Three years later I was still getting colds, flu and coughs every year. I would be in bed for up to a week at a time, coughing, nose dribbling and feeling foul all over. I also had long term lower back pain, which used to throb and would leave me in tears because of the long, deep aching that went on and on. It was always in the background, even when the acute pain died down.
Asthma is as scary as hell
I was still a bad asthmatic. Asthma is the most frightening and debilitating thing that I have ever experienced. Generally, whenever you hurt yourself or you are in pain, you know that you will be okay. However, asthma attacks you at the core as it is your breath that is taken away. I couldn’t count the times that, in the middle of the night, I would cry in despair, praying for sleep, but I was unable to lie down for fear of not breathing and dying. Panic would set in and the overwhelming fear was that I might die if I didn’t get any more air into my lungs.
When you lose your breath, the best thing to do is to calm down and relax, but of course when you can’t seem to get enough air, the opposite happens. You become stressed and upset and sometimes, particularly in children, you start to cry, which limits your air intake even further. It is a devastating, terrifying and humbling experience. I genuinely thought I might die many, many times during those long dark nights of breathlessness. All my concentration was focused on getting air into my lungs; just breathing, just breathing, just breathing …
Hitting a crossroads
The asthma was stifling my life and stopping me from living fully in so many ways. I was taking 16 shots of Ventolin most days for many years. I had also developed bad skin and had pimples and bumps all over my face and body, with seemingly no rhyme nor reason. No amount of medical potions or creams ever worked to get rid of them. To add to all this I suffered from bad hay-fever, oily skin, poor digestion, bloating, long term constipation, fatigue, tiredness, and I was fat. At one stage my weight ballooned to a chubby 80 kg for a man of my stature (I now weigh a lean and healthy 70 kg, as I did when I was a teenager).
To be blunt, I was a mess
My girlfriend at the time was studying to become a naturopath (a natural medical practitioner). She looked me in the face one day in a moment of brutal honesty, and said, ‘You are pathetic. You take drugs all the time for your sickness and yet you do nothing about it. Why don’t you try something different? Take some responsibility; change your life and stop eating all that crap food. You are not going to be an effective father if you are sick all the time. Stop the complaining and the drug taking and get to the real cause of the problems instead: your diet.’
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.