It might make some people feel disappointed or angry or whatever if they were to read this- and I apologise in advance- but the truth is I find asthma embarrassing. I find asthma embarrassing because the general perception of asthma is that it is not a something which can be at times debilitating on a day to day basis and that it is something that can be ‘fixed’ with a blue inhaler. It is embarrassing for me to say well sorry no that is not the case, because it’s affected several areas of my life to such an extent like largely the reason I’m still doing my A Levels now is because I’ve had a lot of problems both on a chronic level and also admissions either during exams or during periods of time when I really needed to be in school. Because asthma is so common I think in some ways that can detract from how much of a problem it can be for some people, not everyone with asthma is the same severity for example but it seems like it gets generalised as most people who have asthma don’t have many problems controlling it with the right combination of treatment. I don’t just find asthma embarrassing, I find it frustrating too. I find asthma frustrating because I find it is difficult to directly control, I take my meds, avoid my triggers, and stuff where possible but ultimately that isn’t enough. When I was little I used to play this game where I would run up the stairs trying to trick my lungs by I don’t know thinking if I ran fast enough up the stairs I could leave my lungs at the bottom of the stairs. For half a second I would think I had managed to do it – left them at the bottom of the stairs… until they ‘caught’ up with me and I’d feel really wheezy and short of breath.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole asthma community thing; I’ve found in the past speaking to others who also have it helpful. However these days I’m not sure I would say the same. I get wound up when it seems that some people are either not telling the truth or are exaggerating. And what makes it worse is that some of these people I’m referring to- I once got on very well with. I don’t care how mild or severe someone’s asthma is, because in a health community there are going to be people of all severities and types and a person who has mild asthma can still be supportive of someone with more severe asthma, it’s not just talking about asthma itself but maybe for example just having someone listen. It seems that a small group of people like to create an exclusive little ‘club’ of being the most poorly with asthma and being on the most meds. And I think it’s pathetic, especially because some of them are quite clearly attention seeking and it’s getting boring now. Because of the creation of this ‘unspoken club’ there seems to be a divide between them and everyone else who they consider beneath them and not worthy of their ‘friendship’. I was going to write this all out much more carefully but hey this is my blog and I’m fed up of biting my tongue about this. I feel some of these people, especially those who are exaggerating/attention seeking they trivialise what it is like to live with difficult to control asthma. And while I get wound up with people like those I’m referring to, I’m much more annoyed with myself for getting bothered by it. I’m trying to ignore what they say and what they do but being how they are they don’t make that easy. It’s too much energy I waste getting wound up by stupid strange people who do these things.
I just want to make it clear that I don’t feel like this about everyone I speak to who has asthma, just a small select group. I have some friends who also have asthma who are supportive and I would never consider them to be in this little club I’m referring to.
My rant has come to an end, hopefully my next post will be a happier and more positive one.
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