Are you the parent of a child with asthma? I came across this article today with a video interview (I can’t seem to embed it properly) and thought it’d be something good to share.
Back when I was in school things weren’t as closely documented and regulated as they are now. I did have to provide information and a rescue inhaler (this got expensive over time) to the school nurse and the trainers just in case. It seemed silly to me because there were always three inhalers available to me when I was at school. Now that I think back on it there were questions at times why I even had my own medicine on me, but there was no way I’d give that up.
I did appreciate what Dr. Carel had to say about informing the nurse, classroom teachers and gym teachers. Yesterday I wrote about adults feeling uneasy speaking out so you know kids aren’t always the best advocates for their lung disease. They probably aren’t even fully aware of their symptoms and the implications of ignoring/not treating them.
I had the most consistent trouble with asthma while in high school and had extra problems my freshmen year because I had transferred in from a different school and it was like I had to prove myself in everything I did. The guidance counselor didn’t trust my good grades to let me into the classes I wanted to take, for the first few months I was accused of having mental problems which were causing my asthma (yeah, they tried to force me to see the school district’s psychologist but my mom shut that down), and after I was forced to quit football I also told the band director I could no longer do marching band. The worst harassment probably came from the band staff.
After that first month or two the nurse called my mom one day and said, “You know, he really has asthma…like bad.” After Mrs Tuftee was on my side, nobody dared question my condition. She even went ballistic on the band secretary one day for me which ended the snide comments every time I came to practice. I ended up spending a lot of time in her office that first year and made friends with the other chronically ill student who suffered from lupus. I wouldn’t say I was having fun missing class or seizing up that one time resulting in a 911 call, but it was nice to know I had an advocate.