Sometimes I forget...

When I was a little girl growing up in Fort Worth in the mid-70's I spent a lot of time at Cook's Children's Hospital. The asthma drugs back then weren't as good as they are now and I typically had two to three hospitalizations a year.

It's funny what you remember from childhood. I don't have any recollection of the collapsed lung or coma that my mom has told me about, but I do remember that there was a room at the hospital behind glass with Laura Cook's piano and furnishings from another era. I remember the oxygen tent giving me the feeling of being under glass and a couple of the nursing staff that were particularly nice. Their faces are frozen in time in my memory.

I also remember the large green oxygen tank that I had in my room growing up that was chained to the wall and behind my dresser so that I couldn't knock it over when playing. (Dad told me if it fell it could go through the house like a torpedo and I spent a lot of nights looking at its intimidating shadow in the dark thinking on that.)

Once on a ski trip with my youth group in high school, I had a terrible attack and we were far from any help. A doctor on the trip who was also asthmatic shared his inhaler and it literally changed my life.

The thing is that most of the time I take my daily puffs of Advair and forget I even have the disease. But, spend time near latent cigarette smoke on clothes, cars, or furniture; hit a string of bad ozone days (of which Dallas has a lot) or spend too much time on an airplane, and my lungs remind me of their limited capacity.

So here I am on day three of being in bed struggling to breathe trying hard to focus on how little the disease impacts me these days, and reminding myself that my lungs will clear and all will be right again.

If only they would hurry up.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall