The thing about asthma

Most people grow out of asthma by the time they’re an adult. I am not one of them.

In my running story I talk about finally learning how to manage my asthma well enough to run a half marathon. It’s true, it’s completely possible to manage asthma and live a normal life, and I do most of the time.

But other times I wake up in the middle of the night completely unable to breathe. I have to hook myself up to a nebulizer (a machine that helps me breathe in medicine) and look like this

Exercise induced asthma is actually incredibly manageable and I encourage that any asthmatic with it should not hold themselves back because of it. My biggest problem is how do I manage all the other triggers? Not only do I have exercise-induced asthma but it can also be brought on by dust, allergies, changes of season, changes in temperature, tobacco smoke (first or second hand), strong emotions (stress), or the common cold. I’m allergic to trees so the changes in season especially freak me out in fall and spring.

I’ve tried all the steroids and preventative inhalers out there. None of them give me results and a lot of them make me gain up to 10 lbs in a month. So now I simply nebulize as often as possible and ride it out. Sometimes that means I lose nights of sleep, sometimes it means I miss work, and sometimes it means I have to limit my exercise. Any cardio exercise is nearly out of the question during that time and it takes weeks to build my lungs back up to the performance they had before.

No, asthma is not a serious disorder by any means. I’m lucky that it’s my only major health issue at this point in life. But it does come with challenges to manage, especially for those who like to stay active. I don’t have a solution quite yet but I wanted to be a voice for those who have a similar situation. Most grow out of asthma and I don’t read much about those who don’t, so this is simply me putting myself out there.

Do you know any adults with asthma? I would love to get their perspective!

 

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