The truth about asthma at school and college

Many people at college think that asthma is only a thing that affects you when you do sports… But the truth is that it isn’t.

Many people at college think that asthma is only a simple illness with a quick fix, the blue inhaler… But it isn’t.

I’m quite annoyed this week, my asthma is flaring despite me upping my symbicort and taking my ventolin to the max dose every day. I’ve decided that this flare is caused by college. At the moment there is a lot of renovation going on at college especially down the German corridor where I have spent quite a lot of my time over the last few days.

So I contribute this flare to a mixture of lots of dust and paint fumes and then this cold that has decided to push my lungs over the edge. Another reason why I blame college is the amount of people smoking… I mean seriously my last school was pretty bad when we went out at lunch but at college you just can’t get away from the smoke… Even on the bus home it absolutely stinks of smoke (yeah strong smells set me off as well as smoke). Thing is you can tell my lungs are stroppy because most of the time I don’t need to take my inhaler when people are smoking near me since it usually isn’t too big of a trigger for me.

Up until this year I hadn’t really had an asthma attack in class (with one exception in biology last year where I got way too wheezy for my own liking so had to take my inhaler in front of everyone… Highly embarrassing) but this week it has been three times now. All three of them were mild enough that I could wait till the end of the lesson to take my inhaler, but still when you are sat there watching the clock and focusing on breathing instead of the lesson it does get you down.

It’s stupid that people should feel embarrassed having to take their inhalers in class or in front of everyone. I’ve had people urge me to take my inhaler yet I feel too self conscious about it and so try and hide my taking my inhaler. I think that this stigma that the world has about asthma being only a blue inhaler is really stupid. Asthma kills 3 people a day in Britain – a peer from school was one of them. Asthma is so common and so much deeper than a blue inhaler, Asthma UK and other people on twitter and Facebook spend their time trying to show people that asthma is a serious disease.

Asthma really does need more awareness!


6 thoughts on “The truth about asthma at school and college

  1. I still find in embarassing taking my inhaler and even worse nebbing in frount of anyone even my best friends! I go and hide when suffering!

    1. I know taking inhalers in front of people is really embarrassing, and I can imagine that nebbing is even worse. My ventolin is an accuhaler so it’s really load especially in a quiet class!

      1. A pysch told me I get to get over my fear of my inhaler and neb otherwise would end up in trouble…. still havent managed it and still get myself into trouble for being to stubborn!
        Though somtimes I take inhaler in frount of annoying people ie smoking in frount of you at the bus stop to show them I am asthmatic and have a problem with you doing that

      2. That’s really brave of you… The only people that I feel fairly comfortable taking my inhaler in front of is my cricket team and that’s mainly because last year I had a petty bad attack in front of them to the point that I couldn’t even speak in sentences any more. Asthma is so inconvenient sometimes isn’t it?

  2. In my country a lot of people still think, that asthma is not problem, because it is curable and it is disease of mind.
    When I was child, and doctors didn’t know, why I was always suffering from “infections of lungs”, I suffered also from intolerance in class – because I was weaker than another children.
    Today, when I’m in university, people are more open, and knowledge about asthma is bigger than in the 90’s. But I still see some intolerance, but among adult people it is more quiet. Sometimes I hear, that I’m hipochondriac, because normally You don’t see my disease.
    But what to do? We can’t change minds other people.
    Greetings from snowy southern Poland.

    1. You are right, we can’t change people’s minds but we can sure show them how hard our disease is… For example through a blog or a magazine article are by just telling them. People choose to believe what they want to believe so we just have to stay strong and keep our chins up.

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