This is a cute young athlete explaining how she confronts obstacles related to having asthma. Resist the urge to assume that she must not mind the severity of the attacks since she likely has them every time she runs.

I hope it is not out of bitterness that I immediately point out that most cases of asthma are not as severe as mine. I try to avoid qualitatively judging the experiences of others. I try to focus on a positive empathetic response because that’s what makes me feel more secure in my ability to manage asthma crises.

How to Help a Friend with Asthma:

You may not have asthma, but your friend/daughter/son/loved one does and you’d like to help out, but have no clue what to do. Here’s what really helps us wheezers:

Be supportive. Like I said before, asthma is so hard mostly because of the stress it causes. Try to be understanding of the issues they are struggling with like: being self conscious of their illness, struggling with their limitations, struggling to learn where/what their limitations are, being tired and worn out, fear about their health, fear about looking dumb/slow/lazy, physical pain, and a lot more. A little encouragement goes a long way.

Be aware. Asthma isn’t just wheezing. It can cause chest pain, back pain, neck pain, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, weakness, fatigue, emotional distress, anxiety, paleness, and blue coloring especially in hands fingernails and lips. In addition to that, most asthmatics I know, myself included, experience frequent muscle cramps and charlie horses. Then, there is also the issue of the anxiety from an attack causing the person to hyperventilate and a whole new list of symptoms becomes a problem. Be aware of these symptoms, and try to help ease them as much as possible.

via life’s a wheeze: Running with Asthma 101.


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