Many paths but some are blocked off and have detours to other paths

A Case of the What-Ifs

Last updated: January 2022

I recently experienced a case of the what-ifs. I am experiencing one of those phases in life where these are truly weird times. It feels like everyone is getting COVID-19. I recently saw a meme that described life as living in a video game. This is where I have to dodge all sorts of invaders everywhere I go. I truly don’t go to many places, working from home, staying home, grocery delivering, going for off-peak walks, and working out in my basement. I am trying to be safe but there are no guarantees in life.

My provincial health care resources are being stretched to the brink during this latest COVID-19 wave. This had me thinking about all the things that might happen. The “What-ifs.” What if my luck ran out and I contracted COVID-19? It does seem that it is possible to be a case of when and not if at this stage.

I have been through the “what-ifs” before, for example during times of early diagnosis when I had not been responding to treatment the way that my care team thought I might respond. There were a lot of “what-ifs” regarding my asthma diagnosis, or if it could be something else, or why my particular physiology works the way it does. During this time, I remember feeling conflicted about what the right thing to do would be. I like to be prepared for different situations, as it lets me feel like I can approach anything that comes. I try to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible. This includes looking at potential care and treatment options.

Managing the what-ifs

I decided to do some research on what avenues may be available to me during this period of stretched healthcare resources. Our strapped system means that specialized care may be limited. Even though I have a good relationship with my respirologist, wait times or times to get a response may occur, and it may not be the usual course of action.

I was also curious to know what studies are being conducted that are looking at lung/airway changes in asthma patients with COVID-19. I found one study that is looking at COVID-19 lung ventilation and perfusion injury in patients with asthma. I like this research concept and I hope that it will provide the researcher with valuable data. Participating in a study does not mean that you will automatically receive treatment or clinical benefits. You would assist in researchers learning more. Many clinical trials do not meet their endpoints because researchers don’t meet their minimum enrollment requirements.

Making a plan

Having a game plan allows me the ability to process some worst-case scenarios. It also helps me determine what my wants and needs may be. Where I can seek care, what preparation may be needed, even information about the health system. While I may not need the plans that I laid out, it is nice to have them. This includes having extra meds on board, emergency action plans, knowing that my family knows and understands my wishes, having directives created and communicated. My game plan mostly involves staying well, minimizing risks and exposures, maintaining care plans, and having all I can for my action plan ready.

Do you make plans for worst-case scenarios and asthma-related what-ifs? What methods do you use to cope with uncertainty? I would love to hear how you plan for varying situations.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

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

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

How often do you experience a shortage in your asthma medication?