So, everyone with asthma is different and sees things in a different light.
My pet peeve? Being called "asthmatic."
Because I'm so much more than someone with asthma!
That is not my label.
I'm also a career woman, mom, and friend with wrinkles and streaks of grey hair. And yet none of that defines me either.
My 3 kids also have asthma, but it isn't their label either. Nor is being college students, having allergies, blue or green eyes, and straight or curly hair. None of that defines who they are.
With medical conditions (or even disabilities), the shift for the last 20 years has been to use People First Language.
"People First Language is an objective and respectful way to speak about people with disabilities by emphasizing the person first, rather than the disability. It acknowledges what a person has, and recognizes that a person is not the disability. In putting the person before the disability, People First Language highlights a person's value, individuality and capabilities."
You put the person first, then the medical condition or disability. For example:
- Instead of "asthmatic", you would say "I have asthma"
- Instead of "diabetic", you would say, "My sister has diabetes."
- Instead of "autistic", you would say, "My nephew has autism."
Not so hard, is it?
I work closely with our state health department and was told 10 years ago to NEVER use the term "asthmatic".
Shortly after that, I was part of a grant. As I was advising the researchers, I explained People First Language and suggested they not use the term "asthmatic, " but they still did.
Fast forward several years, and they want to publish their results in a medical journal. But, it wasn't accepted because there were several changes that needed to be made, including removing any time they used the term "asthmatic" and replacing it with "child with asthma."
Even highly respected medical journals won't label people.
So, just something to think about the next time you are going to use the term "asthmatic." Stop and think if it will label someone. Or if there is more to someone than having asthma?