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Comorbidities of Asthma

Are you trying to deal with asthma and OTHER health issues that impact asthma? I am dealing with comorbidities of asthma and it is frustrating and complicated. I have a host of health issues that impact my ability to breathe.

Asthma complicates other conditions

I'll start with the fact that I have only one functioning lung. Not long after being diagnosed with asthma I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I had always been healthy, I had never smoked, and was in good physical shape. It was a devastating diagnosis. I survived, and for that I can not express how truly blessed I feel. However, having asthma became an unexpected complication on my path to recovery.

Hence, this multi-layered health journey begins. My airway is now damaged, the remaining portion of my left lung no longer functions, my vocal cords are a mess and my heart misbehaves. This journey has taught me so much more about the human body than I ever thought I would need to know. I learned that vocal cords are really folds. I learned that the body finds a way to fill the empty space caused by the removal of an organ.

Amazingly, the remaining portion of my left lung expanded to fill the void left by the surgery. When it expanded, the small airways inverted rather than turning outward, as they were supposed to. Another lesson learned. That portion of my lung barely functions now because of how it expanded. All of these issues, along with a few other maladies impact and exacerbate my asthma.

Comorbidities of asthma are ever-present

My life and health haven't been the same since then. An asthma attack takes on new characteristics when it is accompanied by other health issues that impact breathing. For example, there are times when my vocal chords spasm and close. Sometimes that happens in conjunction with an asthma attack. Terrifying.

Strangely enough, I would say that in many ways my life is better. I have become a very well educated advocate for my own health. Asthma, compounded by multiple health issues, has made me more keenly aware of my responsibilities as a patient and the part I play in staying healthy. I am committed to doing all I can to manage my health and live a normal life. And when life throws me an obstacle, I am better equipped to manage, adapt, and move on.

Adapting and moving forward

I want to highlight that those of us that battle a chronic illness learn to adapt and move forward. Our bodies are very well equipped to do just that. Naturally, living with a chronic illness will create some bumps in the road and sometimes, downright roadblocks, but we DO (and must) move forward. We weave and bob on occasion, and sometimes sit and cry as well.

For me, it is better to adapt, change plans and/or strategies and get on with my day. Whether it is asthma or any of my other health conditions throwing me off course, I try to promise myself that I won't give in to negativity. I would miss so much of life if I became consumed by the negative aspects of dealing with a chronic illness. Use this forum to vent and express your frustrations, and even the disappointment in your body. There is someone out there that may benefit from hearing that there is another person facing the same challenges.

Do you have experience with comorbidities of asthma? Tell your story here.

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