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What do people say when you tell them you have asthma or allergies?

At some point, we all share that we have asthma or allergies with someone new in our lives. For some of us, we've grown accustomed to that big reveal. For others of us, we're still trying to figure out who we feel comfortable telling and how much they should know.

But when you do, what do people say? Are they surprised? Do they think people with asthma or allergies look or sound a certain way? 

I thought of this as I was looking at this week's submissions in our photo contest. I love the way these photos capture how asthma and allergies don't have to define us — we folks manage asthma along with all the rest of the things we need to manage to live a happy and productive life!

So what do you hear when you share about your asthma or allergies? And why not ? Help AAFA show how you and your family are more than asthma or more than allergies!

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Comments 44

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I have actually had responses such as- Oh yeah? Or, Oh, That's too bad. 

    In other words, it couldn't have concerned them. When I tell people in stores why I have a mask on, they just look at me. 

    I hope that "the world" can see that I am still living my life. I still go shopping, cook meals, do laundry, clean house, do yard work. I face alot of challenges because of where I live. I am getting through each day! If someone isn't concerned about my health issues, I do not let it bother me. Keep on living your life to the fullest! Every morning when you wake up, feel the joy of being here! There are so many reasons to have a great day! And I hope all of you do have a great day! 😀 

  • K8sMom2002
    Deborah Bartlett posted:

    I hope that "the world" can see that I am still living my life. I still go shopping, cook meals, do laundry, clean house, do yard work.  

    Deb, that's a great goal! What I hope is that people will better understand how much harder folks with asthma have to work, how many more challenges we face, just to do the shopping, the cooking, the laundry, the yard work.

    You are an inspiration to me! You've overcome so much, and you work through challenges with such positivity.

  • Emelina

    Recently I haven’t had to tell many, they usually figured it out from seeing the ventolin at my desk or me nebbing at work; then there’s the tell tale hacking up a lung for months at a time when not controlled. Those that I did tell were usually surprised. I think they may have been expecting the nerdy person who clutches their ventolin and uses it with any stress (what we see on tv and movies). 

  • Emelina

    I don’t know if you guys have had the same experience, but I haven’t known a lot of other people with asthma. I knew one person in elementary school, and one in college with asthma; and honestly I was surprised. They flew under the radar – one only used albuterol before exercise and the other never had any major respiratory symptoms, she just mentioned that she had to go pick up her advair. 

    Most were sweet and understanding, but there were a few that made me feel embarrassed/ashamed for needing to neb to get through the day with off color comments (smoking in the back again eh? I needed nebs when sick before, you’re fine). 

    Usually the sweet ones are those who have had close family members struggle with the disease and the turkeys, well, who knows. I have a theory that sensitivity to those with chronic disease lags behind because generally it seems like Americans don’t talk about disability and disease much (it’s a private issue) and asthma isn’t understood well by the public in terms of what it is and that it spans the whole spectrum from mild nuisance to debilitating and life threatening. 

    I love the more than asthma campaign – it reinforces the idea that people with asthma can still live active and full lives. And unless they had a neb or inhaler in hand you’d never know they have the disease. 

  • Breatheeasy

    I have frequent infections and also allergic rhinitis. I take a week of steroids and it works to calm my asthma down but they also lower my immunity so I catch colds and I have an exacerbation soon after. I am still working on getting the right meds. Might need to take an anti histamine everyday. Need to discuss next appointment.

    There are good days and bad all in a week. When my asthma was in control I was overworked. I worked all my waking hours. I had frequent attacks from eating foods that I didn’t know I was allergic to. Once I cut those out I was doing better but I had issues with my inhalers not working as expected. The doc I was seeing at that time suggested I get off of everything and take Singulair everyday and steroid + bronchodilator inhaler only for emergencies as ventolin was causing me issues. This unpredictability and uncontrolled aspect of my asthma was causing issues so my boss was extremely frustrated with the number of unplanned sick days I was taking. He took me off of all major projects but had me do them anayway when the rest of the team failed to do them. The upper management thought I was useless. But my boss didn’t want to let me go coz I was the only one who knew all the work and the projects going on. He then grudgingly let me resign(I wanted to take care of myself) and promised to reduce my workload if I came back .

