Open Letter to Asthma

I'm diverting from my recent posts to write about how I'm feeling about this. Here goes. 

Dear Asthma,

Hey! I hate your fucking guts! Why?

Where should I start? When I was 7 you came along and suddenly applesauce was horrible because my mom snuck my medication in it. When I was 10, you took my dad, 4 days short of his 40th birthday, in his sleep. He didn't get to say goodbye to me. He didn't get to do a lot of things, but saying goodbye to me and holding me tight one last time ranks high in my 10-year-old brain. Growing up,  I wasn't really able to participate in sports because I'd over exert myself and well, couldn't breathe. So thanks for taking that from me too. Just 8 years after you killed my dad, you decided that we looked all peaceful and shit and managed to scrape together a happy family, and you took my sister. My bright, shiny, happy sister. So full of ambition and light and dreams. Two months after she died, because of the insane medication you require, I had a full blow grand mal seizure where my already grieving mother watched me turn blue. You decided that my life at Ball State, where I had friends and loved my life, wasn't really going to pan out, so you wreaked havoc on my freshman year of school, and not 6 months after we buried my sister, I was home on leave for asthma problems. You're such an asshole.

You have tormented me for the past year. Terrified me with your instability and unpredictability. Forcing me to live in fear that I too will die young and leave my husband and daughter as bereft as I feel.

And now you've decided to go for my daughter.

What the hell is that.

Don't I deserve a break? I had such a terrible pregnancy. Terrible labor. Terrible birth. Terrible post-partum time. Terrible time breastfeeding. Terrible time with colic.

Really asthma? Seriously?

I can't tell if I'm hyperventilating (ha! I made a breathing joke, get it?) because I'm so terrified you're coming for her, or if I'm overreacting, as I am prone to do when I get wind of you sneaking up on me. Just as I am happy, it seems like here you are! SURPRISE! It seems so inevitable. This precious being named for Bearer of Light. I recently found out that unbeknownst to me, my sister wanted to name her first born daughter Lucy. Bearer of light. It seems so natural on some level that of course you're coming for her. My baby. So natural, but so unjust on another level.

So very, very wrong.

And I really, really hate you for it.


  1. Wow, Heather. Wow. I had no idea that it was asthma that took your Dad and sister.

    This is an incredibly powerful letter. Powerful.

    What a struggle with this monster called asthma. And to now feel like this monster is coming for your beautiful baby girl (I know she is not an actual baby, but she will always be your baby).

    I wish I was magic and could make it go away. All I can do is keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Love to you.

  2. Cathartic. Beautifully written, every word. And you know what? You give it right back to asthma every time you start one of the new wonder drugs (I like to think of Advair as a nice F you drug), exercise at the gym, or chase after a running bearer of light. Take that asthma.

  3. I don't know what else to say but, "WOW." Really.

  4. ditto to Robin.
    Gotta be cathartic to get it down.

  5. Thanks ladies. I appreciate the support. I'm feeling better; the anger has passed.


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