Saturday, October 08, 2011

The asthmatic said: "Who else is gonna do it?"

Several years ago my 75-year-old Uncle Mickey was admitted to the hospital because he fell off a roof.  Once he was feeling better I asked him, "So why did you do it?"

He said, "Who else was gonna do it?"

My first instinct was that anyone could have fixed his roof.  Now in retrospect I understand his answer better, because it -- whatever needed to be fixed -- was something he did himself his entire adult life.  It was just nature for him to take up the task himself.

To ask for help would be admitting he was old, and he wasn't ready for that yet.  

Today as I was cleaning the garage, a week after having my worst asthma attack in ten years during hunting camp last week, I said to my wife, "You know, I really shouldn't be doing this.  But who else is gonna do it?"

She said -- and with a smile, mind you -- "If you never did things because of allergies you'd never do anything.  You'd just sit on a couch getting fat."  

She was right.  We humans -- at least those among us who aren't lazy -- have a natural tendency to want things done, and there are certain things we do ourselves.  A perfect example is cleaning the basement or cleaning the garage.  Who else is gonna do it?

So, despite a chronic condition, or despite aging on my Uncle's part, we just do it regardless of the risk.  We may be a little slower, and we may have to pace ourselves -- in my case I had to quit before I was done -- yet who else is gonna come in and clean up my junk and my kid's junk.

That's right!  No one.  It's a job even an extrinsic asthmatic has to do.  And then we must consider the consequences of our actions.  

While my uncle was a goofus because he didn't want to admit he was aging, there are times I don't want to admit I have asthma.  While asthmatics like me want to be normal, we really aren't.  We will always have limitations due to our asthma.  

The trick is to make the best of it. The trick is to get the most out of life given our limitations.  Yet a truly gallant asthmatic will admit his limitations and find someone else to clean the basement and garage.

So I guess the purpose of this post is to admit that your humble asthmatic RT here is not a true gallant asthmatic.  I'm also not normal, if you know what I mean:  I have extrinsic asthma.

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