    But while on the break I had awful issues hit me along with a number of other issues in my personal life. We applied for divorce, I moved to a new place(while my asthma was still flared) so I had to find a whole new team of docs, my DD was doing bad at school and had social issues so she was diagnosed with Aspergers and I had to home school her. At school she receives therapy and attends a few classes she can handle. Then I had to plan her day out to include social activities so she can handle more at school. This put me under so much stress mentally and physically as my DD was nonverbal at the time of her diagnosis. If I was working i would have been taxing a lot of time off of work to figure out her problems with her docs and then go to my appointments for asthma and then do all the house-hold chores. I Got back to work later but I ended up in the hospital and my parents came to look after me and wanted me to move-in with them. I started working again when I got out of the hospital. I then bounced back but it took me a few months. I lost so much weight in the process and that caused further issues. Then my DD started using her speech and started asking me why we are with my parents and not daddy. My ex-husband didn’t want custody or to spend any time with her so it made my DD  very sad because she was not seeing him though she was too young to understand what was going on. My mom wanted me to start dating again. I didn’t know how I was going to in my condition(frequent minor flare-ups). But I got asked out by someone who then disappeared after a few dates. I figured I can’t handle anything. I can’t go to work or handle relationships right now. So I left work about a month ago. I am hoping if my asthma is somewhat better controlled I can get back to work. It’s my goal. 

     

  • Deborah Bartlett
    Emelina posted:

    I don’t know if you guys have had the same experience, but I haven’t known a lot of other people with asthma. I knew one person in elementary school, and one in college with asthma; and honestly I was surprised. They flew under the radar – one only used albuterol before exercise and the other never had any major respiratory symptoms, she just mentioned that she had to go pick up her advair. 

    Most were sweet and understanding, but there were a few that made me feel embarrassed/ashamed for needing to neb to get through the day with off color comments (smoking in the back again eh? I needed nebs when sick before, you’re fine). 

    Usually the sweet ones are those who have had close family members struggle with the disease and the turkeys, well, who knows. I have a theory that sensitivity to those with chronic disease lags behind because generally it seems like Americans don’t talk about disability and disease much (it’s a private issue) and asthma isn’t understood well by the public in terms of what it is and that it spans the whole spectrum from mild nuisance to debilitating and life threatening. 

    I love the more than asthma campaign – it reinforces the idea that people with asthma can still live active and full lives. And unless they had a neb or inhaler in hand you’d never know they have the disease. 

    I have never known anyone in my life that has or had asthma. 

    I love the concept of More Than Asthma. It is so very encouraging! People can still live happily, even though they are living with a chronic illness. Keep on going folks! Life IS for living! We can do many things. We just have to remember to stick to our medication program, and always be prepared for a breathing emergency. 😀

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Breatheeasy- You have alot on your plate. I know how important it is for you to take care of your daughter. You also have to take care of yourself. That is all a heavy load. Once you and your doctor find a good medication program that works for you, hopefully you can start working again. It's great that your parents are supportive, and are doing what they can to help you and your DD. As far as dating goes, I believe that when you are not looking for someone, then that is when that someone will find you! Everything will fall into place! It takes a bit of time….Sending lots of hugs and happy thoughts your way! Sending caring and well wishes to your DD. Sending thanks to your parents for being there for you two. ☺❤

  • Wheezy Me

    Most people don't make a big deal out of it, though several friends were surprised (I assume it's because I'm physically active, or maybe they just expected me to look different?). Several said "my dad/kid/good friend has asthma too". Two people asked to have a look at my inhaler- it was clear they had never encountered such a thing before.

    I have a family history of asthma, so for me it was never strange or surprising to see others with the same condition.

  • Breatheeasy
    Breatheeasy posted:

    I have frequent infections and also allergic rhinitis. I take a week of steroids and it works to calm my asthma down but they also lower my immunity so I catch colds and I have an exacerbation soon after. I am still working on getting the right meds. Might need to take an anti histamine everyday. Need to discuss next appointment.

