I have asthma. I’ve probably had it my whole life, but wasn’t diagnosed until I was 29 and even then not officially until I was 30. That was also the first time I heard a doctor say “Oh my God!” during an examination of me. The official diagnosis that is when she listened to my lungs and immediately put me on the mist. Then she allergy tested me. Then she referred me to an allergy specialist who submitted me to the medical board to determine whether or not I was medically fit to remain in the Air Force. I was hoping to get the boot, but alas, I was only put on profile restricting me to stateside assignments only. That also meant I couldn’t deploy which I was ok with, but that played a big factor in my decision to get out when my time was up.
When I was allergy tested, I tested positive (very positive) to 5 of the 8 molds used. The doctor went over the results with me ending with, “I don’t remember which of those 5 are outdoor and which are indoor, but both are covered and as long as you live in England, you are screwed.” That explained the foxhole incident when I was in mob school. I was given enough medication to survive without constant wheezing, and even got to the point by the last couple years there that I rarely needed albuteral because I was rarely having attacks. But harvest season was a whole different ball game. Harvesting killed me. Despite the daily steroid inhaler and the addition of allegra, I would be hitting the albuteral every couple of hours. Harvesting kicked up enough stuff into the air to aggravate my condition.
I have several conditions that get aggravated. The one that gets aggravated the most I think is my self-centeredness. Being honest with myself aggravates it even more than other people do, and other people aggravate it a lot. I mean, really. Other people just will not do what I want, when I want, and the way I want. The nerve. Being honest with myself aggravates my condition by showing me how self-destructive my self-centeredness is. Particularly when my self-centeredness is feeding off of self-pity.
I think self-pity might be my drug of choice. It hurts to the point that I can’t take the pain, and so then I have to numb it with something. But my off button doesn’t work, so that my self-medication is just as destructive. It aggravates my condition. But it is familiar, and there is comfort in familiarity no matter how insane it is.