Mid 90s. Spring. The end of May. Darkened room of a public organization. Opposite the door on the cabinet is a bouquet, on the wall is a garland of flowers. The door is opened and a baby of 4–5 years old crawls into the gap and draws in his hand a young mother talking to someone in the corridor. Mom turns her head, enters the room and exclaims: “Theme, wait! Flowers! ” The child instantly blushes and, having buried, mothers in a hem, begins to suffocate. All present rush to him.
The child departs from an attack of suffocation on the street, after 20-30 minutes, having received portions of anti-asthma drugs. I ask my mother: “What colors did you talk about?” She replies indignantly: “How, about what? They hung lilies there, and he, as he sniffs them, immediately begins to choke. He has asthma. ” – “It is possible, but there are hanging flowers odorless. They are artificial, they have remained since March 8 ”.
And here is another story about an asthma patient that I learned at the beginning of 2004 from the lips of a pretty woman of about 50, who came to me with a request to tell me what she can do to prevent her son from being expelled from the ninth grade of the school. From the conversation it turned out that his son had a disability of group II in bronchial asthma, and in a month would be 19 years old. I ask: “But what, he is not allowed to finish his studies because of age?” – “Yes, no. He himself has not been attending classes since November. ” – “What does he do?” – “I got a job in a car service center, where I prepare cars for painting.” – “With asthma?” – “Yes.” – “And that, he had no episodes for this time?” – “No, he does not want to re-examination.”
I was interested in this situation, and we got into a conversation. It turned out that the son is the second child, the daughter was born 13 years earlier. “Sorry, but the birth of a son, by chance, was not caused by a desire to save the family?” I asked. She was silent for a moment and answered quietly: “Now I think so!” He asked me to tell you more about everything, starting with the birth of my daughter.
The woman thought for a moment, and then told the following story: she gave birth to a daughter in her last year at the institute, before defending her diploma. My husband, who had graduated from college before, had already worked. She and his parents helped with the first installment for a cooperative apartment, the rest had to be paid. Having seduced her daughter up to two years, she began to work by profession. My daughter was not sick, she visited the kindergarten, and at first grandmothers helped pretty well. At work, “hit the stream” and a few years later began to lead a small team, and then was appointed chief specialist.
Her husband’s career was not so swift, and more and more he had to deal with his daughter’s household and educational affairs alone. They quarreled sometimes. The first serious conflict between her and her husband occurred in the eleventh year of their life together. He went to live with his parents. For three months they lived separately, until her daughter forced her to “beg her dad to return home.”
A year went by, and in the second year, conflicts began to arise again, and at work everything went awry. My husband was doing better, he found a business that brought good income. And she suddenly decided to give birth to a second child. A strong and healthy baby was born. My husband’s dream of a son came true. Maternity leave for childcare up to 3 years quickly and easily flew by.
When her son was three years old, she, despite the protests of her husband, went to work. Perestroika was in full swing in the country, something incomprehensible was happening at work, a disgruntled husband met at home, the older generation was unable to help, his daughter studied, and his son began to get sick more and more often. During one visit, the pediatrician wrote on the card that the boy had asthmatic bronchitis. In the evening, the husband said something offensive and they quarreled. The son, hearing their hassle, suddenly coughed, and then began to choke. An hour later they were in the hospital. The husband, having refused a profitable business trip, visited them every day, and after discharge in his arms he brought his son home.
At work, they began to delay salaries, the son was unwell, his daughter needed an eye and an eye, and the woman decided to become a housewife, since her husband was doing well. Once my husband came to drink heavily, there was a scandal during which his son began an attack of suffocation, and again they are in the hospital, after two months everything is repeated again. Once again, they returned home with a diagnosis of asthma.
After that, whoever was not treated, wherever they went, how much money was spent – not counted. My son went to school late – they registered disability. He studied at home in the third and fourth grades, and mastered fifth grade in two years. During her son’s studies in the fifth grade, she drew attention to the fact that he had asthma attacks during his parents ’quarrels, before tests and, almost always, before making any serious efforts. She believed that this was natural for this disease, learned how to prevent quarrels in the presence of her son, began to gradually prepare him for the upcoming difficulties, agreed in advance with teachers on creating sparing conditions in the classroom.
The summer before the eighth grade and the following autumn and winter passed practically without bouts, but she put him in the hospital for examination, got the necessary certificates and forced her son, after re-examination, to receive a disability group and issue a “white ticket” at the military enlistment office. Two months later, as his son was noted to be 18 years old, his father left the family and filed for divorce. The son sat for a week in his room without talking to anyone. To everyone’s surprise, the eighth grade was completed successfully. In the summer, without asking her, he left for the neighboring region and worked in the club of the sports camp. I went to the ninth grade with pleasure and suddenly dropped out and went to a car service …
We were silent for a moment. “Doesn’t it seem to you that your son’s asthma is psychosomatic?” I asked carefully. “Perhaps you are right,” she answered, thinking. He took an interest in the fate of his daughter – everything is fine with her, but she prefers not to deal with her brother. The husband lives separately, communicates only with children. In the end, I told her what can be done to get her son a certificate of completion of general school (9th grade).
About two years later, I was already working elsewhere, but she found me “to thank for the tips”. Asked how are you. She said that her son (at the insistence of his father) went to the clinic of neurosis, where he underwent “two courses of psychotherapy”, is preparing to pass externally for the 9th grade and plans to attend college in the evening. Disability did not extend. The husband lives separately.
Having worked for over a decade and a half in organizations that provide social assistance to families with children at risk, I have repeatedly participated in various events held for families with children with asthmatics and allergies. I had some experience living with people with asthma. It was my father and grandmother who, ill after 50 years, lived an active life until the age of 80. Therefore, the life of people with asthma has always interested me. Father often said: “When an attack occurs, the main thing is not to panic, not to be scared, no matter how stuffy, after a while, relief will come. The less you get scared, the faster it comes. I felt a shortage of air, force yourself to go to the window, go outside, take a pill (aerosol) and, trying to breathe evenly, calm down . “
Watching the lives of families with children with asthmatics and allergy sufferers, I found that many families have a nervous atmosphere. Its epicenter, as a rule, was: either a mother or a drinking father, sometimes an authoritarian grandmother. Everything seems to be natural. Why not get nervous when a sick child is in the family? But according to the estimates of many psychologists and psychiatrists in no less than 70%, asthma (and allergies) in a child is a consequence of a developing neurosis provoked by the situation in the family.
I’m sure that doctors specializing in the treatment of allergies and asthma will accuse me of incompetence, and many parents of such children “will let all the dogs down on me.” Only for the former, the “struggle” with these diseases is a source of income, and the latter must be forced to admit, as my second interlocutor did, that their personal ambitions do not always coincide with the interests of the children, and their nervous style of behavior is dangerous for the health of others.
At the same time, one should pay attention to the fact that there are a myriad of specialists in treating asthma and allergies around us, and there are many times fewer psychologists and psychiatrists dealing with neurosis, so their voices are almost inaudible.