physical activity, asthma and blogging: it all comes down to choice – #hawmc day 4

HAWMC_2012_dayprompt-4.png

I think why I health blog is too mangled and twisted and big of a story, one that is better suited for a Starbucks with iced white mochas in hand.  Regardless, let’s try it here, without the ambience and white mochas.  Even though Starbucks would be much more fun.

The time my actual blogging started was probably over five years ago. Since then I’ve had countless blogs with varying focuses, and finally, ended up here, with a .com address to my [user]name (which was thought up by my amazing friend Danielle on a joint blog we had together at one point).  So the original reason I started blogging is a mystery, maybe it is because that is what all the cool kids were doing? [Lies, actually. I’ve always been immersed in social media, and few of my real-life friends could care less about blogging].

Health blogging, and becoming a health blogger, started quite by accident. Asthma was my initial focus in health blogging, because getting thrown a chronic disease at almost-seventeen is, you know, crazy. One day I could breathe, the next day I was at my old school for a choir event and the whole breathing thing was not so easy. And then it took months to actually BE diagnosed because I didn’t have a doctor.

Almost-seventeen year olds typically think they are invincible, and to suddenly realize you’re not is hard.

I always say though, if I didn’t get asthma, I probably would still be sitting on my ass. And not doing this. This blogging thing. This kinesiology thing. This:

climbing.jpg

So why do I blog about my health?

Because one in ten Canadians has asthma, but nobody talks about it.  A tenth of the population has an incurable lung disease, but it’s been passed off as so common, so normal, for so long that people think it doesn’t matter.

Seven words: It’s not normal to have trouble breathing. And to think anything less is absolute bullshit.  No matter how common asthma is.

And at the same time, just because it’s normal to society, it’s not usable in the excuses that people try to make. My friends Natasha and Elisheva? They ran a 10K last weekend, inhalers in hand, to support an Israeli asthma organization. My friend Steve has walked three Boston Marathons with 34% of his lungs because his past and this stupid disease has destroyed them.  One by one, we are changing the standard of thinking around physical activity and asthma. Because perspective and physical activity . . . even if you’ve got a chronic disease . . . are choices.

This is why I make the choice to health blog. To reinforce to myself the choices that I make on a personal level, and hope that others who read this realize that life is about choice, even with chronic disease in the mix. Choice to do Good Things, whether that is for my body or my feelings or my mind or my heart . . . or my community.

Asthma may be a speedbump, but it is never a roadblock. I may have to choose a different route to get where I’m going. I may have to take some time off training for an exacerbation. I may have to modify how I do something . . . but can’t isn’t an option.

That message, and the next, which I’ve used in a #hawmc post already, are why I health blog. I health blog because

Perspective is crucial, positivity is essential, and ignorance is a curable disease.

2 thoughts on “physical activity, asthma and blogging: it all comes down to choice – #hawmc day 4

  1. I like this post. A lot. Tho actually, Tash and I ran with inhalers in pockets (both in her pockets cuz my new pants apparently didn’t have any) and not in hand, but we had them in hand at the end!

    And regarding physical activity. I think you and I and Tash and Steve are an anomoly. I’ve been trying hard to be a rolemodel and get other people to exercise, but I haven’t been all that successful. Also the “I’m asthmatic and I run” card is totally failing me. I tell people this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and they’re like “So why do you do it to yourself?” instead of deciding they can do it too. A good friend of mine has actually figured me out, I think. I was telling her about how great it was to have Tash hanging out with me because we could keep up with each other and took inhalers together and raced, etc, and my friend was like “Sometimes I think you do it to prove to yourself you’re not held back by your lungs.” And I was like “It’s getting to be that way, yeah.”

    Also, in terms of your 1 in 10 statistic – I think it’s not because it’s so common that people don’t care. It’s because a huge chunk, if not a majority of that ten percent of the population falls into the category of needing their inhaler maybe only once a year, or only when they’re sick. Or only when they exercise (which they choose not to do). So most people hear asthma and think of those people because those are the people they know. While my life is in some way affected by asthma on a daily basis, I still fall within the mild (maybe between mild and moderate? dunno. somewhere on that spectrum. but before moderate.) category and on the whole my breathing issues are an annoyance and a frustration rather than anything remotely life threatening. Even in the very rare occurences where I’m crippled by asthma, then that’s it. I have trouble on the stairs, can’t walk very fast, but I don’t feel that my life’s in danger.

    And those instances are few and far between. Meaning that a lot of the time, I take breathing for granted too and don’t take asthma seriously. Even if said breathing is being facilitated by steroids and bronchodialators, if I’m feeling good, I pretty much take it for granted. I can’t imagine life with severe asthma. I can’t imagine dying from asthma. I can’t imagine a life of round the clock nebs, even tho I’ve had days like those. I can’t imagine asthma keeping me from anything I want to do. Ever. Of course I’ll run, of course I’ll climb that mountain, of course I’ll go swimming. It’ll be hard but it won’t kill me.

    So if I (the one who’s been on asthma meds for most of her life and has the occasional crappy breathing day) sometimes have trouble taking asthma seriously, then it makes perfect sense why the world (or Canada in your case) doesn’t.

    1. I completely agree with this. I hear that all the time from people [even in the kin department on occasion]. And the part about the extremely intermittent asthmatics being the majority is very true, so thanks for bringing that up again.

      And i love this, too: “I can’t imagine asthma keeping me from anything I want to do. Ever. Of course I’ll run, of course I’ll climb that mountain, of course I’ll go swimming. It’ll be hard but it won’t kill me.”

      So, once again, thanks for reminding me of all this. Because sometimes I forget :].

Leave a Reply