Growing up w/ Asthma & Overcoming

It’s a vague memory, but I remember going down in a high school softball game and knowing something was severely wrong inside me.

After numerous tests and pricks (BTW this is when my dream of becoming an ER doctor or paramedic went down the tubes as every time I got blood drawn I would faint – my super queasy stomach), I was diagnosed with sports induced asthma. Why after 15 years on this earth did this pop out of nowhere? Why me? In my super competitive eyes, this was a significant weakness that I had to figure out how to overcome.

Inhalers work fine, when you keep them on you! I am notorious for not wanting to carry anything so this was a real struggle for me. Usually after a few puffs, my breathing is temporarily under control. I am keen on the triggers now which are typically fresh cut grass, heavy pollen and a drastic change in seasons. But typically twice a year, I can feel a deeper twinge in my lungs that sets off all my alarms.

During college, my most severe episode came over a Christmas break which resulted in a sudden hospital stay. I remember barely making it back for practices and wanting to hide it from my teammates, so my coaches set me up on a bike along the sidelines to still be part of the team workouts. I hated every minute of it but had to succumb to taking that one step backward to understand my thresholds and come back stronger. My mentality at the time was just pushing through by doubling up what everyone else did. They run 10 laps and I would do 20. They take 50 shots off the screen and I would shoot 100. It’s the only way I knew how to even the playing field.

My other severe episode happened during my first year working at Disney Sports and finally being setting up with my own home nebulizer machine. I was very thankful for modern technology, as now I could control the rare flare ups myself without the spectacle of an emergency room visit.

Over the years, I have mostly grown out of it and now relapse maybe once every 2 years. Fortunately, I rarely get sick, but when I do, I have a high risk of complications getting deep into my lung sacs. While I don’t live cautiously by any means, I am always subconsciously anxious and worried.

Until you have been gasping for air and genuinely scared for your next inhale, you can not comprehend how scary life can be as an asthmatic. The basic life skill of breathing is almost impossible and there is nothing you can do about it. Think about that….. no fix or problem solving can help you survive. For a person that has built her career on helping others overcome issues and removing barriers, there is nothing more humbling. And while many even think we are faking symptoms, I assure you, I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone.

Be kind always.

Published by elliottcm

Love adventure travel, work hard & play hard, happy in both extremes - relaxing on a remote beach or rappelling down cliffs, take joy in simple things, love being on & near the water, visited 55 countries & 47 states so far in this crazy beautiful life! Goals by my 50th birthday - 50 states. 75 countries. 50 national parks. Be in Antarctica on my big day.

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