    There are good days and bad all in a week. When my asthma was in control I was overworked. I worked all my waking hours. I had frequent attacks from eating foods that I didn’t know I was allergic to. Once I cut those out I was doing better but I had issues with my inhalers not working as expected. The doc I was seeing at that time suggested I get off of everything and take Singulair everyday and steroid + bronchodilator inhaler only for emergencies as ventolin was causing me issues. This unpredictability and uncontrolled aspect of my asthma was causing issues so my boss was extremely frustrated with the number of unplanned sick days I was taking. He took me off of all major projects but had me do them anayway when the rest of the team failed to do them. The upper management thought I was useless. But my boss didn’t want to let me go coz I was the only one who knew all the work and the projects going on. He then grudgingly let me resign(I wanted to take care of myself) and promised to reduce my workload if I came back .

    But while on the break I had awful issues hit me along with a number of other issues in my personal life. We applied for divorce, I moved to a new place(while my asthma was still flared) so I had to find a whole new team of docs, my DD was doing bad at school and had social issues so she was diagnosed with Aspergers and I had to home school her. At school she receives therapy and attends a few classes she can handle. Then I had to plan her day out to include social activities so she can handle more at school. This put me under so much stress mentally and physically as my DD was nonverbal at the time of her diagnosis. If I was working i would have been taxing a lot of time off of work to figure out her problems with her docs and then go to my appointments for asthma and then do all the house-hold chores. I Got back to work later but I ended up in the hospital and my parents came to look after me and wanted me to move-in with them. I started working again when I got out of the hospital. I then bounced back but it took me a few months. I lost so much weight in the process and that caused further issues. Then my DD started using her speech and started asking me why we are with my parents and not daddy. My ex-husband didn’t want custody or to spend any time with her so it made my DD  very sad because she was not seeing him though she was too young to understand what was going on. My mom wanted me to start dating again. I didn’t know how I was going to in my condition(frequent minor flare-ups). But I got asked out by someone who then disappeared after a few dates. I figured I can’t handle anything. I can’t go to work or handle relationships right now. So I left work about a month ago. I am hoping if my asthma is somewhat better controlled I can get back to work. It’s my goal. 

     

    Oops I meant to post this in Emelina’s thread about disease severity insight. Sorry

  • Breatheeasy
    Deborah Bartlett posted:

    Breatheeasy- You have alot on your plate. I know how important it is for you to take care of your daughter. You also have to take care of yourself. That is all a heavy load. Once you and your doctor find a good medication program that works for you, hopefully you can start working again. It's great that your parents are supportive, and are doing what they can to help you and your DD. As far as dating goes, I believe that when you are not looking for someone, then that is when that someone will find you! Everything will fall into place! It takes a bit of time….Sending lots of hugs and happy thoughts your way! Sending caring and well wishes to your DD. Sending thanks to your parents for being there for you two. ☺❤

    Aww thank you. How are you feeling? Have you gotten over the latest flare. I keep getting tight and short of breath. I thonk it’s the weather. 

  • LK
    Emelina posted:

    I don’t know if you guys have had the same experience, but I haven’t known a lot of other people with asthma. I knew one person in elementary school, and one in college with asthma; and honestly I was surprised. They flew under the radar – one only used albuterol before exercise and the other never had any major respiratory symptoms, she just mentioned that she had to go pick up her advair. 

     

    I have known a handful of people with asthma but it is mild intermittent asthma.  Two had EIB and one puff with their inhalers and they were fine.  Another had only one trigger and if she avoided it she was fine.  Even when they were having trouble it was mild.

    I think that's why when I was told I had asthma almost 7 years ago, I had no clue what was in store for me!

  • Breatheeasy
    LK posted:
    Emelina posted:

    I don’t know if you guys have had the same experience, but I haven’t known a lot of other people with asthma. I knew one person in elementary school, and one in college with asthma; and honestly I was surprised. They flew under the radar – one only used albuterol before exercise and the other never had any major respiratory symptoms, she just mentioned that she had to go pick up her advair. 

