By Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.

Today I wheezed, today I sneezed, 
today I learned a lesson.
That breathing in and out each day
Is really quite a blessing.

Some tubes connect my mouth to my lungs, 
And at times they swell up like balloons.
And when they do, the air squeeks through,
So my breathing appears out of tune.

This swelling occurs when I pat the dog,
 Or run out in the cold.
When grass is cut, or leaves are raked,
Or when there's lots of mold.

I’m absent when the tubes swell tight.
Some say I'm playing hooky,
But when breathing is a struggle,
I can't even eat a cookie.

I've learned what I've got is called asthma.
It's a good thing for me that I'm bright.
I test my breathing at the start of each day,
And avoid things that make the tubes tight.

The dog sleeps in the basement.
I keep my stuffed toys clean.
No one's allowed to smoke inside,
Hope you don't think that's mean.

Sometimes no matter what I do
The tubes swell anyhow,
But I have tricks tucked up my sleeve.
I'll share some with you now.

I puff special medicine into my mouth
With a nebulizer gadget.
It works to open up the tubes.
It really is like magic.

Before I play some basketball 
Or run out in the rain,
I puff a different medicine.
Then I can join the game.

I don't eat many junk foods,
And I try hard not to whine.
These tricks help me stay healthy,
So most times I'm just fine.

If breathing in and breathing out
A zillion times each day,
Is something you do without thinking a thought,
Thank God for this gift when you pray.

...for a Spanish version

To the frog ponds
To send me a poem
To the site map

Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: September 11, 2005