale after all ..

Meanwhile, I keep my inhaler handy.. I’m into the second week of what is usually a two-week stretch of an attack.  With luck, I will be breathing easy this time around next week.  Now if only winter will be winter and stop getting warm in between the cold spells, I won’t have to worry about another asthma attack until the spring when the pollen and the mold and all those other interesting things start inhabiting our precious air again.

The air we breathe is something that a lot of us take forgranted, given that we do it as automatically as blinking our eyes.  Yet for one who has had to sleep propped up on two or sometimes even three pillows at night, breathing can be a struggle in the midst of an asthma attack.  So I don’t take breathing lightly — when given the chance to breathe clean fresh morning air (not in the city, of course), I inhale deeply and savor it to the very last bit… Aaaggghhh… precious air, indeed.