I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 13 years old. When I was younger, my symptoms were really bad and I would have an asthma attack at least once a week.
Since I moved to the Upper Peninsula from downstate almost seven years ago, I've had a total of maybe four attacks, so sometimes I forget I have asthma.
I still remember the first time I had an asthma attack. I was so scared because I didn't know what was going on, which panicking obviously didn't help. I was in band class, which took place in the high school, and two girls were smoking in the bathroom near the band room. The smoke filtered into the room and was extremely potent, and that's what triggered it.
Ever since then I've carried an inhaler in my purse at all times. When I was in high school my asthma eventually became so bad that I was given a nebulizer to do treatments at home when a bad attack my inhaler couldn't handle would come on.
Over the seven years I've been in the U.P., the four attacks I've had turned out to be the bad ones to the point where I would have to lie down and concentrate on my breathing. My last asthma attack was Wednesday, and that one definitely wasn't a walk in the park.
Even though I've had asthma for 11 years now, I still get a little scared when I have an attack. I have a feeling that feeling will never go away completely. Luckily I did have an inhaler on me that wasn't expired, thanks to my very concerned doctor, but it only helped a little.
Before Wednesday, it had been over a year since my last attacked, and at that point I always start to get a little hopeful that I've grown out of it like my dad did when he was younger. But, alas, I haven't and I don't ever think I will. I just hope it doesn't get worse as I get older because even though I do have asthma and I will always know in the back of my mind that I do, it's nice to sometimes forget.
Editor's note: Recent Northern Michigan University graduate and Mining Journal photo editor Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org