Asthma UK community forum

Worried Parents

Hi everyone

I'm not a parent or carer myself, I'm 18 and was diagnosed with Asthma about 14 months ago now. The thing is this year has been my first time I've been bad with it, I as diagnosed in November 07 and reacted well to treatment and carried on as usual with everything under control. This year I had lots of chest infections and my Asthma was bad during colds and I get pleurisy a lot. The thing is I'm alright most of the time but I don't live with my parents as I'm now at uni and they constantly worry about me (in particular my mum) and phone me all the time, which is fine I don't mind and I can see why they are worried and I know it's only natural for parents to worry but I'm just concerned that they're never going to ""grow out of it"". I just want them to go back to normal and not feel like there's a big black cloud above them all the time. Despite being poorly over Christmas/New Year, and I must point out it wasn't serious and I was treated at home with regular medication, I was in good spirits and have been doing well for nearly a month, excepting one night last week when it got bad during the night but my boyfriend was with me and we got it under control quickly and effectively. I was just wondering if you lot knew of anything I could say/do to reassure my family that I am actually alright and would know what to do if I wasn't. I just don't like the thought of them worrying all the time it hasn't taken over my life and I don't want it taking over theirs.

Any advice would be great and apologies if this post comes across as a bit rude or that I don't appreciate the concern, I do, I just rather it didn't affect my family like this.

Claire xx

7 Replies

Hi, sorry I meant to put I was diagnosed with Asthma in November 06 not 07, just read over this and even confused myself!!


Hi Claire, i'm a Mum and a brittle asthma sufferer, i have the opposite problem to you my daughter is 19 at uni and worries about me! I feel really bad because of the role reversal if she hears me wheezing or coughing in the night she gets up and stays with me often till i've gone back to sleep. Its really good of her but it drives me mad - i feel guilty that she is 'caring' for me and worrying about me. I have to text her when we are apart and tell her i'm ok, i am meant to ring her at the very first sign of asthma.

I used to get really impatient and a bit snappy with her out of sheer frustration i felt that it was bad enough that my asthma was controlling me without it impacting on her life too. I was recently admitted for nearly 2 weeks and when i came out my daughter showed me some video of my time in the high observation unit (she took it on her phone) What an eye opener that was - i'm really calm when its happening but to see it objectively how my daughter had seen it was horrible. I'm not scared by it but it made me realise how awful it is for people standing watching me gasping for breath - its happened to me so many times i just go with the flow and don't worry but it was a real eye opener to watch me being ill as my daughter did.

Sorry this is a waffly reply i think what i'm trying to say is asthma is a 'scary' illness to have if its not you that has it but someone you care about muchly. I totally understand about you not wanting your asthma to impact on your parents lives too. But the trouble with parents is that our children are so precious to us worrying is inevitable. I guess you could just keep reassuring them that you are fine that you have your symptoms under control, that you always have your inhaler handy and just keep reiterating that your okay but that if your ever not okay that you will let them know straight away. I really feel for you, pesky asthma! it will get better though and i guess if they weren't worrying about your asthma their 'fear' concern would find another focus. Sorry i can't be of more help i hope someone comes along with a less waffly reply soon, take good care, enjoy uni, Lois


Hi Claire

I have no miracle advice Im afraid. Ive suffered with asthma since I was 2 and my parents were extremely overprotective when I was young which resulted in me rebelling at every opportunity and worrying them even more!! As I got older however my parents did relax a little as they could see that my asthma was under control. That said, when I had my first severe asthma attack over Xmas this year I begged my boyfriend who had taken me to the hospital, not to inform my parents unless it was absolutely necessary as I knew they would simply panic. True to form they turned up in the HDU in hysterics - im now 36 and they are in their 70's so I dont think you will ever be able to convince your parents not to worry. As your asthma was only diagnosed fairly recently your parents are probably still coming to terms with it themselves and of course now you are living away from home they may feel that they cannot ""keep an eye on you"" as much as they would like. I can only suggest plenty of reassurance from you that you have everything under control and hopefully in time they may chill out a little. Sorry I cant help more. Sonia :)


Hi Claire, like the others have said it is your parents' main job in life to worry about you and if it wasn't the asthma it would be something else! You're young and away from home so they are bound to worry when they can't be there to protect you. But as an 18 year old your main job in life is to break away from their doting control, survive in the big bad world and prove to yourself that you are a grown up. Unfortunately you will never convince your parents that you are a grown up! I'm 40 now and a parent myself, yet I still find myself being treated like a child by my parents!! Make sure you have fun at uni and good luck with the studies.



hi claire

i am a mum but also a sthma sufferer as well and 2 of my kids are sufferes as well 1 thankfully grew out of his and the baby has only has a few attacks

tbh no matter how old yr kids are u never stop worrying about them

sorry i don't have any advice apart from having a word with them and tell them how u feel mind they may not take it so good at first but if u are close they may surprise u tell them that u will let them know if u are bad / really well

good luck with wot u decide hun

take xxx karen



Hi all,

Well things have gone from bad to worse, as my original post said that my parents and especially my mum worry about me, well she seems to be doing the complete opposite at the mo. She kept phoning me and checking I was ok and I did get frustrated a few times and was like ""Yes I'm alright Mother"" and I know that was little bit wrong but yesterday she said that I've not got Asthma at all, I just want attention and I'm jealous my siblings are with my mum and dad and I'm not because I'm ""stuck at uni"" so I want to use my Asthma as an excuse to get constant attention from home. The truth is I do have Asthma and I'm more than happy here at Uni. I was in with the GP today and my mum asked how it went and I told her they've put me on two puffs of Seretide twice a day, (as oppose to Qvar 100) and she said ""well that's no good they're only treating the symptoms and not the cause, you're just going to get addicted to steroid inhalers and end up fat"" and that really hurt me. I just don't know what to do for the best anymore let her fuss or go through this. Anyway, thanks for trying to help guys, just hope my mum comes round soon.

Claire xx


Hi, i am sorry that things arent easy for you. At first when i was diagnosed with asthma my mom tried ignoring it and pretending it wasnt there just so that it would seem like i was ""perfect"" which no one is... Once she saw me having a bad episode she became very over protective, and although that is a lot of years ago she still is. I know i shouldnt, but i completely shut her out of my ""asthma-life"" and whenever she asks i just say ""im ok, if theres something wrong ill let you know"", but i dont really tell her unless its really necessary. I am 18 yeas old as well, and i feel that in most cases (i know... not ALL) i can manage myself, and i know where the boarder line between where i am ok to handle things myself and where i need help is. However, it is important that you know your asthma, and know when to get help because if you dont, then things may take a really bad turn. If you are in uni, and dont live at home, then there is not really that much that your parents can do about it at home is there? Get an asthma action plan from your GP (i dont have one, but ive read lots about them, and i am sure others can advice you on it) so that you will know exactly when you should seek help. If they continue to be very over protective, then just keep letting htem know that you are ok. I am sure that as you get older they will worry less (or at least give you some space). But for now, all i can really suggest is that if they keep calling you all the time is to just sit down and talk to them and assure them that if you are not ok you will let them know, and that they really dont need to call all the time. If they think that you are just making it up, you can either let them keep thinking that and take care of yourself, or maybe get your GP to explain it to them. You are 18 and at some point you will (whether they want it or not) break free from them and have to fully take care of yourself.

I hope you sort things out for the best.

Take care



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