A big thank you to our guest blogger this week - Rochelle Gomez, for sharing her experiences about growing up with asthma. If you'd like to know more about Rochelle, you can check out her blog Simple Social Sister.
I don’t remember much about the time I was diagnosed. But after consulting my parents it was actually my doctor who had noticed how deeply I was breathing and the wheezing that came out when I exhaled. I guess you could say that I was one of the lucky ones in that instance as my parents had never heard of asthma before. That was the start of my long-term chronic disease. At the time I’m sure I thought that it was just another cold that I would eventually get over in a couple of days, but this was different, very different.
Beginning primary school I thought it was weird that I couldn't run as fast as the other kids and catch up to them. I found it hard to gain my breath back in the same amount of time that the other kids did. Turns out that this is pretty common - my lack of athletic skills wasn’t the problem.
I remember one day particularly when I was having trouble breathing at school. For me, it was just another day as this had happened numerous times before. I knew the protocol and was already pre-programmed to use my ventolin inhaler in these situations. But being the quiet and shy person that I am and after several puffs of my inhaler not working I brushed it off as nothing. BIG MISTAKE! I should have spoken up and I should have told someone. For things could have gone down a lot worse. I remember telling my mum that my inhaler wasn’t working when I came home from school that day. After a long chat, she had told me that I had experienced an asthma attack.
Now these things you don't think of may be the reason why you think you are okay, or why someone else may think that what your experiencing is nothing as well. But you’re not okay. I wasn’t okay and that is nothing to be ashamed about. I’ve learnt my lesson since then to let someone know when I’m having trouble breathing. Along with the fact that I always make sure I’ve got my puffer on me and a great group of people that are always willing to come to my aid and understand my limitations when a task becomes to hard. Because in these instances your life really is on the line. I still don’t know what triggered my asthma attack that day or why my inhaler wasn’t working but asking for help isn’t a crime. It also helps to be aware of the signs if you see that someone (friend/family member) is struggling too.
I was always involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities as a kid, still am now. I always like to keep busy.
My parents put me through martial arts, swimming lessons, as well as a whole plethora of activities until I eventually found my love in singing lessons. I was always doing a variety of tasks outside the confines of my bedroom that were working out my lungs, as well as training them to becoming stronger. I go for walks around my neighborhood to help breathe in fresh clean air and I complete breathing exercises. These are just some things I still continue to do today, that have been fully integrated in my life.
For more information on tips and how I personally deal with asthma on an everyday basis check out my clip here.
- Rochelle Gomez
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