Living through an asthma attack is never fun. The good news is asthma can be controlled, and you can live a normal life with it. That in mind, and since we have to live with it anyway, no point in saying, "Why me?"
Based on my experience from being a lifelong asthmatic, I have discovered seven benefits of having asthma -- and no, I am not referring to using it to get out of gym class or work.
Here are the seven benefits to having asthma:
1. Perspective: When you have your breath taken away and then get it back, you never take breathing for granted again. At the same time you develop a view of life unique from people that have never had a health issue. You value every moment you are on this planet. You appreciate all the little things that others may take for granted, and that you may have taken for granted before you were diagnosed with asthma. In a sense, you have developed a new feeling of vulnerability that leads you to taking extra time to smell the roses.
2. Vulnerability: Anytime a person gets sick and has to spend time in a hospital he or she develops a sense that you are not invincible. You might not think of this as something good, but it is once you realize most people -- especially young people -- have no sense of vulnerability, they think they will live forever regardless of their actions.
Once you know you are capable of being knocked down by your actions, you learn to take care of your body in ways others do not. I know of many asthmatics who said, "I quit smoking the moment I was carted into the ER", or "I'm going to take my meds the way my doctor wants me to for now on."
This sense alone is the one reason, I think, that leads one to wanting to live a healthier life (a gallant asthmatic anyone?) and forming a closer bond with God perhaps.
3. Religiosity: Of course this doesn't always happen, but when a person is left breathless (helpless) for any amount of time a call to a greater power often occurs. Particularly when one's prayer is answered one participates in a form of retrospection that leads one to appreciate that life is not always in our own control. This tends to lead us to a greater sense of empathy.
4. Empathy: There is some truth to the statement that "Nobody has empathy for an asthmatic unless they have had an asthma attack or lived with someone who suffered with it." Well, since you have it and you have suffered once or twice with breathing trouble, you will forever have an understanding of any person who can't catch his or her breath. In a sense, you have doubled your asthma wisdom.
5. Intelligence: You were unable to spend time camping with your friends or family, or you were unable to visit yoru brother Bart because he has 21 cats and 17 dogs, and therefore were forced to stay inside your home and entertain yourself. You didn't pity yourself. You didn't say, "Why me?" Instead you entertained yourself by thinking, rationalizing, philosophising and, yes, reading.