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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Asthma is a Drama Queen

(photo from

People always laugh when I say this, but it's true. It really explains the difference between people with asthma and those who don't have asthma (aka "normal people".)

I try to explain to people what it's like to have asthma. "Normal people" can pet a dog or cat (or have one as a pet,) go horseback riding, visit a hay maze or a farm, walk through a meadow of flowers, do yard work outside, laugh or cry, wear perfume, use cleaning supplies or scented candles, go outside on a cold day, be around a smoker, and eat anything they want.

For those of us with asthma, all of these things and more can cause asthma attacks. We can't help it! Our bodies just over-react, like a Drama Queen. The inside of our airways close up, the bands around the outside of the airways shorten and squeeze the airway from the outside. And then, because the airway is injured, it produces mucus and we start to cough.

It's annoying, it's scary, it's inconvenient and I hate it.

"Normal people" may roll their eyes and think we're faking it, or putting on a show, or being a Drama Queen. No, we just can't breathe. They aren't having problems breathing, their bodies are just fine. They can't understand how they can be around the same trigger and not have a problem, but we're coughing and wheezing.

Luck of the draw I guess. They're lucky they don't have asthma. We're not. I have asthma, as well as all 3 of my children. It's a big part of our lives. I wish it wasn't like this, I wish I could do everything I wanted to. Even on maintenance (or controller medication) I still have asthma attacks. Of course my daily maintenance medication helps keep control the swelling in my lungs, so when I have an asthma attack, I don't end up in the hospital.

But all in all, I wish I was in the "normal" category. For those of you just learning about asthma, keep in mind that no two people are alike. Even with asthma, we all have different things that bother us (triggers) and cause asthma attacks. It's nice that you are just fine, but our bodies are Drama Queens, they do over-react, so please try to understand.

And hand me my inhaler.


  1. Hi Andrea, Its really interesting presentation of you. You have such nice sense of humor. But it is always informative too.
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  2. Thanks, when you are dealing with problems, you can laugh or you can cry. Crying gives me a headache. Glad you enjoy my sense of humor

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