People Without Allergies and Asthma Have No Idea How Lucky They Are!
This was what my college-aged daughter said from the back seat of the car. She sounded pretty discouraged.
We go to a state heritage festival every year, and it was uncomfortably hot this year. Plus, we have had yellow air quality for a week due to high ozone levels. We haven't had any rain this summer, so it's just hot and dry. And miserable.
So, hot, dry, and bad air quality are not a good mix for asthma
Daughter continued, "I want to go to the outdoor activity, but noooooo. The heat and air quality are getting to my stupid lungs. Did you know that my friend still gets to work with horses? In fact, she's helping to get them ready for the rodeo!"
"HER asthma doesn't seem to bother her. She gets to work outside AND with horses. It's just not fair!"
She slumped down in the back seat as we went through the drive through to get ice cream.
Ya gotta get ice cream to help cool down, right?
But - she has a point.
It's NOT fair when you have asthma
It doesn't matter if you are young or old, asthma can make your life pretty miserable. And it's a double whammy when you add allergies to asthma.
Some of her friends are able to work with horses, have a pet dog or cat, go camping in the woods, all sorts of things she can't do. And she is miserable with allergies and asthma - even after six (yes you read that right) years of allergy shots.
It's hard to not be able to do what you want because you will start sneezing (her record is 30 times in a row) and then have an asthma attack.
Do you have kids who are discouraged or depressed because of their asthma?
If so, you are not alone. The Utah Asthma Program has a study called Asthma Mental Health Report.
They show that:
"Depressive symptoms are associated with worse asthma symptoms and are more common in asthma patients than in the general population or any other general medical condition"
They also say that not being able to breathe, or worrying about an asthma attack that will affect your daily life or activities you enjoy (like riding horses in my daughter's case), can cause some depression or mental health issues.
So, what do you do when you have allergies and asthma and it always seems to mess up a fun day you have planned? Or just really annoys you? Or depresses you?
I talked to my daughter about perspective. Yes, it can be really discouraging when allergies and asthma wreck your plans. But, to quote our family mantra:
"Things Can Always Be Worse."
But if your allergies and asthma are really bothering you and limiting what you can do, talk to your doctor. Let him/her know what's going on.
He or she can check to make sure you are on the right medication, or come up with a plan to help with your allergies. And if you are feeling depressed, let your doc know.
Many states in the U.S. have free workshops that help people learn how to live their best life with chronic conditions. They are called 'chronic disease self management'. It helps to learn to adjust to your "new normal."
So, yes - people without allergies and asthma don't know how lucky they are.
But just remember, "Things Can Always Be Worse."
Does cold weather impact your asthma?