I get this all the time……… “You look so healthy” “You don’t look like you have a disability” “You can walk farther then I can”
“You look amazingly fit for someone with severe asthma” “You make marathon walking look so easy”, and so on, and so on….
I usually take it as a compliment, but sometimes I’m not sure how to respond. Maybe they think I’m faking it? Even some of my closest friends can’t believe that my lungs are as bad as they are ….and most of them are Respiratory Therapists! What’s even more amazing is that many of them have actually taken care of me when I’ve been a patient in the hospital. A few of them have even taken care of me while I was intubated on a ventilator. Maybe seeing me participate in major physical activities is confusing them. After all, severe lung disease and sports usually don’t go together, right?
Here’s the deal, I have an invisible disease and………..
* Ive been short of breath most of my life, so Ive learned to adjust.
* I pride myself in the art of “appearing healthy” , I’ve had 50 years to get it right.
* I’m very good at hiding how crappy I usually feel , but there is a limit and you’ve all seen it.
* I don’t like to huff & puff in public, its embarrassing to me. When I’m sick, I stay at home.
* I don’t rant and rave or get hysterical when my breathing gets difficult. I tend to be stoic.
* As far as my walking abilities go, its taken me 5 years of almost constant training just to accomplish what most people can do in a few weeks.
* I have an extremely high tolerance for the physical discomfort associated with shortness of breath, so I tend to push myself harder .
* I have credible will-power to achieve goals that I set for myself.
* I’m a risk taker and also a little crazy.
* Remember, that Hardcore asthmatics compete in nearly every sport imaginable.
* Like most chronic lungers, not everyday is bad, I have my share of good days too.