Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Asthma

By
Have you ever started running and your face gets pink, you start wheezing, get a tight feeling in your chest, and feel like you can’t breathe? This happens to me about every time I start running. And it’s all because of asthma. I found out I had asthma when I was in second grade, and ever since then it’s been harder and harder for me to run without getting the feeling that I’m going to pass out. Of course I’ve gone through my numbers of inhalers, but it’s not like they stop my problems all together. It’s kind of like resisting to sleep; you can stay awake as much as you want but you’re going to be dead tired no matter what you do – coffee can’t even help in the end.

Why am I talking about asthma, you ask? I am talking about it because of how it is dealt with in schools, specifically in gym. Not many teachers know how badly asthma affects students, because most of the time kids just have minor cases of it. But people like me, who get asthma attacks and can’t even run for 5 minutes normally, have bigger issues. When you can’t breathe, you die. It’s as simple as that. Can asthma become so severe that someone could die if they have it? YES. And not a lot of people take this seriously. In my school, the gym teachers treat me just like any other kid in the class. I have to run for about 5 minutes straight every beginning of class, and I can’t rest or plain out walk because the teachers bark, “Don’t walk! Keep running!” What choice do I have? I have to keep running. If we play a game like soccer in gym, I have to run no matter what – and my asthma is triggered. Normally, these issues wouldn’t bug me, but it’s the fact that the gym teachers don’t know you have asthma – after you and your parents have filled out the health form for the school every year – and that they don’t seem like they care.

Outside of school, I play basketball. I know this is a sport that involves a ton of running, but I have a huge love for the game, just like other kids in sports. I use my inhaler when I play, and when our team practices, we take it easy. My asthma doesn’t trigger as often because I am allowed to work at my own pace. In basketball games, I work harder, but I want to. I’m not being forced. This is different than gym. You are given no option. You have to do it no matter what – unless you want an F in the class.

So, my question is, what will be done about asthma in schools in the future? Will teachers/staff come to realize that students with severe cases may need some special attention just like kids with allergies, etc.? How can adults change gym so that it makes it more fun for the students who have asthma?

I am a girl who has lived through asthma for seven years, and will have it for the rest of my life. I live through every day just like any other kid – I have hopes, dreams and perseverance. To all of the other students with asthma reading this article, I hope you can be the very best you can be, even in gym and sports.





Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

ajain18 said...
today at 9:21 pm
Don't despair, even though a lot of time people don't understand, there are people who do. I've found that people just don't know how to deal with asthma, because there's no sure fire way to treat it and so many triggers. Regardless, there is still a way to live life. I have asthma too, but it's more mild. It's also a variant type so a lot of people don't understand it, even I don't completely. I love your writing, it's very relatable. Don't let anyone stop you from achieving your dreams!
 
Brookiecookie said...
Dec. 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm
Rebecca i too have asthma....u want to fight but u cant. i always had problems in school with gym. ive gone through 10 inhalers for the 5 years i have been diagnosed. im in forensics and ur article inspired me to write my oratory for it. im a freshman and this is a great article that a lot of people can relate too.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback