Off Topic: Oh, Asthma

Someone asked me what asthma feels like.
This picture from the University of Calgary website pretty much sums it up.

While everyone else in Adelaide is off enjoying the great spring weather, I am stuck indoors with my inhaler. While being indoors for a long stretch really isn't such an ordeal for someone who loves reading and writing anyway and has a few reviews that need she needs to catch up on. But, anyway, asthma is a bit of a scary disease. Here's why:

Asthma can strike at any time.

I take my medications like I am supposed to, and try to avoid things that may it worse (long aeroplane rides for example,) but that doesn't mean that I never have an attack. Anyway, an asthma attack can happen at any time, meaning that no matter where I am or where I'm going and for how short a time, I always have to have my medication on me.

People really don't know how to react when someone has an attack.

This includes people in the medical profession. I remember being in the admissions area of a public hospital and the nurse kept asking me for my personal details while I gasped for breath and tried to pass her my medicare card and driver's licence, which had all relevant details on there. For some reason, and despite me barely being able to breathe, the nurse was insistent that she "hear it from me."

As a rule, asthma attacks tend to be misunderstood by a lot of people. Usually people either run away or over-react. If you want to help me, all you need to do is let me sit down for a while, pass me my medication and ask if I'm feeling okay. If I'm turning blue, please call an ambulance.

On another note, not being able to breath is unpleasant. I really do not force myself to have an attack to get out of unwanted activities. Believe me, I'd much rather do housework and still have the ability to breathe, than be sitting and unable to breathe.


It's your choice if you want to smoke. You are welcome to your personal beliefs about smoking. In fact, some people with asthma smoke and claim that it does not trigger an attack. However, please understand that I do not want to be around people who are smoking, because it triggers asthma. I stick to non-smoking areas for this reason. Although many people respect non-smoking areas, you always seem to get that one person who will defiantly light up inside a bus shelter, usually while standing beside the no-smoking sign. No, you are not being cool or making a statement about how hard done by you are. You're making things harder for people who choose to smoke but stick to designated areas and you're making things uncomfortable for people who stick to non-smoking areas for a reason. 

* * * 

In conclusion, asthma sucks. Any disease sucks. But right now, I'm suffering from a bout of it and I really wish that it would go away ...


Andrew Leon said…
I did see something, recently, about some breakthrough in relation to asthma, but I didn't read it, and I don't remember where I saw it. :(
I know. That's very helpful.
Kathryn White said…
Hmm ... You may need to be a bit more specific.

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