Being Grateful For Your Lungs

So, I posted before about how frustrating it is to not be able to do what I would like to because of my lungs.

We had joined all the other tourist at Arches National Park near Moab, and a combination of things made my lungs cranky.  A stay in a dusty hotel room, an elevation change, an unusually warm day and a strenuous hike.

Our family and a friend from Australia started out on a hike, but I wasn’t able to finish the hike to Delicate Arch and had to turn back. They finished the hike while I went back to the car. Sigh.

But it was a good lesson that day. I decided to change the way I think about my lungs. Instead of being frustrated and annoyed. I was going to be grateful for all the times they DO let me do what I want to. My body is amazing!

A tryst with so many triggers

My lungs go through a lot – breathing in perfume from someone on an elevator, walking past someone who is smoking, suffering through a high pollen count day, trying to breathe in poor air quality, surviving a trip to my dusty storage room, battling pneumonia (again), etc, etc.

My lungs go through a lot and yet they keep going. And they forgive me and bounce back.

Instead of feeling frustrated when I have an asthma attack and I have to change plans, I’m going to be grateful for all that they do for me. Even though I couldn’t finish the hike to Delicate Arch during Moab, at least I went part of the way!

My lungs had gone through a long week of vacationing. Through many different temperatures and elevations.

They had a tram ride (up a higher elevation and over a grassy meadow – both of which are asthma triggers for me), and held on for an exhilarating hair blowing ride in a cart down a track. Woo hoooooo!

Then they survived kayaking and paddle boarding on the the lake and one VERY dusty wind storm that hit the shoreline and blew our beach chairs over and our tumbled our beach umbrella into the lake.

Next was a long car ride, a dusty hotel room, hot temperatures, a change in elevation and a strenuous hike. THEN my lungs said “uncle” and let me know that I needed to slow down. That was a lot for my lungs in one week, and yet they held on.

Things could always be worse

When you live with a chronic disease like asthma, it’s important to have perspective. Yes, there are tough days, but there are a LOT of good days. Our family motto is “Things Can Always Be Worse.”

As a mom with asthma, who passed on asthma to all 3 of my kids, we’ve had some pretty scary experiences with pneumonia, bad air quality, and smoke from forest fires. Those have been responsible for 12 hospitalizations for my kids (2 of those were ICU). But it could have been worse. They survived when some people don’t.

Our bodies (especially our lungs) are pretty amazing. I’m going to be grateful for the good days and all the things my body and lungs can do – work, travel, cook, clean, exercise and generally enjoy life!

Thank you lungs!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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