breanna’s asthma story: give and take

A couple months ago, I connected with Breanna through the Asthma Society of Canada’s Team Asthma Facebook page. Breanna has severe asthma, and is looking into bronchial thermoplasty as a potential treatment option–today, she’s sharing a bit of her asthma story here for asthma awareness month. Thanks Breanna!

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I am a 28 year old female and was diagnosed with mild asthma at the age of 19, to be honest never really thought much of it. I carried an inhaler when I remembered and used it as needed. In November of 2009 suddenly my asthma became severe. I realized that I had taken it for granted, started a controller inhaler and singulair. Unfortunately things didn’t improve and I started seeing specialist. I am currently on my third specialist, first one being an internalist and the last two being respirologists.

Every visit seemed to bring on new medication, new tests and frustrations. I went from going to emergency every 2 weeks to once a month and currently about every 6 weeks I have landed in emergency. I have been intubated, triedc-pap and many medications. Currently I am awaiting an appointment in Hamilton to see about possible bronchial thermoplasty. I have very atypical asthma, I cough continually and do not wheeze, however all tests point to asthma.

Asthma has taken so much from me, I am currently on disability from my job, it has taken some of my friends, some of the sports I played and activities I loved such as camping. However asthma has given me so much, I found out who will support me through all the frustrations and doctors appointment. It has also given me a new appreciation for those who strugglewith chronic illness.

I have made new friends and a new support system. As I am not working I am able to help friends out when I am feeling well and also slowly exercise to try to build up my lung tolerance. I am also able to take some university courses through distance education.

Asthma is a difficult disease it takes and gives and not many people understand the severity of the disease. On World Asthma Day I hope people take a chance to learn and educate themselves about the severity of the disease. It is even important to learn about triggers, I react strongly to scents, chemicals, smoke and weather changes. If you see me covering my mouth and hurrying away from where I am, please look at the amount of scent you are wearing.

Asthma is now a part of who I am but it does not rule my life.

–Breanna Harms

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