UNITED STATES—As if relating bad parenting to some cases of ADHD, fibromyalgia, and emotional or psychological disorders was not enough, now it’s time to address the chronic RESPIRATORY ILLNESS HOUSEHOLDS that are a huge drain on Social Security.

May is Asthma Awareness Month and I have found that sometimes a pointed finger is not always the best way. Sometimes a true story can serve as the BEST learning experience. Here are THREE of them:

ONE: Nana and her Cats.

You know that family member that gets stuck with the grunt work others will not do. That was always me, although I admit I would be glad to do it all over again, if it brought her back.

Every single spring my beloved Nana would get incredibly SICK. Living in the ghetto meant you couldn’t have many windows open, but the apartment was five houses from being under a highway, so was it REALLY quality air anyway?

I was pharmaceutical conscious and loved her so much I feared her over-the-counter medicine use. They didn’t work anyway and she had CATS!

Bless her soul, because she worked up until a couple of months before she died at 89 years old and although she cleaned everyday, she rarely moved furniture to vacuum. The clumps of hair and dust (colonies where bacteria, fleas, and mites thrive) would accumulate in inaccessible corners and build up until she had breathing problems.

After moving furniture to vacuum every corner, her respiratory condition would improve. Once I understood what was happening I would go over and thoroughly vacuum around Christmas, and this stopped her from getting so sick. Sometimes she would even remark how she got through the spring without getting sick, never willing to admit that 1+2=3.

That is just her inability to breathe. BRAND NEW RESEARCH links a RARE DISORDER to parasites found in cat feces!

I know I know, you keep that cat box really clean… but do you wash the feline’s feet every single time the cat box is used?

You know, before you chase the contaminated paws off your sink, table, pillow…

The Scientific American is reporting that the bacteria TOXOPLASMOSIS is a factor in “schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, impulsivity and suicidal behavior.” SERIOUS STUFF!

TWO: The Unbelievable Family Member.

A family member worthy of the show “Hoarders” died leaving his spouse with nothing but debt and a big messy house. He was a MIND OVER MATTER kind of man, so when the window chalking cracked and needed replacement, he did what all good hoarders do: he built a cardboard box wall in front if it: out of sight, out of mind.

Skip ahead a decade and his spouse is increasingly sick of respiratory illnesses like asthma and COPD. She quit smoking years ago, but her lungs continue to deteriorate. The doctor questions whether she truly quit smoking, or not.

Me and my grunt-labor takes over and WHAT DO YOU THINK I FOUND, two feet from where she slept? MOLD. The entire backside of his cardboard box wall was covered in it. I remove all the boxes and clean, she finally begins healing.

THREE: Me and my COPD

Every spring I’d get bronchial pneumonia. It happened so many years in a row, I associated it with allergy season and would be forced to take medicine.


Now the only time my nearly nonexistent “COPD” flares, is when it’s allergy season and I do yard work or clean dust. I NEVER get bronchial pneumonia anymore, so DO I REALLY HAVE COPD or was my respiratory system so compromised with smoke and allergens, they could not function effectively during allergy season?

Now consider how MANY low-income homes are full of pets, cigarettes, dirt, and mold-conducive issues.

Asthma affects 6.3 million youth and is the “most common chronic condition among children.” The same pediatric asthma organization tells us that children living in poverty are 2 to 3 times MORE LIKELY to get asthma.

I will leave you with a glimpse of a typical CAGE/HOME for children of these types of parents. The kind of household we only see when a serious crime has been committed, and of such filth responders must wear masks.

Home of parents Amanda Foley and Mark Dorson. Photo Credit: Mark Mulligan/Herald/AP