Asthma (from the Greek άσθμα, ásthma, "panting") is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath (Wikipedia)
Asthma = elephant sitting on your chest
I have had asthma for as long as I can remember. I think I was diagnosed when I was around 6 months old. My mama said I had started turning blue. Imagine being 18 and trying to figure out what's wrong with your baby and knowing that she can't breath.
From that point on until I turned 15, I would spend a part of almost every month in the hospital. I have no idea how my parents manage to pay my doctor or hospital bills. I do know my doctor was an incredible family friend, Dr. Gene E. Crick. I will always be grateful to him. I would eventually go to school with his oldest son and work for him during the summer when I was in college.
When you suffer an acute asthmatic attack and live 30 minutes from the hospital, you feel like you are going to die every time. It seems I would always awaken around 2 am. I would walk to my parents' room and tell them I couldn't breath. Events would then goes as follows:
Rush to Greenwood-Leflore Hospital ER
Get a "bee-sting" a shot of susphrine.
Every 3rd visit or so, I would be admitted to the 4th floor, pediatric, for a few days under the oxygen tent and breathing treatments.