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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'd like to meet asthmatic Teddy Roosevelt

A friend of mine posed a really cool question: If you could go back in time and have a drink with any president, who would you choose? What would you ask him? What would he ask you?

My friend said it would be cool to meet with Grant, get him drunk, and listen to some pretty cool war stories.

Another pal said it would be cool to meet Thomas Jefferson and get his take our most recent interpretations of his writings. I wonder what he would think of America today. Would he be proud, or would he think we totally blew his words out of the water?

I think it would be cool to meet any president, however, the president I told him I would most like to meet and have a drink with would be Teddy Roosevelt. And I wouldn't even care to discuss politics at all.

You see, I have asthma. And Teddy had asthma. I want to know how he did it; how he managed to live with this disease when there were practically no medicines for it back then. It must have been tough, especially when he was a kid.

There were some medicines, like asthma cigarettes. Did he use these? Did he use some form of rare aerosol therapy? (If you like history, you should check out that last link. It's really cool.)

He would ask me about living with asthma in the year 2008. I think he would be surprised at how many people have it now, and flabergasted at all the new medicines and medical technologies.

I've done a lot of research on this, and have found very little on this topic. Oh, there's a ton of information on Teddy, but not much on his asthma.

One book mentioned it briefly, and indicated that his family did not provide him with any asthma remedies at that time. So does that mean he didn't at least trial of the inhalation therapies available at that time, however primitive they were.

While he struggled with asthma as a kid, and nearly died of it once, he ended up moving south where it was warm and dry. And, as an adult, he had fewer episodes.

Still, I would like to know, Teddy, about your asthma experiences and how you coped with them. I'm very curious about this.

3 comments:

Lucky said...

I'm glad you asked.

Asthma was only one of my aliments, and nothing stopped me from having a a bully of a life.

Whenever challenged by illnesses I would always persevere and be a better person for it.

Frankly, overcoming these ailments, such as asthma made me the person I became. No challenge was to large. The bigger the better. In fact, if there were no challenges for me to overcome, why I would create them. This is partially why I spent much of my early years in the deadlands of the Dakotas, and the main reason I took my son and several others with me on a perilous journey near the Amazon after I lost my last campaign.

I can tell that the author of this blog and I have that much in common. We haven't let asthma deter us in anyway, in fact we've actually benefited from it.

Anyway, took me awhile to type this since I wrote free hand all my life, but was happy to take a moment to respond.

Amy said...

Ah, see, you should have asked an English major. This book is by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Truman.:

Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt.

The very first section deals with young Teddy, his asthma, and its impact on his family. The information is a little dated and leans too heavily on the inaccurate asthma-is-largely-pyschological theory, but it's a fascinating read. Let me know how you like it if you check it out.

Freadom said...

I will definitely check it out. Thanks.