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Thursday, January 21, 2010

We Have Mother Nature on Line One? Something About Holding Your Breath…

Word around town is that breathing is non-advisable for us hothouse-flower types today.

I don’t need the Air Quality Index to tell me that.

All I have to do is inhale.

You hear that? That slightly wheezing sound? That’s me. I’m either imitating an accordion or my asthma is being poorly managed.

Breathing is one of those things you don’t think much about. Like sweating or growing hair, it’s not until you’ve gone too far in one direction or another that you realize that the body has been doing these things all on its own, thank you very much, up until, oh, NOW.

Now you need to add it to your list of things to do, something like this:

Buy groceries (with extra Fresca)
Do load of whites
Shave the cat’s butt
Breathe in and out, in and out

Turns out I’ve been taking unassisted breathing for granted.

And that got me thinking about all the other things I’ve just assumed were mine. Sure, there’s hair growth (wanted and unwanted). The blogosphere is a a-twitter with the hair migration routes of the aging, i.e., from head to back, from eyebrows to chin.

I’m not worried about the hair: I’ve pretty much got that one covered in that Mary has promised to keep an eye on my face if I keep an eye on hers.

We’re to alert each other of unseemly hair sproutage.

And teeth! Won’t someone please think of the teeth? I had assumed – erroneously, as it turns out – that my teeth were here to stay. So far, so good. The teeth remain, but the gums have other ideas. Seems they’ve had enough of me and are thinking of ceding from the union.

As a survivor of the great gum recession of ’08, I feel it my duty to tell you: If the dentist at any time suggests that the dental work you are about to have done could be done in halves or in quarters as a method of pain control, you’re in trouble.

Take the half-mouth option, contact your friends with chronic back pain and access to Vicodin, and get ready for a Lord of the Rings or similar marathon.

You ain’t goin’ nowhere.

Asthma, however. Breathing. Yikes. Well, this is fairly new to me, having only been diagnosed with it four years ago.

And of course, as any thinking human would, I promptly quit smoking three and a half years later.

So far, it’s not so bad. It’s not until the days where the skies seem particularly murky, when my right-brain thinking has me swimming to yoga rather than walking to it that I feel the heaviness, hear the wheezing and start rooting around my bag for my inhaler.

A quick hit, and I’m back to breathing like a normal person.


Had I been given the option for asthma, I would have declined.

As a matter of fact, I'd like to go on record as standing four-square against the entire aging process.

I was just fine the way I was.



savannah said...

i hear ya, sugar! daily inhaler, nasonex AND an emergency inhaler...wtf? xoxox

Anonymous said...

Just the phrase "shaving the cat's ass" is so funny.
Nice that it only took you 1/2 a year to quit smoking. It took me 23 1/2 years.

Thanks for the fun,

sage said...

Funny... well gum surgery ain't very funny, it's down right painful, but it's a sure cure of disliking flossing! And God, in infinite wisdom, decided to keep me from being tempted to become a narcotic addict by making me allergic to the good stuff like Vicodin--that drugs gives me the whizzes (along with rashes) and that's scary!

Joshua said...

I feel you. I didn't have asthma until I moved to Georgia. Never a problem in Illinois or Michigan.

Roses said...

My lungs only really started to bitch when I started smoking last year.

Yes, I know...hold the lecture.

I'm coming up to 40 in May and damnit, a woman has to have at least one vice.

So I too have inhalers.

Not keen on the whole gum thing either. My mouth hasn't changed, why do they want to leave? It's just like a relationship. One day everything's fine, the next, they're off and running.


Charlotte Ann said...

I hear ya on the gums..just had a tooth removed and an implant done. On breathing, I never had shortness of breath until I quit smoking. I think I used to hyperinflate my lungs when I would draw in a big lungful of nicotine. Now I have to remind myself to take deep breaths.
On the other hand, I refuse to shave the cat's butt. Hell, I do good to get my legs shaved and the cat has never ever offered to help.

Lizzy and Elle said...

Shaving the cat's ass can cause Asthma attacks and lines of blood seeping from skin.

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Vic said...

My gums are packing it in too. You'd think they'd at least have called a meeting or sent a memo or something.

Asthma sounds awful.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

eeks! I just read the car post!! Gross! Sorry you actually had to do that!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Marge, when I get older, promise me you'll put me in a nursing home. They have machines there that even breath for you!

Anonymous said...

Take the best care of yourself regarding that asthma. You might be able to fight it off with aerobic exercise somewhat, strenghten your lungs etc.


The Good Cook said...

Aging is not for sissies.

Douglas said...

I opted out of the teeth thing a few years ago. It's a family tradition, bad teeth run (or is it fall out?) in my family. But the asthma thing I can definitely relate to. I grew some interesting bacteria back in `99 that found their way into my lungs. It was a two year battle to regain control of my lungs and my health. There's much more to that story and some of it isn't pretty. In the words of that skirt-chasing guy from Arkansas... I feel your pain.

fingers said...

It's better to have ceding gums than receding gums, Pearl...

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

The more you shave the cat's ass the thicker that unibrow and moustache seem to get on you. Not that I am complaining. You remind me of those woman from the partisan resistance during the war...hey...war is hell, we took it where we could get it.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Asthma feels truly awful. : (

Joanna Jenkins said...

So sorry about the asthma but I'm glad you stopped smoking.

Hang in there.

Jeanne said...

I didn't know asthma came on that late in life.

Okay, that was amazingly tactless (even for me, and I do have several prizes in that arena). I just meant, I thought you either were born with it, or got it as a kid.

Did something environmental bring it on (because I always viewed the air in MN as being, well, unviewable, compared to the air in lots of other places I've been (like this delightful river valley)?

My name is PJ. said...

I've had asthma for 5 years and I'm still not used to suddenly not being able to breathe.

In another 10 years, it will be your back, hip and knees...which will all continue to escalate.

In another 20 years it will be your heart, lungs and bowels...

and then you die, so you can finally rest comfortably. ;)

Yodood said...

Aging is a process whereby you realize that, not only do your sweat glands, hair and lungs not need your permission to do as they will, your entire cellular population has been doing what it wanted ever since you first opened your eyes and breathed it all in. What we call learning to behave is becoming convinced we are in control when all we're doing is learning to predict what we're going to do so well we mistake it for command, claiming or ducking the credit for the deed.

I rate you up with Unremitting Failure in my bumor blog roll. Snark is the only way to fend off the shark.

Marla said...

Take care of yourself, little Pearl. I need you around...and yes, it is all about me.

CatLadyLarew said...

I got my first inhaler about two years ago. Here I thought the coughing and wheezing was just due to a lingering cold. Go figure!