When she is consumed by an idea, my girlfriend abandons everything to write that idea down. Momentarily, that idea becomes her all-consuming universe.
As for me, I also abandon everything when my asthma attacks. I lie in wait preparing for the ultimate: either my healing or my death, or none at all. I just wait.
I have long surrendered to asthma. I do not like it but it always finds its way into my life. I do my best to protect myself from it, like avoiding cold drinks, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly and avoiding stress. Still asthma finds a way into my life. When the weather changes, it comes in the form of colds, a sore throat, dry and itchy throat, then all I know is I have difficulty breathing. Or I can breathe so long as I do not move.
When my asthma is severe, I want it to have its way. I do not want to breathe anymore because it hurts my back, it hurts my chest and it hurts almost all parts of my body. The air becomes so heavy as if it were a rope with a ten-wheeler truck tied at the other end. All I choose to do is close my eyes and let the involuntary action of my lungs breathe for me. By this time, I would be very weak and tired and all I want is to rest. I become oblivious to the sensation of my mother’s hand caressing my hair and the swirling questions of doctors and nurses all around me.
The doctor would either inject in my intravenous or let me take a steroid-based pill or both. And as if by magic, everything goes back to normal. My back and chest relax and my vision of a rope and a ten-wheeler truck vanishes. Except for my aching head and a floating sensation, I would be OK.
Then come the doctors and nurses and nursing interns who force me to smile and ask me not to have asthma again as if I wanted it.
Then come the hospital and medical bills.
Then I wonder if my life is worth all their expense. I have had my family spend for me for the past 27 years. In return, all they get from me is more hospital and medical expenses.
When I am not sick, I have grand dreams. I will be very rich I will own a skyscraper. I will start by raising enough money to afford a lot and build a house I will sell to buy another lot where I will build another house…and the process is repeated until I will have enough money to buy a lot and build my skyscraper.
I will also become a lawyer. I will provide poor people first class service. But which will come first I do not know. I might become a lawyer but not a builder or vice versa, it does not matter as long as I can do either of them and earn enough money to fend for myself and to finance the needs of my loved ones.
But asthma is like the sun. In the morning it shines and the dreaming ends.