Glasses and Asthma

What do glasses have to do with asthma?

Well, college aged son came home and was standing in the living room and looking at the BIG clock on the wall (it's about 3 feet across.) He said, "You know - I can see the numbers on the clock, but I can't see the lettering."

I looked up at the clock, and could clearly see the lettering with my glasses. I took off my glasses and couldn't see the numbers or the lettering. I told him he should set an appointment with the eye doctor, because he probably needed glasses too. I wondered how long he was having a hard time seeing? Why didn't he say anything before?

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A short time later, he came home with a prescription in his hand. I knew it! A week later, he came home wearing his new glasses. I noticed him looking around the room - up and down, side to side. I asked if he could see new things now that he couldn't see before? He said yes. I asked if he realized he had missed out on so much ? He said no, that he had no idea he was missing anything.

We joked that now he can feel just like Arthur, from the PBS cartoon series. My kids used to watch that show when they were little.

There's an episode, called "Arthur's Eyes", where Arthur gets glasses. He had no idea of all the things he was missing.

As Arthur's parents are driving him home from getting his first pair of glasses, he's in the back seat looking around. He says:

"Look at that airplane way up there! Hey, those trees have leaves! Hey mom, you have grey hairs on your head! Dad, have you always had those bags under your eyes?"

We always laughed at that episode, but also felt bad that Arthur didn't realize how bad his eyes were.

Asthma and the new normal

It reminds me of the people with asthma who don't realize that they could be breathing better. They don't know what they are missing.

I met a college aged woman who didn't know she had asthma when she was younger. She had a hard time keeping up in dance class, but didn't think much of it. One day, she collapsed and ended up in the emergency room.

The doctors there diagnosed her with asthma and gave her a breathing treatment for the first time in her life. She was shocked to find out that it was easy to breath! Who knew? She had no idea that she had asthma, and that breathing shouldn't be a struggle.

The doctor gave her a rescue inhaler (as well as a daily maintenance inhaler to keep the swelling down in her lungs.) She had no idea how bad she had been before. She just didn't know any better.

And once she started on the right asthma medicine, it was easy to breathe. And she could keep up in dance class!

For those of you who are just diagnosed with asthma (or maybe just started on a different inhaler), how do you feel?

How does it feel being able to breathe better now? Did you realize what you were missing?

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