25 August 2015

Ain't Easy Being Wheezy | ASTHMA AWARENESS

In the UK 5.4 million people struggle with asthma everyday. I was diagnosed at the age of around two after struggling to breathe and contracting chest infections. Now, at the age of 19 breathing is something I still struggle with every day, though how difficult it is changes from day to day.
Credit Cirque de Art

In 2009 I remember waking up one morning and finding out that a girl I knew (albeit via Twitter) had suddenly passed away during the night from an asthma attack. She hadn't been ill, or sick or congested, she woke up in the night and went into an attack then died and it terrifies me that that could happen to any of us.


Yet throughout school I was and still am embarrassed to take my inhaler in public. On a bus, in class, out walking, in the shops. I'm not sure if it's because of the way 'geeks and nerds' have been portrayed on television, we've all seen them- glasses taped together, books in a bag and taking an inhaler between sentences, or because people look at me funny as I inhale from this 'alien object'.

Asthma is NOT a joke. It shouldn't be portrayed as anything less than a disease, it is not a stereotype, it does not make you an outcast (see list of TV, music videos and movies that use this stereotype here) or an object of interest. Obviously, some struggle more than others. Some subdue it with age while others continue on stronger preventatives so that they might be one of the lucky ones who lives through the daily annoyance of being unable to breathe. 

But you want to know what grinds my gears just as much as my lungs sucking at being lungs? That asthma sufferers still have to pay for prescribed inhalers and tablets... if diabetes and epilepsy (both conditions that affect sufferer's day-to-day life) are exempt from prescription charges then why isn't asthma? Three people die every day from attacks. I can't leave the house with my little blue inhaler and keep one at my boyfriend's house as well as my own. I even took one for walking down the prom for this OOTD post. It's crazy that this object rules my life so much!

"Well managed asthma means not having to ask someone to get you something from upstairs, because you can do it yourself."

If you see someone taking an inhaler please don't stare them down, make fun or ask questions. If you have asthma and see another asthmatic struggling, let them borrow your inhaler! Sneaky tip- if you're out and you're in desperate need, nip into a public place, café, swimming pool, gym, and tell them that you've left your inhaler there. Chances are if you can tell them the name of the medication and colour, they'll give it to you. As a generation, lets take asthma seriously!

Do any of you have asthma or another disease/condition that you feel deserves more attention?
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