I used to not talk about my asthma often because I was worried that it would make me weak or cause others to define me. In time, I realized how important it was to talk openly to my family, friends, teachers, and coaches about my asthma. There are many people who do not understand how difficult it is to control asthma and that it can affect every aspect of your life. Communicating to those around me about my asthma has helped them to understand my limitations and it allows them to understand and support me. There is no cure for asthma, and I will have it forever.
Understanding – Everyone who has asthma has different symptoms that come and go at certain times, and they aren’t always fixed with just an inhaler. My asthma can become worse over a period of days with my airways becoming constricted and I wheeze and cough until the medications help with the inflammation in my lungs. Asthma attacks may also be very sudden where a rescue inhaler is needed immediately. Most of my friends now understand that it’s sometimes difficult to make plans when I am sick because I never know when my symptoms will flare-up.
Triggers – It is important that my others know that asthma can have its own triggers, and it may vary depending on the situation or the day. It can be triggered by many different things, and sometimes not the same things; for example: exercise, scented candles, pets, allergies, being sick or even stress can trigger an attack. It’s important that your friends know your triggers to help prevent asthma attacks. Talking about your asthma can help others understand why you are not at school sometimes or have occasionally cancel plans.
Action Plan – It is important to tell others about your asthma so they will know how to support you if you have an attack. Giving them written action plans can become critical, because the plans should contain important information about your asthma triggers and medicines and what can help if you have symptoms or an attack. It also can help those around you feel less frightened if you are having an asthma attack.
I hope this post helps you know it’s important to share that you have asthma, and it does not define you. -Regan