A Different Kind of Thermostat: Part 1

I gasped for air as I stepped out the back door and onto the deck. The sweat began to pour off of me, and I hurried back into the house.

The temperature reading was 105°, and I didn't even bother listening for humidity or barometric pressure readings.

Inside, I grabbed a bottle of water to drink and a towel to dry myself. A day or two ago, my husband and I discussed how it didn't seem that long ago when we were out fishing, hiking, and 4-wheeling.

I enjoyed being outdoors as a child

My kids used to do horse shows and 4-H Rodeos. The weather didn't matter then, and I helped wherever possible.

The dirt in the arena was dry, and I was caked with it. I loved these days.

Outdoor life has always been the life for me. I didn't like being indoors. It drove my mom crazy because I didn't want to go shopping with her.

I just didn't like it, especially clothes shopping. I wanted to go and do other things. Outdoor things.

Mowing the yard was so relaxing and enjoyable. Doing things on my 15-acre hobby farm with kids, dogs, cats, and horses was a dream come true.

My son even brought me four piglets home one day, so we had pigs for a while. They even expected to be scratched when I came home from work, or they would break out.

Looking back to when things were simple

My dad used to call me "his other son". That made me proud. He said that because I would go hunting and fishing with him.

I was there when dad said he had room for me in the boat. Fishing was one of my favorite things to do, plus it gave me dad time, and that time was shared with whoever else was going fishing.

The best fishing by far was for grouper in Florida. Here in South Dakota, the Missouri River Walleye is where you go to enjoy catching and eating.

Pizza and Pool parties for birthdays got to be a tradition. We had the parties for the kids and grandkids at a motel with a pool.

That included aunts and uncles as well. It was a fun and inexpensive time. The birthday child and parents were the ones that we were able to stay overnight in the room, and they could swim the next day before checkout.

Things started to change with my breathing

It got so that I struggled to breathe when I stayed in a motel with a pool. Cough and then cough some more.

Everybody kept asking if I was okay, and my hubby took me back to the room. After that horrible reaction to chlorine, I had to say no. I couldn't attend any more parties, and that felt devastating.

My husband is an avid fisherman too.

We live a hop, skip, and jump from the bridges, and a boat landing on the Missouri River. I haven't been out for so long. The air gets so humid, and it's hard to breathe.

In time, I started getting sick. I thought it was the altitude. I would get short of breath, my heart would go crazy, and I was developing allergies. My doctor thought I had kidney problems. This was the third doctor to test my kidneys, and they have been fine.

Back to my lungs. No matter what is going on with them, I feel so alive, living a happy and fulfilled life.
Stay on the lookout for part two of my story.

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