I wasn't at work today because I didn't want to deal with my boss. So, I decided to enjoy my day off, slept in until Dad woke me up by stealing my dirt. I'm very attuned to my dirt and can sense when anyone else is messing with it. That and he shouted out "I'm stealing your dirt."
I didn't mind too much, it was about 11 am by then, and he gave me the dirt in the first place. He's repairing a fence and had to remove a bunch that had piled up at it's base. He was just going to throw it away until I told him I'd take it. I want to build some raised beds to start a garden in the spring. This is good soil too, maybe a bit sandy, but that's the norm for around here.
I decided to go for a bike ride today, I've been riding a lot at work but, those are mainly short hops. I do a pretty decent ride on Mondays though, where I go down every street on the property and all around the outside. It's only about three miles, but the whole place is on a slant with a couple hundred feet of grade over just a quarter mile. I love nothing more than to tear up those inclines and fly back down. Even so, this only takes me about half an hour, and that's with stopping to check out the empty homes.
I've done two hour rides on my stationary with no problem, but since I started riding at work I've been neglecting it. Lack of stamina wasn't my problem today though. My problem was all the fucking cars spewing toxic gas straight into my lungs. I haven't had an asthma attack in years, but all it took to set one off today was five miles in light traffic.
There should be a law banning any vehicle made more than ten years ago from the road. I kept getting stuck behind these behemoths from the sixties, but the worst offender was this big white truck that could not have been street legal. Damned smoke coming off that thing sent me into a coughing fit. I was about half way out at that point and tried to keep going, but only made it a couple blocks before turning for home. Thankfully I had decided to go uphill and was able to coast most of the way back.
(Is this how I have to dress just to go riding? Isn't the Helmet bad enough? I look like a freaking mushroom with glasses.)
I was dead when I got back, all my muscles were leaden. My chest took the better part of an hour to loosen up completely. You know what really sucks? This was what I would consider a mild attack. If you've never had asthma, you just cant know how bad it can be. I've heard it likened to trying to breathe through a straw, but it's always felt more like drowning in fresh air to me. No matter how hard or fast you try to breathe, it doesn't work; that oxygen just will not get into your blood stream.
Now imagine being a little kid and trying to deal with that. Children like that, they don't need to be taught about death. Death is in the very air around them. Death is that band that tightens around their chest until they want to scream, but don't have the air to do so. There's help though, a little inhaler filled with albuterol.
Those inhalers are the difference between life and death for millions of children. But, they also contain a small amount of CFC propellant, and as we all know CFC's damage the ozone layer. So, some well intentioned idiot, who's clearly never had trouble breathing, decided to ban all CFC based inhalers. Never mind the fact that there is no other product on the market that's even half as effective.
The next best one has actually proven to be deadly to people with certain allergies. A slight problem, since asthma and allergies often come in a package deal.
So, imagine again that you're a kid with asthma, but you've got your trust inhaler, you never leave home without it. Now imagine that it just stops working, that it actually makes your asthma attacks worse. What do you do? You try to tell your parents, but don't have enough breath. They try to help by giving you your inhaler, it's always worked before. Why won't it work now?
They rush you to the hospital, but it's too late. You've slipped into a coma because there wasn't enough oxygen getting to your brain. Your last words “Mommy, Mommy, help me, do something, I'm dying.”
Please sign the petition to save CFC asthma inhalers. βeta, out.