May is Asthma Awareness Month, and today is World Asthma Day. It’s been awhile since I’ve written here, but my name is Kerri, and it feels appropriate that I resume writing on World Asthma Day (we didn’t plan it that way, it just worked out).
The numbers: Asthma affects 1 in 12 people in the United States  (and 1 in 10 Canadians , whom I am among!). Worldwide, 235 million people live with asthma . Asthma is a highly controllable disease, even if not curable or preventable. Yet the majority of people living with this disease do not have their asthma under control, and therefore compromise their quality of life: they may alter social activities, avoid physical activity, or miss work or school due to asthma symptoms.
Asthma control is defined by not requiring your rescue inhaler more than 2 or 3 times per week, being able to participate in daily and special activities as you desire—for the past several years, the theme for World Asthma Day has been “You can control your asthma” in response to this need. Asthma is, for the most part, controllable.
I’ve lived with moderate persistent asthma since 2008—I crossed the seven-year-mark a week ago. I honestly will tell people that I am healthier for having asthma, diagnosed a month before I turned seventeen. Asthma does not have to ruin your life—it legitimately can change your life for the better if you work hard at becoming educated, advocating for yourself and getting—and staying—as healthy as you can be, and not letting your asthma call the shots.
I live my life how I want, keeping asthma in my mind but not the only thing I think about. Wearing a medical ID bracelet stating I have asthma is just one more step I’ve taken to allow me to live as carefree and spontaneously as possible.
Oh, and putting cool duct tape on the inhalers can help, too. :]
To learn more about asthma, visit the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, and the Asthma Society of Canada.
To learn more about living with asthma, check out the asthma section of my personal blog.