Six reasons I am “extra” (or a little high maintenance)

I am a 14-year-old teenager, so I will admit that might make me a little dramatic or high maintenance. My allergies and asthma may sometimes add to this perception. It can be especially frustrating because I don’t always look ill.  Below are six reasons why that happens.

Sometimes I am a no show – I am not always around, and I cancel plans a lot. I cannot always predict when my asthma will flare up. I also miss lots of school because of appointments and illness. 

I generally need a controlled environment – Even as I write this from my bed, I am acutely aware of the noise of the air filter, the piles of medications on my desk, the hypoallergenic pillows, etc.  I even have a queen size bed so that my mom could listen to me breathe when I was asleep as a toddler. My sister has asked for a dog for years, and although I am not allergic to dogs the doctors say that simply can’t happen.

Traveling lightly is impossible – I have to bring so much medicine everywhere I go – nebulizers, asthma inhalers, epinephrine auto injectors, allergy medications and more!  

Visiting others can be tricky – Even though I am not technically allergic to dogs or cats, I can still react to pets because of my asthma. I also tend to react to scented candles, Christmas trees, and other things that may not be ordinarily part of life. Fireworks and other types of smoking can trigger my asthma. I can’t just stay anywhere. 

A lack of spontaneity – We can never plan a trip quickly; we have to figure out a place to stay that will not have any of my asthma and allergy trigger. I still need to be prepared in case I have an allergic reaction or asthma attack. This lack of spontaneity affects others as well. 

Having asthma for me means that I have specific requirements and limitations such as getting enough rest, being prepared and planning ahead in case I’m exposed to one of my triggers.

I know these behaviors mean some may consider me high maintenance or “extra “and sometimes this can lead to a misunderstanding. I always try to explain my behavior, so I won’t be misunderstood, but at the end of the day, these are the things that I have to do to make sure I am healthy.

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Regan is a 14 year old girl who loves cheerleading, diving and hanging out with her friends. She also has severe asthma. In making this blog she hopes to educate others about asthma as well as inspire others so they know they aren't alone. She enjoys sharing her "Adventures with Asthma"!

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