During the first week of 5th grade we learned about all the different clubs and teams my school offered. I was drawn to cross country. What kid wouldn’t love running around with his or her friends? I went home that night and had my parents sign all the papers for me to join the team. Everyone made the team so there was no need for tryouts. First day of practice was lame as usual; they just go over all the paperwork and the schedule. On the second day of practice we had to run a half mile. It was the longest run of my life. I was one of the last kids to finish and I had a hard time breathing. For the first week of practice I came home every day trying to breath but I barely could. I was always finishing practice coughing, wheezing and I always felt this tightness feeling in my chest. So finally after 6 days of going to practice, being one of the worst runners, and barely breathing my parents took me to the doctors. I got diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma, and I’ve been using an inhaler every time I work out since that. I actually made it through the whole cross country season in fifth grade. By the end of the season I was a middle runner. I loved to run even though it was really hard for me, so I went out for the middle school team. Always having to take my inhaler made me very self-conscious for some reason. It wasn’t until track season sophomore year that I finally got over my fear of everyone thinking different of me because I had asthma. During my middle school cross country I was becoming one of the better runners on the team. There is no cure to asthma, but the symptoms can be controlled with all the treatments nowadays. The more you work out, the easier asthma becomes I believe, so coming back from summer break every new season was rough. It always took me a few weeks to get back into shape to keep up with everyone else. My career as a runner has taken off. I run every day now, no matter if its one mile, or many miles, I always try to get outside and run or run on the treadmill. My asthma bothers me from time to time but I have survived and will keep on surviving if I take my medication before my workouts and don’t push myself when I’m having a hard time breathing. My case of asthma wasn’t anything serious that could possibly kill me but it does affect me. It does slow me down in a sense. Albuterol is a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways and increases air flow to the lungs. I am prescribed to take this medication 15 minutes before my workout and whenever I feel a tightening of the chest. No matter where I go I always have an inhaler within reach for safety. Nowadays it feels like my asthma has subsided, I have been going to the gym almost every day and always doing some sort of cardio. The more I work out, the less I have to worry about having an asthma attack.
So I’ve had asthma for about 8 years now and I have only had some minor attacks. It’s just become part of my daily life in which I don’t mind. If taking this inhaler can help my lungs get sufficient air, I will use it for the rest of my life. Like my grandparents say, “better safe than sorry.”
Where did asthma come from? How do we live with asthma? What are the symptoms and causes? What are some treatment options? Can we still exercise normally with this disease? Asthma is prominent is many people all over the world. The word asthma comes from the Greek verb Aazein. Aazein means to pant, to exhale with the open mouth, or take a sharp breath. Asthma has been around for many centuries. It was first mentioned when an ancient Greek master clinician named Aretaeus of Cappadocia wrote a clinical description of asthma in 100 AD. After that moment, many physicians, philosophers started to figure out what asthma entailed. The father of sports medicine, Bernardino Ramazzini recognized a different type of asthma that was only caused by exercise. Asthma is a condition