Every first Tuesday in the month of May is tagged “World Asthma Day”.
Here is a poem to You from an imaginary asthmatic patient … who could very well be the person next door or the one you meet on the street. Just replace ‘mom’ with your name.
I am not weak. I am not lazy. I only have asthma.
You say I am not “wife material” because I cannot scrub, clean and dust.
No problem. I’ll rather be alive than be a wife.
I remember the first time I had an attack.
Just a ‘regular cough’ I thought, until it wasn’t.
It was ‘a cough’ deep in my throat but I couldn’t get it out.
You said I was lazy, I needed to try harder.
The harder I tried, the more I cried.
Like fuel to a fire, chest pain and panic combined.
They fuelled the tears and I felt more helpless.
Sinking, suffocating and drowning,
I needed air but it forsook me.
Or why was I the only one wheezing?
“Finally, air!” as the cold wind blew against my face…
I was sadly mistaken ‘cause it only made things worse!
My airways collapsed like clashing cymbals,
As my heart beat like a frenzied drummer.
My face tightened along with my chest, and my lungs were on fire.
“What’s wrong?” you asked.
But I couldn’t risk losing the little air in my lungs so I was quiet.
You took me to the hospital, thankfully,
And broncho-dilators put out the fire.
I was tired but I smiled weakly.
The doctor said I should avoid my triggers,
‘cause they’ll only launch an attack:
Smoke, mildew, dust and mould,
Cold air, pet dander, and certain foods.
Physical and emotional stressors were not left out too.
So I now stay away when Aunty Latifah is frying palm oil,
And beg Uncle Mikailu not to burn tobacco or grass.
I’ve learnt that I can control asthma so I lift my head high.
Share this with everyone ’cause I need them to know
That I am not weak, neither am I lazy; I only have asthma.
Written by Mercy Folayan.
This letter shows some of the things people with asthma face. I hope you understood it all and will be more empathetic to every one you meet.
One more thing you can do, share this so their voices will be heard.
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6 thoughts on “I am not weak… I only have asthma.”
Thank you ma!
This is lovely! Well done
Thank you! You’re much appreciated.
medical books should be written in poems so they can be interesting to read as this piece…lol
Kuuse in Yoruba
Abi now? That would make things a whole lot easier.
Thank you dear.