When I was in high school, I was diagnosed with asthma. I continued to participate in team sports that didn’t include a lot of constant running like softball and volleyball, but always with my trusty inhaler by my side. When I got to college, my activity was limited to “running” from class to class. I tried the gym a couple of times, but I didn’t know much about weight lifting and running on a treadmill just meant having an asthma attack after five minutes. Since college, I have learned more about exercising on my own, but my efforts to get into and stay in shape have been sporadic at best.
In the spring of 2011, I had an argument over the phone with my allergist’s nurse. My inhaler was empty and I was trying to get more refills. The nurse said that I was using my medicine too frequently and one day soon I would wake up with the lungs of a 70-year old and not be able to breathe at all-even with medication. So, what was my alternative I asked her–SUFFOCATION?!?!?
I went in to my doctor and we changed my medication completely. He put me on some meds that I had tried before with no success, combined with a new inhaler. He gave me a spacer and, for the first time, I stuck to using it with my inhaler on a daily basis. Since then, my life has changed completely. I now go places and don’t even bring my inhaler with me. I can run for miles on a treadmill and last summer I even discovered the joy of running outside!
Now, I’m not saying that I’m completely cured. I still take medication every day. I have to use my inhaler before I exercise. I still have asthma attacks when I exercise at times and laughing too hard still makes me wheeze. But life is so much better.
It has taken me a long time to get my asthma under control. I has been a long and frustrating road. This year I turn 38 and it is my goal to get in really good shape. …Now, if you saw me you would think that I AM in good shape, I’m 5’3″ and only 118 pounds, but I’m not. I haven’t worked out on a regular basis since last summer. Before last summer, it has been at least a year. Before that, it had been MANY years. I want to be fit, fine and able to climb the stairs without being winded. I want to be able to keep up with my friends. I want to know that I’m taking good care of myself now, so that I can breathe when I’m 90.