All my life I have had asthma. It has caused me to be in oxygen tents when I was younger, be on medication my whole life, have to miss school/work/sports and sometimes even end up in the hospital.
As I have grown up I have tried to not see this as a disability. I mean I see people who are missing limbs or have a mental disability not let that stop them so I figured that I could push through my asthma.
Lately I have been realizing that trying to not see asthma as a disability is actually not the best route. I try to push myself longer than I should and I try to avoid getting put on more medication at all costs. I have never been a fan of medication and I feel our generation is overly medicated and I try to avoid it. I am already on Advair for my asthma daily, Nasonex for my allergies daily, a fast-acting, albuterol inhaler for times in need, and a nebulizer (breathing machine) for when my fast-acting inhaler is not enough. So you can see why I try to avoid even more medication.
Well on Tuesday I finally decided that I needed to go to the doctor. I have asthmatic bronchitis. It is nothing new and I normally get it once or twice a year around this time. But the reason I try to avoid going to the doctor’s is because I get put on a six day steroid regiment (Prednisone). So yes, right now on top of all my other medication I am on a daily steroid regiment. I start with six pills on the first day and work my way done to one on the very last day. And to make matters worse? I can’t swallow pills so I have to chew those nasty little things!
I am not sure if you have been on Prednisone before but it has many side effects. One major side effect is mood changes. Unfortunately, that is how it affects me. But we have come to the conclusion that mood swings is less important than being able to breathe.
These little pills affect work and school. Yesterday I got sent home from class and basically had a little break down when I told my boss that I could not finish my shift. I felt so embarrassed but I had no control. I normally don’t get moody but I get emotional and just about anything makes me cry. Today I wasn’t even able to make it to school.
This is not a situation I want to be in, but I realize that I have no choice. Some teachers are very understanding and luckily that is the case this semester. But I know that is not always the case. I think it is easier if the teacher or even employer has asthma themself or is close to someone that does. If they don’t it is my experience that they don’t understand or they think I am overreacting. Which is really hard because there are so many that I do push through it but other times it just takes over and I feel like a fish out of water.
If you have even been in the situation where you can’t catch your breathe, you know how scary that is. I also have this fear that I will pass this on to my child in the future, and that really scares me. But I guess that will bridge I have to cross when the time comes.
I found this great infographic that I thought would be useful to share. It shows just how common asthma is and how it affects people in the U.S. every single day.
Do you suffer from asthma? Do you see it as a disability? What do you do to try and work through it?