It’s funny. I was just sitting here, feeling the nice cool autumn breeze. So refreshing!
For some unfathomable reason, I started to think about that time a few years ago. I had been fighting asthma for a few weeks, and no matter what I did, it seemed to just keep getting worse. I was a fifth grade teacher at the time, and I had to talk all day. I had to talk over 25 happy ten year olds. I had to talk over the sound of the kids in the hallway and the kids in the cafeteria.
My throat was always sore and I was hoarse. And the asthma was making me short of breath and a little dizzy.
I remember that I was on two different inhalers, an antihistamine by day and a different one by night, a nose spray and some herbal things.
That cough just kept building up on me. But you know what? I was a typical working woman. I just kept plugging along. I didn’t miss one day of school.
Finally, though, I did break down and go the doctor. He told me that I had a fairly serious case of bronchitis and was “well on the way” to pneumonia. He changed one of my inhalers, added prednisone and a strong antibiotic.
He suggested that I take a few days to recuperate.
But I was a fifth grade teacher, with 25 kids depending on me. Plus, it was the week of our annual three day camping adventure in the woods of New Hampshire. I tried to drink extra water and eat well. I went to bed early when I could.
I didn’t stay home, though. I didn’t go to bed.
Actually, I packed my bag and grabbed all my medicines. Then I got on the big yellow bus and took 75 fifth graders on a camping trip in the cold rain.
You know why?
Because I’m a woman. I just didn’t think a little pneumonia would be that big a deal.