Not an Asthmatic

May 1, 2011
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My mom would frantically shake me in the middle of the night and I would wake up just before I drowned. I couldn’t come up for air, always kicking for it, but never reaching the surface. However, doctors or medicine were always able to jump into my sea and pull me back up to land so I could breathe.

I was born blue and put into a machine that could breathe for me right away. The doctors told my mother I wouldn’t survive the night, the priest was crying when he baptized me, and my dad said, “Call me when Paige dies,” to my mother. Death seemed inevitable. However, I survived and lived to see another day. It was always like that in my childhood, make sure I live another day and we’ll worry about the next later. Time went by slowly, taking each day one at a time.

I never lasted long in public school; I would always get sick a month later and end up in the hospital so I was homeschooled. At home, if I started to sink, I could be pulled out of the waves easily. I could play tennis, have friends, and swim in my pool easily, without worrying about the riptide trying to pull me in. My asthma could be handled. Sometimes though, the rip would sweep me away.

It got to where it couldn’t be controlled. I wasn’t displaying normal symptoms and the doctors wondered why so I was sent to the top hospital for asthma in the nation, National Jewish. After two weeks of testing and torture, I found out why I wasn’t normal.

“She’s not an asthmatic,” the doctors said.

After I found out I had Mitochondrial Disease, my breathing problems disappeared and I left my sea far behind me. All those years on the verge of drowning could have been avoided, but I would do it all over again to stay the person I am today and to keep the memories I have developed.

I am not an asthmatic, but I would not take back the years I was one.





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