How Do You See Asthma?
Lately, I have noticed something interesting when I talk to friends about their health problems. Sadly, when you get to a certain age, your conversations revolve around diabetes, asthma, heart problems, migraines, knee problems, back pain, etc. True story!
How do you look at a medical condition?
I'm curious to see why people can see the same medical condition in a different light. Some of my friends and relatives seem to be upset or resentful that they have a chronic disease. They have said things like:
"Doesn't it bother you that you have to take a medication every day for the rest of your life?" or "It's not fair!" or "Why me?"
Other friends are more accepting of positivity towards other chronic conditions, such as asthma, and say: "Well, this is what I have - oh well!" or "Things can always be worse." or "Eh - I have a good doctor and insurance, we'll figure it out." or "It is what is."
Practicing positivity with asthma
At work, I taught chronic disease self-management workshops. In the workshop, we teach people how to live their best life with their "new normal." Every participant and instructor had to have a chronic disease. It's designed that way because we "get it." Even though we may have a different disease, we can experience the same things like frustration, pain, isolation, fatigue, doctor's visits, hospitalizations, medical bills, etc.
Our family of 5 all have allergies and asthma, and we have had our ups and downs over the last 20 years. We've had many missed school and work days, after-hours clinic visits, urgent care visits, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations.
We can't change the fact that we all have allergies and asthma - those are here to stay! But we can change how we look at our lives and practice asthma positivity. Here are a few things we have found that help.
Asthma positivity tips and tricks
Keeping a good attitude is important, so I have a "fight" song list on my streaming music station. It can remind me to keep powering through the bad days. Especially on days when my lungs are extra cranky, my "feel good" music helps me bounce back.
My family makes fun of me because I don't like to watch scary movies or action movies. And - I won't watch a movie unless it has a happy ending. There are enough bad things in the world that I don't need to watch a movie about them. I like watching funny movies because it helps me escape and a good laugh helps me feel better (as long as it doesn't trigger an asthma attack).
Along with watching funny movies or cat videos, or finding funny memes online is humor! My family is constantly repeating one-liners from M*A*S*H or animated movies.
One time, our van lost all power just as we exited the freeway. As we sat in the van, I told the kids to be quiet so dad could figure out what to do. My daughter (then 5), said, "Well, this sucks!" It was a line from the animated movie Madagascar, and it broke the tension and left us all laughing.
Phone a friend
Call a friend, family member, or colleague and just vent if you are struggling with asthma positivity. They don't need to fix your problem, just let you complain! I have colleagues around the world with allergies and asthma, and it's so nice to vent to them because they "get it." They can relate.
My friend teaches a yoga class each week and tells us to be grateful for what our bodies CAN do, not what they CAN'T do, which is a great way to practice positivity, even with a chronic condition like asthma. She helps me see my body differently. Yes, my body has days when it doesn't work well. But it is strong and has helped me raise 3 kids, work, travel, and enjoy life (with a few precautions).
How do you practice asthma positivity?
I would love to hear from all of you! How do you practice asthma positivity or keep it in perspective? Share your own story with us!
Have you experienced a collapsed lung?