     

    I have known a handful of people with asthma but it is mild intermittent asthma.  Two had EIB and one puff with their inhalers and they were fine.  Another had only one trigger and if she avoided it she was fine.  Even when they were having trouble it was mild.

    I think that's why when I was told I had asthma almost 7 years ago, I had no clue what was in store for me!

    My grandmas sister has uncontrolled asthma and COPD. She has had it for 31 years now( that’s how old I’m). All my life I have seen her wheeze. 

    People call me weak and they tell me right away that I look sick or that I look like I’m in some sort of discomfort. I try to look normal but I can’t. everyones amazed at the amount of stuff I manage to do.

     

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Breatheeasy- I am still at the end of my flare. On 5 my Pred still…maybe for one more week. I do believe our weather is causing us to feel the way we do. Hasn't been too pleasant, has it? I have that chest tightness that you mentioned. Hang in there! Better days are coming! 😀❤

  • Emelina

    Holy cow Breatheasy, like Deborah said, you have a ton on your plate. Upper management sounds like a bunch of goofballs because you ended up being the fixer when others failed. I’m glad you are taking time to focus on getting yourself well. Gosh, when I read your story I see strength and resilience. Having all of that hit one person at one time would easily be enough to make one’s knees buckle, but you persevered and cared for DD. Do you have an appointment coming up soon with your asthma docs. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they find a good regimen. I didn’t realize that the inhalers themselves could cause issues. And the food allergies adds another level of complexity. Thanks for sharing your experiences! 

  • Shea

    Breatheasy, I feel like I have run down a very similar path with overworking, getting ill, allergies and food allergies, ex leaving and non-supportive, parents helping, homeschooling child (son) with medical, and — for me the the thought of working or dating was like completely stressful and not what I want, but I know other single parents who found relief and respite in those things. It is a personal choice each must make for themself. I just– know it is pretty crazy and tough and a lot and I am sorry either of us had to go through it.

    I tell people about my asthma and allergies and— get all sorts of different responses. Some good some bad some neutral-ish. I just play it by ear how much I go into it. I try to stick with keeping it on me and my action plan — "I cannot do that activity or go to that place, or I should be able to go if my asthma flares I might have to cancel, or are there cats and dogs there– my son and I have severe allergies, or I/ my son have food allergies no thanks we brought safe foods. 

     

  • mdashiquennobi

    When I tell them that I have asthma and eczema both, they said, there is no cure of those two. I got frustrated. My father has also psoriasis. In my father case, people told that my father is cursed by some spiritual things.

  • Deborah Bartlett
    mdashiquennobi posted:

    When I tell them that I have asthma and eczema both, they said, there is no cure of those two. I got frustrated. My father has also psoriasis. In my father case, people told that my father is cursed by some spiritual things.

    Oh, my! 

    I have psoriasis because the strain of being ill caused it. I have eczema because of my asthma. I will have both for a lifetime. I deal with them, and I am doing okay! 😀

  • Breatheeasy

    Shea- I guess it’s the stress that’s making everything worse. It’s so nice that parents support all they can. 

    My parents think I’m faking my food allergy issues. They don’t understand them.

  • Shea

    My parents, family, friends wouldnt get it through their heads many times with food or dander allergies. In fact, many people don't. My parents have seen anaphlactic shock for nuts nearly kill me even after 3 epipens and ER ride and 6 hour stay– and that helped them get it… They now dont mind me pestering the wait staff with asking what us in things and they even remind me to sometimes. 

    My ex wouldnt get my dander allergy through his dense skull even on my freaking deathbed after a heart atrack showing me full if allergic eosinophils. He has seen my rash upon touch and asthma upon secondhand exposure. He saw Tommys skin prick tests to dander and foids as well and still pushed to try to force him to be around his dog, still wouldnt ask about ingredients/only go places with food allergy menus, still wouldnt carry hus epipen in. Makes me sick to my stomach. Sometimes I think it is because they are scared to ask or put others at inconvenience– well my life is worth that "inconvenience" to me and it should be to everyone else even if it is just so they dont have to watch me get ill or due in front of them. It us easier for people to ignore/deny sometimes… But not for me! (Not anymore). 

