April 17, 2009

The Tools

When we were little, my older brother and I both had severe asthma, sort of a shared sickness for us. For some reason we were also constantly severely hurting ourselves, add that to the asthma and we spent many many days, nights, weeks, weekends sitting inside our cosy house making cars out of recycled cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls. For some reason I remember it was always raining. I guess this didn't help our asthma too much.

We would have attacks pretty frequently, the way I remember it, and Mum would bring out The Tools.
We had The Inhaler - everyone has an inhaler. But because we were little and it tasted so bad, we had to have the Puffer. I remember it would sit there on the shelf ominously, and we had to be taught to assemble it. We had to wait our turn to be old enough to use the Inhaler on its own.

Sometimes things would get bad enough to use The Mask and you would sit there for ten minutes sounding like Darth Vader.
But you knew it was serious when mum would break out The Machine. You can't sleep for coughing, all the other tools had failed you, now it's time for The Machine. The Machine lurked in the corner doing whatever it is Machines do, darkly, loudly, humidifying.
Every night before bed she'd spread Vicks or Rawleighs all over our chests, then turn on The Machine and you would drift off to the humming emanating from the corner, trying to breathe.

I'm glad it's not so hard to breathe properly these days. The Tools still terrify me.

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