Seven Life Lessons Asthma Has Taught Me
I have lived with asthma for as long as I can remember. Yet, the past several years made me realize that diagnosis never grows too old to teach you. In honor of world asthma day, I decided to share seven important lessons I learned, and would love to hear yours.
Seven asthma life lessons
1. Don't give up what you can achieve:
With proper treatment and awareness, people with asthma are able to do almost anything. Do you like playing sports with your friends? Go for it! Is your family planning an outdoor trip in the spring? Don't give up joining! Found your dream house but it's too dusty? …Well, you got the point. Remember the purpose of asthma treatment is letting you live a normal, fulfilling life.
2. Know and accept your limits
That being said, if a particular trigger which is not a must for you repeatedly causes trouble, don't insist. For example, if you know exercising outside in a certain weather is extremely hard for you even with medication, opt for some indoor sport to enjoy instead. Accepting what I cannot do is safer, but also, as I learned, much better than staying frustrated; plus, trying new things can turn out much more fun than expected.
Certain triggers, such as smoke, should better be avoided in the first place whenever possible.
3. Asthma can be hard for everyone
Even if yours is mild and relatively easy to manage, it's OK to hate it from time to time. We've all been there. Just don't get discouraged too often; if that's the case, there are plenty of ways to help you cope. (Such as…)
4. Every time you find some humor in a difficult situation, you win
I came across this quote and immediately realized how true it was- anything you can laugh about becomes much more tolerable, even pleasant. I decided to make a list of the funny sides of life with asthma: Each time anything came to my mind, I wrote it down, and later read through the list on a rainy day. Believe me, in a short while I didn't need it anymore- it utterly changed the way I felt about asthma!
Just don't forget to keep your inhaler handy, in case you laugh too hard :)
5. Doctors matter
Having a doctor you trust is vital to managing any chronic disease. Be open with them about your expectations from treatment, what is important for you to achieve, and what is hard to follow. They know their job, and your input will enable them to tailor treatment to your needs. They may also offer advice and support.
6. Family and friends are there for you
While not all of them will understand, those who do can be a great source of support. I was actually surprised at how well many of my friends reacted to my diagnosis.
7. Thrive with asthma
You wouldn't probably choose it in the first place if it were up to you; however, I believe asthma- as any other challenge we encounter- has the potential to turn each of us into a better person. Whether it is leading an active lifestyle, quitting smoking, preventing air pollution, or lending a helping hand to others- find your way to thrive with asthma, and be proud of it.
Have you ever gotten "moon face" as a side effect of prednisone?