    Denial is a tough beast to kill … but you dont have to kill it—You just cannot join it. It will die on its own if you dont join it. You know what is real, you feel it, and you listen to your body, you get tests that confirm it when you can, you nake a plan that shows what you can do to keep you safe, and believe there is a reason for it, and stay true! Those are the things I try to do. 

    Doctors notes and action plans can be very helpful tools. Sending videos and infornation to people in emails of education and training are (sometimes) good but also sonetimes are just ignored or even oeople can be mean back to you. They want yo think theur pooch us the cutest, that anyone who doesnt want a dog around is evil. They want to pretend dander allergy doesn't exist.  They want to send you links to Pinocchio saying the doctors tricked you into believing you have this, that it is in your head. Because that would be easier for them to get…. They dont have to change or feel bad or take any resposibility then. I dont even think they know they do it, they dont even think it through. 

    Logic and tests and others with the disease are your friends. They fight against irrational, lazy, blaming that others use to make themselves feel better.

    Exposing yourself and them to others who have allergies helps them to understand that families deal with this and can be supportive of eachother and work together so that we can eat safely, breathe safely, and enjoy life.

    Strangers will say, I know a person who cured asthma by swimming or by this or that when I tell them I have asthma. Or thet will say their so and so is allergic and lives with pets anyways and just uses medications. That doesn't work for me. I say ehat happens to me, I tell them as much as they need or want to hear so they are more educated, so my story is heard too and they can keep it in their heads too. 

     

  • Shea

    (Sorry if I ranted but I am so sick of denial and dealing with others in it lime family and friends so often are esp in tbe beginning.. I had to navigate so much of this alone– well i had everyone here and some good doctors… But i just remember especially early on I was alone– plus I had 200mg of steroid recently so my nervrs are high now)…

  • Shea

    I just want to add that it easnt that I was just alone in tbe beginning…. But tbat many people and things  were actually working against me. For a while alone is where I wanted to be. For protection. To make sense of things and think. That is where I think a lot of people have to start. 

  • Wheezy Me

    Shea, you don't have to apologize. It sounds you had to fight a long battle to protect yourself and Tommy of your triggers. Chronic diseases can suck, even more so when your daily life is highly affected by them, and more so when no one seems to understand. We know it.

    About those strangers who control their asthma differently- it's their right. However, you have the same right to control yours the way you do. Not everyone is allergic to the same degree. Life circumstances and personal lifestyle also matter much. And no stranger can tell you what is better for you! Just ignore them.

  • Emelina

    I’ll echo what wheezy me said Shea, no need to apologize. You have head to fight a lonely uphill battle for things that should be basic and fundamental like health, and well being and prevention of progressing disease in you and Tommy. I don’t know why people fall back on denial or disbelief when it comes to allergies. It’s not like we can do anything about what our immune system systems react to. I’m glad family is turning the corner now and supporting you; just frustrating to the max that it took anaphylaxis to do so. 

    One of the worst things I’ve experienced thus far is feeling alone when you don’t have the support of people around you or even your own medical team. It’s hard enough to fight your own body and wrestle with it and try to regain balance … but to do it with others pulling the rug out from under you! You are a survivor Shea. You are alive and doing as well as you are because you don’t take nonsense from anyone. My prayer is the world will become a safer place for you and Tommy. 💜🤞 for more research, awareness and understanding and kindness.

  • Breatheeasy
    Shea posted:

    (Sorry if I ranted but I am so sick of denial and dealing with others in it lime family and friends so often are esp in tbe beginning.. I had to navigate so much of this alone– well i had everyone here and some good doctors… But i just remember especially early on I was alone– plus I had 200mg of steroid recently so my nervrs are high now)…

    I guess coming to terms with being alone is depressing me. I know I need to do it but I’m still in denial. I have allergic asthma so when allergies start my asthma gets worse. My allergies are manageable with antihistamines  except for food allergies of course(my throat gets tight) but asthma flares up and I’m all outta energy when that happens.

