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In through your nose, out through your mouth

Puff%2C+puff%2C+pass+me+that+inhaler.+This+is+Kendra+Merris%27s+third+inhaler+of+the+year.+The+inhaler+only+has+48+puffs+left+out+of+the+200+it+came+with.+%22That+inhaler+has+been+through+a+lot%2C+it+was+the+inhaler+that+saved+me+from+this+last+attack.%22
Puff, puff, pass me that inhaler. This is Kendra Merris's third inhaler of the year. The inhaler only has 48 puffs left out of the 200 it came with.

Puff, puff, pass me that inhaler. This is Kendra Merris's third inhaler of the year. The inhaler only has 48 puffs left out of the 200 it came with. "That inhaler has been through a lot, it was the inhaler that saved me from this last attack."

Kendra Merris

Kendra Merris

Puff, puff, pass me that inhaler. This is Kendra Merris's third inhaler of the year. The inhaler only has 48 puffs left out of the 200 it came with. "That inhaler has been through a lot, it was the inhaler that saved me from this last attack."

Kendra Merris, Reporter

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In through your nose, out through your mouth.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that in my life, I’d be rich. My name is Kendra Merris, and I have asthma. If you go to this school, you have most likely heard about my asthma attacks. I have lived with this my entire life, I remember growing up taking my breathing treatments while other kids were outside playing. As a kid, it wasn’t as bad, it got bad in middle school. Timed miles started and I was fine at first. Then in 6th grade I started track, I ran every day after school but my asthma didn’t like that; I had asthma attack after asthma attack– too many to count. I wasn’t able to do track junior year because of it and now senior year I can’t for that and other reasons. There are attacks that stand out, like the time Austin Stanley, a former student from Meridian, had to pick me up and carry me inside, even with his broken arm. Or there’s the time I had to run that timed mile and I had an asthma attack. I remember the burning in my chest as I ran trying as hard as I could to get that presidential time, it didn’t hit me until I was done. I couldn’t breathe, I went to the office and I was white and blue. I was going down fast, I could barely keep my eyes open. I was so scared; my mom finally got there and she and the nurse got me breathing again but were so close to calling the ambulance. I hated it.

Most people think I hate to run from what I say. I joke around about my asthma like, “My time will be like an hour and a half because he will forget to stop the timer when I hit the ground.” or “I hate running,” but that’s not true. I actually love to run. What I don’t love is what happens to my body when I do run. The burning in my chest as soon as I start running. The pain I get in my head because of lack of oxygen. I hate gasping for air, the nasty taste of my inhaler, the shaking I have after I take it. I hate the “Are you okays?” even though they are just wanting to know how I am doing. I hate that I can’t just run, so many things have to be right for me to be able to run– like the weather. I would love to be able to go outside whenever I want and run but that’s just not practical for me.

I don’t like the fact that a timed mile stresses me out so much. I hate that everyone in my classes can just run and feel fine. Like today everyone was just running, and there I was four laps in and already hitting the ground from an asthma attack. Friends running to come help me because they probably already saw it coming. I have wonderful friends that come over to pick me up and help me inside the whole time telling me those words, in through your nose, out through your mouth. I love them, they help me so much, one of them literally knows exactly what to do every time I have one, Drew Newberry. But I hate the fact that they have to do that, they couldn’t finish their mile because of me. I hate feeling like I can’t do it. I push myself so hard and I know I shouldn’t but who likes to feel like they can’t do something? I just wanna be able to breathe easy, in through my nose, out through my mouth.

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In through your nose, out through your mouth