Make Asthma Gasp for Air!

Asthma attacks could be quite a scary ordeal when they happen around us to immediate family, relatives, or friends. More often than not, one wonders what to do when such an attack occurs.

While seated at the dining table having a debate on how Mount Everest keeps growing upwards, Leila said she felt the room was stuffy. No one paid attention to her statement because we were a full house. The house windows were still open.

‘Mt. Everest grows by 4mm every year!’ Ken shouted.

‘What do you mean?’ almost everyone questioned Ken.

‘Yes, it grows taller even as we speak.’

‘A mountain is a non-living piece of a huge rock. When you state that it grows by 4mm annually, you are exhibiting symptoms of being psychotic.’ Osinde countered Ken’s statement hilariously.

‘He probably means that since hundreds of people die before reaching the top, their mass leads to the imaginary thought that the mount keeps growing taller.’ Aisha argued.

‘Listen, guys, it is not a bluff. India continues to creep north by 5cm every year, causing Everest to grow by about 4mm per year. Other parts of the Himalayas are however rising at around 10mm per year.’

Everyone went silent.

‘What makes India creep North?’ I asked

‘Simple! The collision between the continental plates of Asia and Europe is still happening today. The collision results in India creeping North, affecting Mt. Everest and even the Himalayas.’ Ken responded gleefully.

‘So, for how long will it keep growing? To infinity? Aisha asked.

Beside me, I heard Leila wheezing while breathing. I asked if she was okay and she said she needed some air. She moved away from the dining area. I followed her. Her breathing became heavier and she was seemingly running out of breath. I called the attention of everyone.

Leila usually has her inhaler that serves the purposes of both rescuing and controlling her breathing. Today was no exception, she had it in her purse. We got it swiftly and had it in her mouth. After a minute or two she resumed normal breathing and it was a sigh of relief as an asthma attack could be a scary ordeal.

Asthma is a medical condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrow, swell, and produce extra mucous disabling proper breathing. Asthma could occur as a minor condition or a life-threatening condition. It is often treated by rescue inhalers that treat symptoms or controller inhalers that prevent symptoms. Severe cases may require longer-acting inhalers or even oral steroids.

Known symptoms of asthma include:

  • Severe wheezing when breathing in and out.
  • Endless coughing.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Retractions of the neck and chest muscles, where they tighten.
  • Difficulty in talking.
  • Feelings of anxiety and panic.
  • Pale and sweaty face.

Asthma isn’t curable but its symptoms are most assuredly controllable by the use of inhalers or oral steroids in severe cases in close conjunction with doctor’s prescriptions.

For some people, asthma flares up during particular instances:

Exercise-induced asthma occurs during a workout when the air gets cold and dry.

Occupational asthma occurs when one’s workplace has irritants such as chemical fumes, gases, or dust.

Allergy-induced asthma is one triggered by airborne substances such as pollen, mold spores, cockroach waste, or particles of skin and dried saliva shed by pets.

The cause of asthma is probably due to a combination of environmental and inherited genetic factors.

While asthma has no known prevention measures, you could adhere to a plan drafted by your doctor as follows:

Write a detailed plan of taking medications and managing asthma attacks and adhere to it strictly.

Getting vaccinated against influenza and pneumonia; diseases that may cause a flare-up of asthma.

Identify and avoid asthma triggers.

Monitor your breathing.

Identify and treat attacks early.

Take medication religiously as prescribed.

Pay attention to increasing quick-relief inhaler use.

Getting back to Aisha’s question about Mount Everest.

‘So, for how long will it keep growing? To infinity? Aisha asked.

 ‘Not really,’ Ken jumped in, ‘as the plate tectonics push the summit higher into the sky, erosion claws away at it. It becomes a plus one minus one scenario. But so you should know, Mt. Everest keeps growing taller as we speak.’

Meanwhile, Everest retains its allure as a mountain at the extreme of what can be found and endured here on Earth. Its reputation as the highest peak on our planet continues to attract climbers from all over the world, even as its height continues to shift.

When Leila came to, she asked, ‘Guys, you are saying Mount Everest keeps growing taller?’

For her sake, the engagement began again. This time she listened through to the end, making her asthma gasp for air.

5 thoughts on “Make Asthma Gasp for Air!”

  1. If It becomes a plus one minus one scenario it means it doesnt grow any taller doesnt it😂😂
    Nice piece!!❤

    • Haha! Let us focus on the plus one of it growing taller. Hadn’t it been growing taller, the erosion would have reduced it to the size of Ngong hills😁😁😁.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I can attest and relate to the events of asthmatic attacks…… there are injections too which are used to relieve the congestion in the chests


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