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Did anyone in your life think you had asthma before you did?

Honestly, I'm not even sure how to word this question in shorter words than that, haha. But, to all my late diagnosed asthmatic friends out there, did anyone you knew think you had asthma before you did? I ask this because I know I did. When I was in high school, I had a music teacher who I would tell very frequently either "I'm sick" or "I have mucus in my lungs" etc. or this one time "I ran in cold weather and now my lungs hurt really bad, can I take a rest for a little while?" her response when I told this to her the last time was "take your asthma medicine" and I was like "I don't have asthma" she seemed kinda taken a back by that haha. Then, I struggled to breathe when I wasn't sick with anything, so that prompted me to go to the ER. I wrote part of the story of how I came to be diagnosed somewhere else on here. But long story short, a teacher I had was the person who guessed I had asthma before I did haha

  1. I had a bad wheezing episode about 20 years ago from lots of dust exposure while moving to my new house. After a couple days of wheezing (people could hear me wheezing!) it cleared up. I mentioned it at my next appointment with my healthcare provider who thought maybe I should have an inhaler. No talk of asthma or even doing any diagnostics and since I felt fine I did not think I needed anything. Took me close to 20 more years before I mentioned wheezing prior to allergy shots, it had cleared up after a few days but I was given immediate testing and then 2 inhalers which I had to use there. Even then, nobody said the word asthma. I finally asked at another appointment which is when finally I learned I had asthma. I work in healthcare, I know what asthma is but I had some serious denial. The idea of having to inhale anything was rather repulsive to me so it took a while before I was open enough about symptoms to be heard and treated.

    1. I am a nurse. I always had the worst colds that would take ages to recover from because I would end up with a horrid cough. I usually don’t wheeze. My main symptoms are chest tightness or a cough. I think I found inhalers repulsive because my airway was so inflamed it seemed like torture to breath anything into it. I most likely had mild asthma as a child and I am pretty sure all my breathlessness in gym classes was asthma. I remember one gym teacher telling me to breathe into a paper bag after running around the baseball fields. I should have known better but denial is a very strong thing. I am mostly well controlled now but currently my allergies and eczema are flared up and my asthma typically follows. I love Spring but not. The pollen.

    2. I only really wheeze if I'm sick. I should have known I had asthma as a child and asked for help, I had frequent bouts of croup and bronchitis. I never complained because I had some issues with communication, and it was kind of all I knew, and I didn't think it was that bad, but when I was 14 I had these two things that really affected my breathing I don't know how I made it through without asking for help but wow... it was really bad. I remember there was this one time, my Mom told someone I couldn't attend something because I had this cough, (it did sound pretty bad, it was somewhere between a croup cough and a bronchitis cough, so, pretty nasty) when I was 9 and I was like "But I feel okay, I can still go" she had a hard time believing that I felt fine, but the truth was I did feel fine, I was just coughing a lot. This happened a lot in my childhood, I would get coughs and have chronic nasal congestion but feel fine, so nobody saw any issue, and I didn't either. It's so weird isn't it?

  2. I was diagnosed 15 years late, so this is kind of long, sorry.
    My friends were the first to realize I seemed to have asthma. One ran track and the other was a tennis player. I couldn't do either and no matter how fit I was, I would always feel out of breath and that I felt I may die during and after I ran, though I never did I was definitely pushing myself to do things I simply could not and still cannot do. However, I am a strong swimmer and a singer. I never complained about my wheezing, shortness of breath, burning, stabbing lungs, or just godawful pain each time I had to run in gym or just playing together. Because society didn't seem to take asthmatics seriously until just ten years ago, and because I was undiagnosed for 15 years out of 19, I didn't take myself seriously and just thought I was really unfit despite exercising regularly.


    In eighth grade, first we had a flu epidemic which got everyone sick in our tiny school and me with a fever and being unable to breathe with mucus clogging my throat and wheezing, my teacher asked me if I went to the nurse and got my inhaler, and I told them, no I don't have asthma. She then said "Bless your heart" and felt my forehead. I eventually went to the nurse and was sent home. Later, when I finally had the confidence to after 14 years, I told my gym teacher I got exhausted immediately. He asked if I had an inhaler, and I said no. So we both understood I had some shortness of breath and he'd just ask me if I was alright during each exercise. Even when I wasn't I said I was, but I didn't push myself to the limit.


    High school I go to a public school instead of my small Catholic school, and I take the summer gym beforehand so I don't have to take it during classes. I pretty much had the same symptoms because I was used to it, I convinced myself I wasn't going to die even though it felt like it all the way through. On the pacer test, I did worse on the final than I did at the start of the course, and my teacher was just concerned, noticing I didn't feel well. The mucus clogged my throat and stopped me from breathing. Then later, in winter, I make new friends and well, I suddenly cough daily, nonstop, very loudly, in my friend's words "like a sick old man" as a fifteen-year-old girl. So eventually I go to the doctor and they diagnose me with mild asthma and give me a rescue inhaler, before they notice it doesn't fix the problem and they give me a daily inhaler. At first, the daily inhaler was intended to help "cure" my asthma, as they thought it wasn't that bad, until they realized it's worse than they thought and worse than I thought despite putting myself in danger every time I run for long (or short) periods of time. Now at 19 I finally see a pulmonologist and I finally get tested to see how well my lungs work and we're finally working towards a more accurate treatment. Thanks for opening this thread, it means a lot to me. If you ever need someone to talk to, you can always message me!

    1. Definitely! I didn't know you were diagnosed in your late teens as well! That's so cool!


    2. Actually, I was diagnosed well before that. However, in my teens years is when I found that distractions could be so helpful in getting past each episode.
      Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

  3. The summer after I graduated from high school I had that year's flu. It cleared up in a week or so, except for a cough that hung around for months. At least a couple of times a day the coughing would cause bronchial spasms. The only thing that helped was an over-the-counter asthma inhaler. I sort of / kind of thought maybe I had asthma, but was soon away to uni and didn't have regular health care access for many many years. I mentioned this story to my GP last year and although she didn't want to back diagnose symptoms from forty years ago, she also suspects that was the beginning of the asthma journey for me. A diagnosis was not confirmed until a few years ago.

    1. Wow, yeah, diagnosing symptoms you had a long time ago can really be tough

    2. I'm sorry it took so long for you!

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