Nearly every day at work I hear discussions along the lines of “Oh, why do I have asthma? Why do I have COPD? Why do I have these miserable allergies?” Great questions. I like to counter them by asking: List 10 good things about having your disease.
I usually get blank stares as my question sinks in. Then I watch as the patient racks her brain for a good response. I’m telling you, this cheers people up. It’s hard to stay gloomy when you’re racking your brain for good thoughts. It’s kind of like when you see a baby smiling you can’t help but to smile.
I did it myself once, and my 10 are listed here.
So here are the 10 best responses I’ve heard from my asthmatic patients. After reading them you can rack your brain for 10 of your own and list them in the comments below. 1. It could be worse. I could have a life threatening disease.
2. It forced me to plan ahead and organize my life. I mean, as an asthmatic you can’t just pack up your stuff on a whim. You have to plan to stay at an allergy free hotel. You have to gather all your prescriptions and organize them so you don’t forget to take them.
3. It caused me to enjoy the finer things in life. For example, I used to spend all my time working, or hunting, or with the guys at the cabin. Now I’m forced to stay home and spend time with the kids. It’s a blessing, in a way, to finally have time for them. Perhaps asthma was a sign from God I needed to slow down.
4. It gave me a major appreciation for breathing. When I came in (to the emergency room) I thought I was going to die. There’s no worse feeling than when you can’t breathe.
5. It gave me an appreciation for modern technology, and medicine, and scientists, and pharmaceuticals and doctors. They created the medicine, and doled it out, to give me my breath back. I love them all. I appreciate them all. 6. I love my respiratory therapist and my nurses. These are all great people. I never would have met you guys if I didn’t have this condition. 7. It’s a disease that can be controlled. If you work with your doctor, and take your medicines as you’re told, you should be able to stay out of trouble on most days. I’m saying this from my own personal experience. Episodes of asthma should be rare if you’re a good boy or girl. 8. Asthma tends to go into hibernation between attacks. Name another disease that does that? 9. I guess it’s going to force me to think about my health. 10. There’s a lot of asthmatics who know what you’re going through. There’s some really neat asthma communities (like right here at healthcentral) Now it’s your turn.
A Registered Respiratory Therapist and asthmatic