  • Shea

    Allergies and asthma are related for me too. When my allergies got worse, asthmatic reactions started. It is tiring for sure– and, for mine, the allergies (food and dander) got worse with each exposure, so I am always about avoidance and carrying emergency medicine with. 

    Alone can be just a place to meditate in for a while. It doesnt have to be a permanent spot. I wanted to be alone because others were confusing me and not responding and giving advice that wasnt good– what I really wanted was people who were helpful and supportive and would work with me to find clarity and a treatnent plan that works and nakes sense. And family did always offer some of that support– they just took time and would want me to risk more than I could at times… But my parents were there when nothing else was and I woulda been on the street– I needed some help from them, even if it did take some work to have them understand my allergic disease or how bad it was– at first I didnt know severity either I just knew one reaction after the next and journalling and testing and researching. Making connections. Then it was severity– when I had my own place free of animals I could really see the reactions and separate them. I wasnt going to go over to my parents' house or anyone's even if they vacuumed and put the dog in the other room. Never again. Now I KNOW. Getting our own place– originally a rental, and now a permanent home– were huuuuge because then I could really make some improvements in indoor air quality and allergen reduction and get steadiness.

    I did find this group too, and so have you all here, so we aren't alone. We have otbers who deal with allergic and asthmatic diseases here and it makes a huge difference for me.

    With time, and energy, and work, it gets less lonely and more people come to your team. Understanding increases. And you strengthen too. 

    Doctors are tough. Sometimes they just are so busy they do not remember you, and we are all so unique, with different allergies, severities, lifestyle factors, and responses to medications. And it takes a while to get acquainted and get tests and figure out what is going on, and who is managing what among specialists, it takes a while to build a relationship with them and find ones you are comfortable with and trust (somewhat). 

    My family is really good now with knowing what I can do and working with me and helping when I am ill– not just with money, but by coming over and playing with Tommy too, by asking about the disease abd treatments. They check in on me. They know our allergies (for the most part). They know I check ingredients snd bring safe foods for Tommy and we dont eat things we cannot check ingredients on. We dont pet animals or go in homes with them. We dont entertsin people with animals in our home due to 2nd hand exposure.

    They are really good now. My dad even wants me to show him how to use an epipen– which is huge for him because he used to kinda fall asleep as I would talk about Tommy and Is allergies or not pay attention much, but he had to watch Tommy while I was in the hospital recently and I go over the bag and where everything is but he wants me to show him with it– so I am going to show him the trainer– actually going to have Tommy show him using the trainer epi on his bear… Teachable moment. It is thinfs like that that make me feel less alone than ever before. 

  • MizWheezie

    To be honest, I don't tell people I have Asthma…

    The only time it comes up, is if they hear me wheezing, or they bring their pets around, or suggest we go to a Park, the Zoo, or simply just sit outside under some trees – and then I'll say: "Yeah, sorry, stupid asthma!" 

    Edited to add: And then they'll say: "Oh, sorry!"

  • LK
    MizWheezie posted:

    To be honest, I don't tell people I have Asthma…

    The only time it comes up, is if they hear me wheezing, or they bring their pets around, or suggest we go to a Park, the Zoo, or simply just sit outside under some trees – and then I'll say: "Yeah, sorry, stupid asthma!" 

    Edited to add: And then they'll say: "Oh, sorry!"

    MizWheezie,  I may totally be misunderstanding what you are saying, so if I am, please forgive me!  Are you saying that you go ahead and do these activities and then when your asthma is triggered that is when you say that?  Or do you say that as a way of saying "No, sorry, I can't do those activities.  Yeah, sorry, stupid asthma"  ?  

    Wouldn't it be easier on you and your family and friends if you let them know that you have asthma and what the triggers are?  That way you and they could plan things that you can do and you would not have to disappoint yourself and them by not participating at the last minute.  It would reduce your triggers if you are engaging in those activities that have triggers before you say something to them.

