Living with a condition such as asthma can not only affect the sufferer’s mental wellbeing but also those close to them.
As part of their ‘My Story’ series, the Asthma Society aim to tackle the stigma and stereotypes attached to those with asthma, emphasis the severity of this condition and how greatly it can affect the lives of not only those suffering with asthma, but also their families and loved ones.
Here, Asthma Society supporter Jack White shares his own story. Jack himself does not have asthma, however he is significantly affected by it as his partner has a very severe form of asthma. Before Jack met his partner, like many others, Jack assumed asthma was a relatively mild condition, with very little management required.
“I had no idea how serious the condition was, my perception was that if you had asthma you just needed a blue inhaler to help alleviate any symptoms and you would be fine, how wrong I was!”
Dealing with an asthma attack is something Jack has had to deal with on a number of occasions, during which, his partner needs to rely heavily on him to react effectively and efficiently.
“I have witnessed a number of attacks; we have had to rush to A&E on a number of occasions, due to the seriousness of my partner’s condition. I would first attempt to treat her at home, if this did not work in a short period of time, I would most likely call an ambulance or rush her to A&E myself”
As an asthma attack can be an extremely frightening experience for anyone, it is often forgotten how traumatising it can be for family or loved ones who have witnessed it also. In many cases, it is family members who play a large role in treating the asthma victim.
So even though there are 470,000 people in Ireland with asthma, it is important not to forgot the family members of all those people who require some sort of advice or assistance, as it is most likely that these family members will be present when most attacks occur.
How they react could potentially result in someone living or dying. This thought it a constant reality for Jack, and this condition has affected his life in more ways than one.
“It has brought a lot of scares to both our lives. It has prevented us doing a number of things over the years from going to social events; to being unable to head out for a nice long walk on a good sunny day”
Something that many would also not associate with asthma is depression. As Jack has discussed, asthma does not only affect his partner physically but it also affects her socially, as they often need to miss events with friends and family due to her asthma. This can often cause asthma sufferers to feel isolated and alone, which brings on another challenge in itself.
“It has affected her mentally at times and on occasion caused her to be very down in herself, this has affected me in turn as I hate to see her unhappy or unwell”
You can help us fight the stigma surrounding physical and mental difficulties and promote wellbeing for all by taking part in the Dublin Marathon for MyMind and the Asthma Society. To sign up today, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 076 680 1060. Read more here.