The Struggles Of Being Asthmatic

By Honey Olorunsola

child asthma

I and a few other people got heartbroken when a close friend of mine got diagnosed with asthma. ASTHMA, a chronic disease involving the airways in the lungs. These airways or bronchial tubes allow air to come in and out of the lungs.

Let me take you through a life journey. In our first year in the university, during our registration and processing, we got to a point where we had to see a doctor. We joined the queue inside the doctor’s office and the doctor had to switch on the AC. My friend was sitting in the direction of the air conditioner. Not too long after, she started crying and wheezing. Wheezing is a whistling sound made when you breathe. It can be as a result of a health problem and it’s quite common with asthmatic patients. She was attended to and after treatment and an x-ray, the doctor told her she had asthma and pneumonia. When she saw the doctor’s report, she rejected it and was quite adamant even about her medications. She summoned courage and told her mum, her mum invited her to the house and they prayed about it together. It then became a secret between both of them.

Because it was discovered at the early stage, it could be properly managed. She managed to hide it from the rest of the world and she avoided triggers as much as possible. Fast forward to her third-year second-semester break, she was home and this time all her family members were home. She has avoided doing some things and avoided triggers as much as possible but then, on this faithful day she was asked to make a particular dish, not too long after she was in the kitchen all by herself, she started coughing and she could not talk, she called her little sister and asked her to relay a message to her dad. She was rushed to the family hospital almost immediately and that very day, the doctor confirmed her fear, she’s asthmatic! The doctor made it a must for her family to get her inhaler and her medications and also keep her away from triggers.  Returning back to school, she started hiding from people and she was self-stigmatizing herself. She didn’t want people to know she had a medical condition. The good thing is you might not have an attack in a long time if properly managed.

On a particular night in town, she was away from her hostel where she resided, she didn’t take her inhaler with her, unfortunately, it rained and she’s more susceptible to cold than any other trigger. She started getting weak and not too long after, she started wheezing and she rushed back to the hostel but was too weak to get to her room, fortunately for her, she got enough strength to make it to the closest door. Thank God for the fact that the door was that of a friendly neighbour, the lady helped her get her inhaler and the weakness subsided. She ate, had a warm bath, used her drugs and she was fine. Since that time up until now, she tries as much as she can to always keep her things close to her and also inform those around her. My friend is done with school and even furthering her education already. She is a proud warrior and she will keep fighting.

As at now, there is no cure for asthma, but once it is properly diagnosed and a treatment plan is in place you will be able to manage your condition, and your quality of life will improve. Many people with asthma have allergies, which can trigger asthma symptoms. Some of these include:

  • Tobacco smoke is an irritant that often aggravates asthma. Your asthma may also be irritated by air pollution, strong odours or fumes.
  • Many patients with asthma develop asthma symptoms when exercising. This is called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB).
  • Emotional anxiety and stress may also increase asthma symptoms and trigger an attack. I remember that if my friend is sad or angry, she tends to have frequent attacks unlike when she’s happy and free.
  • Viral and bacterial infections such as the common cold and sinusitis. Exposure to cold, dry air or weather changes.

Proper rest, diet and exercise are important for your overall health and can help in managing asthma.

The better informed you are about your condition, the better control you will have over your asthma symptoms. This is because asthma triggers vary from person to person and so do strategies to reduce asthma flare-ups. Quick-relief rescue medications provide temporary relief of asthma symptoms, while long-term controller medications are taken on a regular basis to control airway inflammation or prevent frequent asthma symptoms.

Your asthma medications may need to be adjusted as you and your asthma change, so stay in close touch with your allergist (doctor).

One good thing I know is this, as a warrior, you might not have an attack in a long time but it’s important to always be safe than sorry because it can come like a thief in the night..lol. Asthma is not a death sentence nor the end of the world. If properly managed, you can live a really long and healthy life.

Most importantly, do well to inform those around you, that is friends, families and colleagues so that they can help out in situations, not within your control. If you’re not a warrior reading this, please spread love and appreciate any warrior around you. A big shout out to every warrior out there. I love you and celebrate you.

 

Source: Above Whispers

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