I was born with chronic asthma. My entire life, everything I ever chose to do depended on how my symptoms were doing that day. I always had an inhaler in reach, with a nurse and at my house.
I used to even take these pills that tasted like candy before bed every night just to be able to sleep soundly. There have always been questions every time I have to take my inhaler or worries about me not being able to participate in certain activities when in reality, I feel fine most of the time.
There are definitely some things people don't understand about a condition as common as asthma, so let's talk about them.
1. It's a lifelong condition.
There will always be room for improvement, but not a guarantee that it will go away forever. At the end of the day, the risk of inflammation is there for the entirety of one's life.
2. I won't die any sooner than you.
I always get asked if I will have lifelong complications due to my condition or if I need to take certain measures and precautions to ensure I live a long, healthy life. To be honest, everyone does. Not just the ones with the weaker lungs.
Something like smoking cigarettes harms me as much as it harms you. In the end, the only reason someone with asthma's life is any shorter would be because they didn't take care of themselves properly; either by abusing or not taking the correct medication.
3. It's more common than you think.
Over 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma. It ranges from minor to severe. Some people even go their whole lives without knowing they have mild asthma because it simply never truly affected their lives as much as normally perceived.
4. Boys are twice as likely to develop asthma than girls.
No one really knows why, but boys really drew the short end of the stick. They are more likely to not only develop asthma but also show more bronchial hyper-responsiveness and have positive allergy tests.
5. We are still capable of doing normal everyday things, just differently.
Depending on the medication you're on and the level of severity of your asthma, you may not have to sit out the soccer games or bail on camp. I, for example, can only do certain levels of physical activity in short bursts. However, it is still recommended every one does regular exercise to maintain healthy lifestyles.
6. Some say "it's all in your head."
Although things like anxiety and stress could trigger asthma attacks, asthma is very much a disease that affects the airways. It's a disease of inflammation that causes the lungs and the immune system to overreact to certain triggers in the air. Some people have more triggers than others and some reactions are more intense.
Everyone's different, but no one is just thinking it.