Triggered by my Triggers
An asthma trigger is anything that causes your asthma to act up. There are many different things that can be considered an asthma trigger and each person will have their own set of triggers. What might be a major trigger for my asthma might not bother yours at all.
Here are some of the most common asthma triggers:
- Stress/Strong emotions
- Dust Mites
- Air pollution
- Pet Dander
- Strenuous exercise
- Harsh cleaning products
- Weather changes
Lately, I have found myself getting really upset when I am faced with one of my asthma triggers. Depending on how big of a trigger it is, the angrier and/or bummed I become. Why can’t I have normal lungs?! I would get angry when someone in the neighborhood was having a small fire in their backyard because I couldn't open up my windows to get a fresh breeze. In my head, all I could hear was “how could they be so inconsiderate?!” Another example for me is when I was driving down the highway and I see pollen looking like snow blowing all around in the air. Which means I cannot take my children to the park to play because it will trigger my asthma. There are times where I wish I could lace up my sneakers and go for a long run. At this point in my life my asthma prevents me from running long distance and while I do exercise quite a bit, I have a secret desire to run a race.
Looking at my triggers from another angle
One afternoon I was feeling especially down about how my triggers were making me feel bad both physically and emotionally. Then I started to look at it from a different angle. I had to realize that the people having those bonfires were out enjoying themselves and while I know full well that they aren't having a fire to purposely set off my asthma, they aren't necessarily being inconsiderate. They are within their rights. Instead of opening my windows, I turn on my air purifier and a fan which is much better for my lungs anyway. Now a raging backyard fire burning very close to my house might be a different story. Those will forever make me give some side eye.
When the dust and/or pollen counts are very high and I cannot play outside with my children, we can still have fun inside! Playing board games and doing arts & crafts can be just as fun! One of our favorite things to do inside is to make up silly games to play. As far as running a race goes, I’m not giving up on that wish! Maybe someday I will be able to and what I *can* do is start to build up my exercise tolerance along with my doctor's recommendation and blessing. Working on controlling our emotions when it comes to those completely inconsiderate people who have zero cares about those around them is definitely more of a challenge. I have to wonder if those people maybe don't actually realize how inconsiderate they are being. Especially toward people with lung disease/asthma.
How triggers effect ones asthma
Triggers are an asthmatics biggest source of frustration. They are what causes bronchospasm and inflammation to happen within our lungs and subsequently an asthma flare-up. While avoidance is the best practice, it’s not always feasible. What we can do is be prepared to deal with them when they happen. I carry a face mask with me in my purse everywhere I go as well as my rescue inhaler. Encountering my frustrating triggers is bound to happen, but I am continuously working on changing my mindset from being upset to being prepared and determined to not let them ruin my fun!
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