Illustration 1: “Transformational” Owton, 2012, Charcoal, 297x420mm, 130gsm, white cartridge paper

Cross country; years and years running,
Huuuuuge amounts of training,
Puzzled; getting nowhere… slower and slower,
Not occurring that I had undiagnosed asthma.
Germany, in the street collapsed,
Running killed off!
Painful; bit of a shame; quite upset,
Brittle asthma; late onset,
Looked at sadly; doctors telling people,
“Well you haven’t had it before and now you have”
Slightly unusual asthma; aspirin intolerable.

Town planner; on site to office confinement,
5 mile runs at lunchtime – couldn’t even get to my car from the office,
Without resting; seating on walls; breathing crisis,
For others, contractors; committee meetings frightening,
Seeing me wheezing unable to speak; more alarming,
Amusing; not thinking it might be permanent; simple denying,
Subtle; early signs of depression,
Eased out of job; retired early, redundant,
Slow realisation! No more denial; difficulty untangling,
Side effects of acute asthma from unwanted depression,
Trying to exercise; slow walking, asthma inhibiting.

Doctor suggesting alternatives; experimentation,
Steroid injections,
Overnight, asthma vanishing,
Suddenly I was exercising,
Wonderful feeling!
I’m cured! More denying…
You can’t forever have steroid injections,
Allowed me to build fitness; combating
slow insidious lack of muscle toning,
Asthma had been bringing,
Able to be moving; depression vanishing.

Stopped injections,
Asthma stopped me exercising; returned depression,
Took up cycling, cycling more easy than walking,
Discovering freewheeling,
Short bursts; freewheel a bit and get around again,
Getting the pleasure of exercising,
Same time; depression seemed to worsen,
My doctor thought, “You’re interested in psychology, see a psychologist”…
Inept psychologist, “I’m a lot more sane!”

Pacing myself, working,
Joinery; given book token…
Bright yellow – Idiots guide to hypnosis, picking,
Incredibly calming; scripts, just reading,
My interest in hypnosis introducing, g r o w i n g,
Asthma and hypnosis training,
Funny synchronicity things,
3 years later; completed the training,
Reasonably good qualification in hypnotising,
Also… asthma periodic not constant becoming,

I’ve become a lot more active physically,
Now; exercise inducing,
Exercise regime starting slowly,
Increasing brisk hill walking,
Asthmatic response to exercise reducing slightly,
No long distance running unfortunately,
I do miss it. It’s a pity.
I rarely say I may have asthma,
Not really noticeable any longer,
GP was a naughty experimenter!
Rather than sticking to the books ever.

I don’t really have asthma attacks any longer,
Fantastic! Blocked nose still, seems to be getting better,
Anoxia; wife helps me,
Unaware; creeps up gradually,
Bloating; unusualness peacefulness,
Bit fatter,“Do you have asthma?”
“Oh actually, maybe”, I consider,
“If you die of asthma I’ll dig you up and kill you!” She kindly tells me,
Infection; floors me for two days or three,
Take advantage; pamper myself, books reading,
Enjoy the relaxation; also a positive experience in a funny way.

An unusual form of asthma,
I’ve no memory of having problems,
As a child I know I was free of asthma.

Dr Helen Owton is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Northampton

Categories: Visual Sociology

1 reply »

  1. Transforms data into poetry and visual representation. Well done, Helen!

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