Asthma Ninja


Most of the time my asthma is well controlled. Most of the time it doesn’t impact my day to day life that much. Which is really the way it should be- it’s what all doctors aim for. But it wasn’t always that way (especially at the beginning) and sometimes to this day my asthma sneaks up on me and goes into attack mode.  It usually happens after I’ve been exposed repeatedly to something that I know is a trigger like cigarette smoke or dander. In these situations I know I’ve been exposed and I wait nervously for my lungs to decide if they are in a good mood. While it often passes in a few hours or a day, if I’ve been exposed I know that it’s fairly likely it will trigger a flare up. I understand how it happened and I can deal with it. I’m used to it. But, sometimes my asthma is like a ninja. It comes out of nowhere and I end up winded, blindsided by an attack I didn’t see coming. This is the asthma I can’t stand.

I guess one could say I’m lucky. It’s hard to say anyone who has asthma is lucky, but in the grand realm of asthmatics I have it pretty good. Usually my asthma only acts up around my triggers, which makes it easier to control (although tell me that as I’m wheezing from some asshole’s second hand smoke and I’ll probably slap you). But, when this predictability is taken away from me I get angry.

This past month I’ve been on a higher than normal dose of my asthma medication. I’ve been having frequent asthma attacks and they are being triggered by the smallest of things. I’ve been woken up at night gasping for air and I have been staying indoors as much as possible to avoid triggers. I wasn’t happy about this, but I was managing. However, when I started having to modify my workouts because my asthma was bothering me, I snapped. I’ve been trying for a while to lose the weight I gained when I was sick about 3 years ago. It’s been a struggle, but I’m finally making progress. I was motivated and energetic and kicking some ass and then my asthma flared up. It really frustrates me when I can’t do something I enjoy because of my chronic illness.  I miss the simpler days, before I had asthma, when the biggest thing I had to worry about was if I looked fat in my workout clothes.


For the most part I’ve learned how to live with my asthma and how to work around it in order to do what I want. Usually it doesn’t stop me. I might do it differently, but it still gets done. I realize that there are a few things I will likely never be able to do, like scuba dive, sky dive, or climb a mountain. I’ve (gradually and reluctantly) accepted them and tried to move forward. But when it starts to interfere (out of the blue) with something that I can and normally do, I get really frustrated. It’s been one of those weeks. Sometimes my asthma really kicks my ass.


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