I received my asthma diagnosis at age 7 after running outside in the cold at school. I had my first asthma attack that led me to go to the pediatric urgent care. I went to an asthma and allergy specialist for a year or so, and by the age of 13 with medication and maintenance, it seemed I had grown out of it.

An asthma diagnosis does not go away with age

In 2018, I came down with a bad case of pneumonia that lasted for 3 months due to a misdiagnosis of bronchitis early on. By the end of the third month and multiple rounds of steroids and antibiotics, my lungs were worse than before. I was having asthma attacks in my sleep, during the day, and all hours in between. Thankfully, my medical alert service dog that I have for diabetes was able to wake me during night episodes. After a few weeks of this, we went back to my doctor and I was re-diagnosed with asthma at age 17.

Afraid asthma would stand in my way

Now, I'm doing albuterol breathing treatments once weekly and have a maintenance inhaler along with an emergency inhaler. Also, I'm learning how to deal with my asthma as a college student and as a working adult. The severity of it when I first relapsed scared me-- I was afraid I wouldn't be able to start college in the fall of 2019, but with the help of my doctor, my service dog, and my family, I'm on the road to graduating a year early with my Bachelor's degree regardless of my asthma and other health conditions.

So, to anyone struggling with their diagnosis and worrying what it means for their future-- you are valid, and you can do this! I promise.

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