I Won't Let My Asthma Define Me
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Health and Wellness

I Won't Let My Asthma Define Me

It ain't easy being wheezy, but I am not going to let that stop me.

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I Won't Let My Asthma Define Me
Arizona Asthma and Allergy Institute

“Maybe we should sit down and rest for a minute,” People tell me when we go on runs together.

“Are you sure you are OK?,” Friends ask me when I laugh a little too hard and wheeze a bit too much.

“Do we need to take you to the doctor?,” My teammates ask me when I can’t stop coughing after a run through of our dance piece.

The answer to all of these questions is “I’m fine. Let’s keep going.”

In reality, everyone in the vicinity of one of my asthma episodes (including myself) knows that I am not “fine.” My lungs are constricting, making it difficult for me to breathe, so of course I am not the definition of “fine.” However, I am not going to let my stupid lungs define who I am and control how I live my life. Don’t get me wrong; I do listen to my lungs when they are acting up. If I feel like my life is in danger, I do take precautions and ease up on whatever I am doing. However, if I let them define me, there would be no way for me to enjoy my life.

If I quit every time my lungs decided to act up during a dance routine, I would never have been able to enjoy some of the favorite moments of my life so far. I wouldn’t have had the chance to dance a kick routine for my high school, and I would have never been able to fall in love with hip-hop during my senior year. I would have never been able to create the inside jokes with my dance friends, calling my inhaler “Puff the Magic Dragon," or about them being “drug dealers” when they would be backstage, holding my inhaler for when I stumble into the curtains out of breath from the routine I performed. I would have never been able to enjoy the feeling of pure hard work during a tough practice. I usually had the most lung problems during the practices where I improved the most, so if I let my asthma take over, I would have never been able to be the dancer I am today.

If I let my asthma control me, I wouldn’t be able to go out and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. I wouldn’t be able to go on a run on the Lakewalk in Duluth Minnesota and enjoy Lake Superior in all of its glory. I wouldn’t be able to smell the flowers and the trees that bother my allergies, but still smell wonderful, when I take my two dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the homey smell of a burning bonfire when I go camping with my family ( the smoke irritates my lungs). I wouldn’t be able to attempt the climb up the ginormous flight of stairs after viewing the magnificent wonder of the Devil’s Kettle in Devil’s Kettle State Park. I am allergic to too many things in nature, so I honestly wouldn’t be able to go outside into the most beautiful parts of the world if I stopped to “rest for a minute.”

My asthma can act up if I get a little too stressed out or upset. If I stopped what I was doing every time I got stressed by something, I wouldn’t have been able to power through and finish those school projects that got to be a little too much sometimes. I wouldn’t have been able to feel as triumphant as I did that one time I was able to stop a catastrophe from getting worse while working on a tourist train excursion. I wouldn’t have been able to deal with a coworker that just made me want to pull my hair out every time she nitpicked everything I did if I let my asthma stop me. I wouldn’t have gained the resiliency and drive that keep me moving today if I let every stressful moment of my life pull me underwater to the point where I metaphorically couldn’t breathe (on top of physically not being able to breathe).

I wouldn’t be able to share a good laugh with my friends if I let my lungs define who I am. As crazy as it sounds, my asthma does act up on the occasion when I laugh a bit too hard. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the goofy sleepovers I had with my friends way back in elementary school. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the times where my friends and I did a lot of crazy and stupid things, like giving that one waiter my friend’s phone number, or just goofing off doing who knows what while we were supposed to be working. Some of the greatest memories I have in my life are those that I have spent laughing with my family and friends, so I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a lot of my life if I suppressed my laughter.

Honestly, If I let my asthma stop me every time the going got tough, or when I was just enjoying my life, I wouldn’t be the same person that I am today. Even though my lungs can get a little headstrong sometimes, and breathing can get slightly more difficult on certain occasions, I am still going to do what I always do. I am going to keep my inhaler in my pocket in case I need it and keep chugging and puffing along like the Little Engine That Could.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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