As I ran and breathed in the crisp cold air, an unwelcome and familiar grip squeezed my chest. In seconds, breathing became harder and more labored, forcing me to stop and try to reclaim my breath. Asthma, my dear enemy, was back, and I knew its companion bronchitis would potentially follow right on its heels.
Unlike acute bronchitis, the chronic version is a lifelong condition; I should know, as I’ve had it since I was a baby. It is not contagious and is not caused by bacteria or a virus. It does, however, damage the lungs by permanently scarring them. My lungs are in such poor shape that doctors who don’t know me accuse me of lying when I tell them that I was never a smoker.
The battle usually begins with an environmental allergy, the reaction to which appears as asthma symptoms that quickly deepen. Once bronchitis sets in, I have a deep and persistent cough that lasts for two to three months. And nothing can coax bronchitis to leave until it feels like leaving.
Having lived with chronic bronchitis for most of my life, I have developed strategies to control and manage my asthma so it doesn’t get between me and my running. Read more >>