Growing Up With Asthma: ‘I Am 1 Among 15 Million Indians’

Growing Up With Asthma: ‘I Am 1 Among 15 Million Indians’

Fit

Over, 15 million people in the country suffer from asthma. With increasing levels of pollution, smoke and dust, the population of India is choking. This World Asthma Day we talk about how asthma really feels, the triggers, the symptoms and the effects. Follow the story of a girl who has lived with asthma all her life.

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Asthma From the Point of View of a Young Girl

I got my first asthma attack, when I was 7
Right in the middle of my school playground in front of 50 other kids
They thought I was dying
I did too
Back then I didn’t really know what was going on
It felt like someone was sitting on my chest with a load of a million kilos
It felt like someone was hugging me so tight that it crushed my insides
My arms and legs felt like limp noodles
It was almost as if I was breathing through a straw
I felt nauseous, faint, breathless, anxious, lightheaded, heavy, dizzy, weak
Feeling out of breath? Yeah me too
The doctor told me some incomprehensible gibberish about how my airways were inflamed.
The only thing that I could wholly comprehend was that my airways had mucus
And I had Asthma...

At age 15 I was always accompanied with my trusty inhaler and medications
And of course, my omnipresent triggers
Dust
Pollen
Smoke
Animal dander
Anything that made my heart beat faster than usual, was a trigger
I taught myself how to swim though, despite my asthma

At age 20
I get an asthma attack while having sex
Sexy, I know
A vigorous cough takes over
And my lips and skin get a bluish tinge
My chest whistles and I wheeze
All the breath had been sucked out of my chest
It wasn’t so bad though actually, especially when he held my hand and told me it’s going to be okay

At age 25
I pack my bags
And my inhaler.. always my inhaler
I hit the mountains when the city air gets too choked
It’s happening more and more..
Will I have to change my home?
To live. To breathe
I realize I’m not the only one
I am 1 in a 15 million

Editor: Deepthi Ramadas

Camera: Shiv Maurya, Sumit Badola

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