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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dealing with teenagers and asthma

                                                                   (Shutterstock image)

This weekend, I met with a group of other moms who had kids with asthma. It's interesting to talk to other moms and find out all the things we have in common. 

One problem is that when they start their teenage years, they don't tell you what is going on. Unless you hear them coughing, you may not know they are sick/having an asthma attack. They won't tell you that their chest is tight, they are feeling really weak, or that they don't feel well.

Why? Good questions. Teenagers are a strange! I think part of it that they don't want to feel "different." Think about it. Junior high and middle school are tough years. Kids are going through puberty, getting acne, trying to figure out who they are.  And the last thing they want is to FEEL DIFFERENT! They want to "fit in" and be normal. 

They don't want anyone to see them using their inhaler. And, if my teenagers are not feeling well, that means I won't let them head over to a friend's house, go on the weekend scout campout, go to a movie with their friends, etc. Yes, I'm a mean mom. When my teenagers are having big problems with their asthma, I have them stay home and rest.

Asthma Doc always stresses the importance of letting your body heal after an asthma attack/illness. Our lungs need to recover, as does the rest of our body.

So, if may take a little more detective work to see how your teenagers are feeling. You may have to watch for body language and see how they are acting. One of the best things I used was a Peak Flow meter.  Your doctor will have to write a prescription for one.

You blow quickly into a tube that gives you a reading of what your lung capacity is. That always helped me figure out how the kids were feeling (even if they weren't going to tell me......). It has green, yellow, and red zones. So I knew that if they were in the yellow zone, I would have them use their inhaler or have a breathing treatment with the nebulizer.  Then we would cancel activities for the day if they were getting sick.

If you have teenagers, my sympathies! Just kidding. I love my teenagers, but they are hard to deal with at that age. Just do the best you can try to help them with their asthma. And just know that they may hide it from you because they don't want to be the "weird or different" kid in class. Every teenager is different, so figure out how to deal with yours and what works for you. GOOD LUCK!!!!!     


  1. When I was teenager, I heard diagnosis. It was when I was 11 and words "incurable disesase" made on me big (bad) impression. So I can understand strong emotions connected with that.
    Later I had little break in asthma, but it came back.
    But coming back of asthma forced me to ask some important questions. And it was start of my knowing God and convertion...
    I wish You also good luck!
    Greetings from sunny autumn Poland.

    1. Hi Zim,

      Asthma is chronic (or lifelong) for many people. But you can still live a long and healthy life.

      It's learning what triggers asthma attacks for you and avoiding those things if possible.

      I'm glad you are happy and enjoying life. Our family motto is "Things Can Always Be Worse!"

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Christine, it looks like they have taken that webpage down. Thanks for stopping by though! :)