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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