As a lifelong asthmatic, I have always fought to breathe. That is my "normal." There were countless times as a child that I would have an attack, turn blue, and have to be rushed to the hospital. Even as an adult who went into the nursing profession, things as simple as the smell of cigarette smoke on someone's clothes, the smell of cleaning agents, or the scent of a newspaper being opened (when there used to be newsprint coming to our home every day) could set me to wheezing.
I grew up and spent my adult life in an area with poor air quality. I learned to manage my triggers early, but there were and continue to be some I couldn't control, e.g. the particulate matter in the air in my community. Whenever I leave my home, I have to be vigilant--every.single.time- constantly aware of the air quality of the places I go, often not being able to stay in an area because of the poor air quality. Always armed with a rescue inhaler, I go and "do" my life with enthusiasm but am always ever cautious of poor air because I know I have to fight to breathe.
My goal is NOT to end up in the ER AND enjoy my life breathing with ease! We are ALL addicted to air. We MUST protect it --for all our sake.
First published: April 26, 2019
Sign up for the latest lung health news delivered right to your inbox.
Join more than 500,000 people who receive research updates, inspiring stories, health information and more.