One day when I was a young boy, I was running down the street

One day when I was a young boy, I was running down the street. I became very winded. I stopped to rest, but I couldn't catch my breath. No matter how I tried, I couldn't breathe well.

My uncle was a lifelong asthmatic; it was easy to conclude that I had inherited the same problem—that it was genetic. My condition was aggravated by severe allergies, and was particularly acute if I got sick during the allergy season. I remember once lying in bed in late August, wondering if I would make it through the night.

August 14, 1995
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