    There will still be times when they want to do things that you cannot do.  I have those times with my family.  Makes me a little sad that I can't join them but I think it helps them and me by giving them advance notice so I am not constantly having to say "Nope, can't do that."

    For me anyway, it makes things a tad easier if I try not to look at asthma as "stupid" on a daily basis, although there are still times when I completely agree with you on that!!  While it is momentarily sad when we are not able to participate in things friends and family want to do, the most important things is to BREATHE.

    It is quite easy to feel beaten down by asthma.  Quite easy.  But you are not alone in this!!

  • Pljohns

    I think I'm right there with most of you-it's pretty much run the course of responses.  My Dad thinks it can be "cured" but just not taking my meds and letting my lungs get use to not having them, then I won't need them.  I've had the mall cops called on me for my "crack pipe" (handheld neb), airport security has tried to escort me out of the gate area because I was "vaping" in the gate area-you name it.  For a long time after the AWFUL experience with my last employer, I hid my asthma-didn't tell anyone, didn't do anything at work-just suffered through.  My new boss started out being understanding-until he had to buy something that was scent free-then that went right back to the "oh, it won't hurt".  When I tell them it's severe uncontrolled and I can't use an inhaler, most of the time, I get "well what are you allergic to?" and they don't understand that I'm not allergic to ANYTHING.  I have a rare type called non-allergic asthma so I can't avoid something I'm not allergic to and allergy shots do no good.  I've quit trying to explain it-I'm sort of back to just hiding in the closet with it.

  • MizWheezie
    LK posted:
    MizWheezie posted:

    To be honest, I don't tell people I have Asthma…

    The only time it comes up, is if they hear me wheezing, or they bring their pets around, or suggest we go to a Park, the Zoo, or simply just sit outside under some trees – and then I'll say: "Yeah, sorry, stupid asthma!" 

    Edited to add: And then they'll say: "Oh, sorry!"

    MizWheezie,  I may totally be misunderstanding what you are saying, so if I am, please forgive me!  Are you saying that you go ahead and do these activities and then when your asthma is triggered that is when you say that?  Or do you say that as a way of saying "No, sorry, I can't do those activities.  Yeah, sorry, stupid asthma"  ?  

     

    No, Sweetie, that's my response when I'm asked to participate in those types of activities – My immediate family and close circle of friends are keenly aware that I have asthma, but I just don't mention it to people when I meet them for the first time, unless it's due to one of those (above-mentioned) situations – If that makes sense? 

  • Emelina

    Ugh, I hate that we all have to hide in the closet to avoid work troubles or stares or harassment. Let’s go to no wheezy land! 

    I think maybe I’m coming to some sort of peace with asthma. Like Shea has said, it’s like a broken leg. It’s still a part of me. I don’t know if the world will ever completely understand, they have normal lungs. It’s starting to become part of my routine and gradually the frustration, sadness, grief is fading away. Thank goodness for this group; the one place where people understand 🥰

  • LK

    Thanks Miz Wheezie!  Yes it makes perfect sense.  Sorry!  Sometimes I get carried away when typing.  The fingers get a mind of their own!  

    No-Wheezyland, here we all come!!  

  • LK

    Oh, my gosh, Lynn!  What some people have said to you -  "oh, it won't hurt"  – has been said to me.  It's like "Oh, you can be (insert place where there are asthma triggers)  for just a few minutes can't you?"  and I just want to tell them it's like breathing poison.  I wouldn't want to do that for "just a few minutes"  either!!!

  • Breatheeasy

    Emelina – thanks I didn’t see your reply. I have no choice😀. I gotta be strong for DD. Yeah the inhalers are a puzzle to me. Wonder why albuterol doesn’t work for me. Environmental allergies, food allergies – I have a lot of allergies which were milder in the past but not now. Maybe coz I have inflammatory asthma that doesn’t respond to albuterol (if that makes sense.)

