Asthma Can Be Such A Scary Feeling

It started today when I was outside with the kids at recess. I could see the pollen floating in the air, and felt my lungs tighten while my breathing became mildly constricted. “Ugh…” I thought as I waited impatiently for recess to end.

When I was first diagnosed with asthma, it was only sports induced. It happened my freshman year of high school. I was and still am a runner. I started having difficulty catching my breath at cross country practices, which is when I got my first inhaler. Unfortunately, my asthma has only progressed from there.

I am trying to get the flu shot in Italy. Everything takes much longer here. Having asthma scares me. In more recent years, I have had some frightening experiences with my asthma and the thought of getting sick is terrifying. Asthma is such an out of control feeling. My albeterol inhaler helps, but I still have scary moments where I feel very uncomfortable and afraid of the lack of control I have. I take the lowest dose of Advair twice a day, Flonase, and Singulair. I have lots of environmental allergies too.

Two years ago I came home from graduate school to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family for the long weekend. We had our Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house. During dinner I felt my lungs tighten and my breathing restricted. My dad had to rush me to the ER when my albeterol inhaler did nothing for me. It terrified me! I had never had that happen before. During this period of time, I was especially stressed out with a lot going on and I hadn’t spent time at my parents house most of the fall.  I had’t been around our family Tibetan Terrior puppy, which definitely contributed to the problem. At the ER they gave me a Nebulizer treatment and put me on Prednizone for a week.  I felt better but I always hate how Prednisone makes me feel!

I have a student in my class who has asthma and every time she is having trouble my heart goes out to her because I know that feeling. She has an inhaler but we have had to call her mom before because she has left it at home. The other day she was playing outside and had trouble, took her inhaler, and still didn’t feel better. I felt so bad for her. Asthma can be such a scary feeling!

There seems to be a lot of dust where I live in Italy. I am in a brand new apartment, yet the dust accumulates so quickly! I have heard other teachers I work with say the same thing about their apartments. Everyone smokes cigarettes here, too. I hate that. Smoking is gross. It makes me sad to see all these 11 and 12 year old kids already starting to smoke cigarettes. It is a cultural thing here and no one seems bothered by it except the Americans I work with. It is unbelievable to me with all that we know about cigarettes, that it is still such a significant part of the culture here.

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