Sometimes thing go full circle. Or is it full square, when you occasionally get stuck in a corner of life? Circle or square, the center of my life was my battle with severe asthma.
I grew up during an era when managing asthma was an extremely difficult task. This was before inhalers or peak-flow meters were available. Asthma patients and their loved ones, paid a high price.
Physical Education classes were dreaded, so reading became my refuge. Books provided an escape to the constant humiliation of being selected last for team sports. In the minds of children, uncontrolled wheezing spelled out L-O-S-E. Night after night I slept sitting up in a chair to avoid uncontrolled bouts of coughing. It was a time when moving to Arizona meant possible relief, so my Dad sold the family business in Cincinnati, packed his family of four into a station wagon and headed West.
Ultimately, we returned to Cincy and good health was mine. I married my college sweetheart, graduated from Colorado State University, worked as a Registered Occupational Therapist and enjoyed parenting our daughter. Heres where the circle continues; we were fortunate to have a son, but it was his misfortune to develop asthma and food allergies at six months of age.
We searched for answers, joked that one of the doors at the doctors office should have a brass plaque with our names on it and bargained with God during emergency trips to the hospital at midnight. At a time of true desperation we hoped that the double rainbows that appeared over the Colorado mountains were reassurances that he would be OK. The effective combination of medications was discovered and they were right.
I vowed to share my newfound, hard-won wisdom with others and founded a support group in Ft. Collins. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) offered invaluable assistance and today, almost twenty-five years later, Parents of Asthmatic/Allergic Children, Inc., continues to provide education, support and opportunities for advocacy.