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Beware that recurrent flu could be sign of asthma onset

 Asthma is a long-term disease of the lungs. [iStockphoto]

I lived my entire childhood life in a semi-arid area where temperatures were always high.

Throughout my life, I had gotten used to taking cold baths, and playing in water couldn't cause any harm.

After my high school studies, I got admitted to a university in Nairobi. I was very excited because I saw it as an opportunity to change the environment.

When I arrived in the city in July, the weather was extremely cold. I carried on my habit of having cold baths and after a week, I started sneezing frequently and had the flu.

Calling my parents on the phone back at home, my mother advised me to make good use of the honey I had carried from home to get rid of the flu.

Taking the bee honey continuously did not get rid of the flu. I then went for a checkup. A chemist prescribed antibiotics to get rid of the flu-like symptoms.

The flu turned into a serious cough. One night I felt chest pain and started wheezing.

It was a long night of breathing difficulty and pain. I could not sleep. I felt that I had to do something to change my health status.

 Asthma may cause difficulty breathing, chest pain, cough and wheezing. [iStockphoto]

In the last three years, I had been purportedly treating the flu and now the medic tells me that I have asthma.

A diagnosis was drawn from the symptoms that I gave and the test showed that my heart rates were altered.

For the first medication, I was given antibiotics to clear any chest infection and an inhaler to solve breathing difficulties.

I took almost half of the medication and when I felt a bit relieved, I kept the rest.

I was on and off with my medication, at some point I would go to the chemist to buy half of the dose when in need.

In the latest attack, I found myself in the hospital again in a serious condition. The doctor's test results showed that my lungs had reduced in size.

I had to be put on oxygen to support my breathing system.

The doctor opted for nebulisation to ease my breathing system, decrease and prevent wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and tightness in my chest.

My life now depends on inhalers as I try to manage my condition by avoiding cold and dust, which are believed to be high triggers of asthma.

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