About co-workers not getting the asthma thing (just had to share)


As you guys might remember, I've been doing an intership as a hospital chaplain this year. It just ended and I'm looking for a job (had some luck with interviews but I think the economy is a bit nuts). Anways, I was walking around my medical ICU here, and ran into one of my fellow chaplains, who was visiting a friend, whose wife was intubated on my unit. He said that she had some sort of smoke inhalation problem years ago, and then this week she had accidentally inhaled smoke at a picnic, and then been rushed to the hospital.

The part that killed me is that my fellow chaplain, who is a pretty astute person, seemed totally baffled as to why this could land someone with asthma in the hospital. Unfortunately I was rather speechless, as it seemed so obviously to me that smoke would be a problem. I mean really I can't breath outside here barely the humidity is so bad....anyways.

I thought you guys would understand.


6 Replies

  • Hi bee there

    I guess you never know what it is like until you have been there. At least hubbie knows now,I do hope she back on the road to recovery.


  • Hi Bee There, as with a lot of things unless people have first hand experience of something they find it difficult to understand it. I nursed for many years didn't come across one person with ""difficult"" asthma till my own daughter became ill. Now well like everyone on here I'm very aware of triggers etc. I think sometimes we expect too much from people and it's up to us to educate. I hope everyone keeps well. LIZ x

  • you know that message rang a bell with me, although not with co-workers-today ive had countless asthma episodes and 3 what i would call moderate asthma attacks while out in town with my mother (1st time for god knows how long, just window shopping but it really took it out of me) anyway the amount of people who have given me filthy looks for wheezing and coughing was unbelievable. for gods sake are people really that ignorant that they cant just either let me get on with it or actually ask if im ok....the stand there smoking next to you and then tut when i started coughing more! its strange isnt it how seemingly educated people can be so dim

  • Talking about filthy looks - my severely asthmatic son was coughing in school assembly one morning and the deputy head told him off in front of the whole year plus teachers. He was upset about it (especially being addressed as 'boy'!). Some of the boys in his class have refused to sit next to him because of his coughing and several have complained to the teachers about him (it's an all boys school and they can be quite unkind/nasty). The level of ignorance in schools (and in the work place) about asthma is frightening.

  • some times the more intelligent a person is they are more ignorant to the needs of others. I don't think it applies to just asthma but other illness and disabilities. Plus in this day people are scared to offer help incase of legal action as a result. I've been lucky people do stop and offer assistance.

  • I knew you guys would understand! I think you're right too...understanding about asthma doesn't necessarily have to do with how smart a person is otherwise. I think sometimes it takes a bit of compassion, and also being willing to help (despite how legalistic society can be now a days).

    I do think that the young woman was doing much better the last day I saw her, and was supposed to go home. A good thing.

    It makes me batty when people smoke around me too. I know it's an addiction, and it's really hard to quit, but for all the trouble I go through trying to breath O.K. it makes me mad that I don't have a right to clean air too.


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