I hate not being able to breathe, but not being able to sleep because of it is even more annoying.
The first year I came to college, I got sick a lot. Part of that reason is because of the horrible diet, lack of sleep, and a roommate who catches every cold that is going around (thanks, Amber), but the other part I found out when I went to see the doctor for a particularly miserable cold halfway through my first semester. He informed me I have asthma. Asthma can affect a few of things about you. One is that you have trouble breathing, and another is you get sick a lot easier.
Luckily for me, I don't have a particularly strong case of asthma. It is mostly set off by allergies and bad air. Unfortunately, I have year-round allergies and I decided to go to school in Cache Valley, where the inversion every winter makes national television because it is so bad. I used to make fun of the group of people who were cautioned every morning on the weather forecast not to go outside, and now I am one of them.
People think asthma is funny. I am here to tell you that no, it is not funny to those who have it. I have on occasion made a crack about using my inhaler, but I am very grateful for it. When asthma symptoms get worse, your airways constrict and your nasal passages start producing lots of mucus that goes down your throat (yuck!). With this lovely combination in mind, imagine how difficult it would be to breathe. Not fun. Inhalers save lives.
It really bugs me that people don't take asthma seriously. When people think of an asthma attack they think of that kid from Goonies who puffs on his inhaler every five seconds. Adversely, I hate to use it as a crutch. I let my asthma be my excuse for the first year or so. I remember walking around campus one day, and I saw the woman's rugby team running the stairs on Old Main. I exchanged hellos with the coach, and he asked me if I have ever been interested in playing rugby (they're always so willing to recruit). I said, "No thanks, I have asthma." He replied, "Well we've got several girls with asthma on the team, and I keep a whole sack of inhalers in my car."
I never joined the rugby team, but that stuck with me. I doubt he had a whole sack of inhalers, but the fact that people still remain active with asthma made me calm down a bit. We who suffer from asthma are just the same as everyone else- we just carry an inhaler wherever we go.
Now I am running on about two hours of sleep. Oh, joy. Two hours and twenty minutes before I can call the Student Wellness Center. I still can't sleep for fear of dying, and I can't eat the toast I fixed because there isn't a lot of room to swallow. Asthma may be manageable, but it sucks.