    Yeah people think I can be around anything because I once was able to tolerate them. Not anymore. I guess sometimes my parents are in denial that all of this is happening to me. Coz it’s adult onset asthma and no one in the family had asthma before me.  

  • LK
    Breatheeasy posted:

    Yeah people think I can be around anything because I once was able to tolerate them. Not anymore. I guess sometimes my parents are in denial that all of this is happening to me. Coz it’s adult onset asthma and no one in the family had asthma before me.  

    BreatheEasy,  My mom is still puzzled about me having adult onset asthma.  No one on either side of my parents' family trees has had asthma, much less adult onset.  Somehow that makes it harder to explain since they have no point of reference.

    Even my DH, who has come a long way in trying to understand my asthma, still forgets and will do something that will set me to coughing.  He doesn't mean to but he is just so focused on what he is doing that it doesn't occur to him.

  • Kgblanchard

    I get the "shock and awwww" nearly every time I tell someone or they see my inhaler.  There is the initial shock, then the "awwww… I'm so sorry."  People don't realize that I'm not dying!  I wish they would realize I am still living my life as a productive human being!

  • Melissa Calvert

    We have asthma and food allergies in my house.  Because my oldest daughter was allergic to peanuts, no one would give my other children anything with peanuts in it.  It was very frustrating to my other children who would want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a candy bar with peanuts, but their babysitter wouldn't give it to them because Lexie was allergic.  Sometimes Lexie wasn't even there, and the babysitter wouldn't let the children have it.  With regards to asthma, most people don't really have much of an reaction until they find out my daughter died from an asthma attack.  Then it's "oh my God!!! I'm so sorry."

  • Pljohns

    Gotta love the remark "oh, you can just use your inhaler and it will go away"-NOPE-wish it would!

    Lisa-I'm there with you-no one understands my asthma-adult onset and no one in my family has EVER had resp issues.  I try to explain that as best we can figure out, I had H1N1 flu when it came around the first time (it has a respiratory component with it and left thousands with issues), then on it's heals, got pneumonia-bilaterally-then whooping cough-all within 6 months.  Toasted my lungs.  My Dad still can't understand that.

  • Deborah Bartlett
    Melissa Calvert posted:

    We have asthma and food allergies in my house.  Because my oldest daughter was allergic to peanuts, no one would give my other children anything with peanuts in it.  It was very frustrating to my other children who would want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a candy bar with peanuts, but their babysitter wouldn't give it to them because Lexie was allergic.  Sometimes Lexie wasn't even there, and the babysitter wouldn't let the children have it.  With regards to asthma, most people don't really have much of an reaction until they find out my daughter died from an asthma attack.  Then it's "oh my God!!! I'm so sorry."

    That is horrible. I have severe persistent asthma and COPD. I truly am sorry for your loss and what you have all been through. God Bless You. ❤

  • Shea

    Melissa Calvert, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter.

    I have tried so many times to cope with my asthma by making it into something good or put some type of reason behind it, but remembering that it can be deadly (I think I also "forget" about that part as a coping mechanism)– well– I will have to find another way to cope, because there is just nothing good or reasonable in that happening to a family, and it truly breaks my heart. Again, I am so sorry. 

    I did not have asthma until I was an adult– age 26, although I had severe food allergies at age 13. I learned over the course of attacks and through my own trials in finding good doctors and a good treatment plan, but it is scary even now. I carry extra bags with meds everywhere we go. I have bracelets, and safe lunch foods. 

    My son also has nut allergies. I know personally how bad the reactions can be and how they can worsen over time (mine started off milder and now are severe, anaphlactic, and scary as all heck). So with my son and I, we don't sit by people who are eating nut products, and if they do so away from us, I ask them to wash their hands after, and not to kiss us.

    Some think I overreact and some think I underreact. (I am sure that I react practically perfect in every way).

  • Wheezy Me

    Melissa Calvert, I'm at a loss for words. So sorry to hear about your daughter! You sound like a strong woman, by joining such a forum after what asthma cost you. Wishing you and your family just the best from now on.