I found out I had asthma quite by accident. I was 22. There I was, breathing... and then not breathing, which is a symptom something has gone wrong with your internal ventilation system. Not breathing has some interesting side effects, like turing blue, seeing swirly bright bits, and gasping like a fish. Kind of like being in a really, really slow rave party when the Goths arrive and make DJ requests. I was rushed to the hospital where I was asked if I had asthma in my family. I said no. They then told me I had asthma, and I told them they were mistaken. Then they told me that they have given me a bronchial dilator, and I started to breathe again, which was one of the signs you are an asthmatic: you respond well to asthma medicine, in the sense of breathing without making it sound like a mute having an orgasm. I was in denial for...
... well, I still am. I hate taking my inhaler. I feel like I have lost, somehow, the "I am not getting progressively sicker" war I am waging. When I was a kid, I wasn't sick much, and what little I was sick, my parents cheerfully denied. Turns out that denying illness with disguises in the form of Victorian era definitions, such as "hay fever," "the vapors," and "swooning," do nothing to cure the underlying illness, and apparently, all those years I couldn't breathe during the springtime actually damaged my lungs and sinuses.
I was actually misdiagnosed with a serious heart condition, when apparently I just had chest pains because I couldn't breathe. Glad I didn't have the former, but I spent two years of my life thinking I had only a year or two to live because the doctor, the same doctor who diagnosed all those trquilizers my mother used in her suicide and said I was sterile, also told me I had a serious heart condition. My mother died thinking I wouldn't live to see my 21st birthday.
Anyway, it just seems like I am gaining too many illnesses at the tender age of 36. Here's my major maladies, so far, in order of discovery:
- Scoliosis (funny curvature of the spine, it will be here all week, be sure to tip your waitress)
- Myopia (not Youropia, which is one of Jupiter's moons)
- Hypertension (so much for calm tension)
- Asthma ("Take my breath awaaaaaayyy....")
- Cochlear Sensorineural Deafness (ears work fine, connection to brain rotting... hmmm... "Brain rotting..." sounds like a little Dorset village, doesn't it? *)
So when I get an asthma attack, I try and "work through it," which greatly reduces my need for an inhaler. In fact, the only time I take it is when asthma comes too suddenly, like I had to run from hairy jumping spiders mistaking me for a South American.
* - Bonus points to anyone who said, "We've been mentioned on telly!" when they read this