On an activities week with other young people, wheezy and worried

So this week I'm doing this thing called the 'challenge'. For young people, and it consists of things like abseiling, camping, hiking, rock climbing, etc. I'm really scared because I need my meds but am scared to take them on the coach in front of others (I'm on the coach at the moment) I'm wheezy and need my ventolin and symbicort.. Also I'm scared to tell the other people in my group that I will be taking meds on a nebuliser, that I need breathing treatments at least daily and that I have brittle asthma. The leaders (the adults) know because it's in my notes but they've just listed me as a regular 'asthmatic', so they don't know the amount and types pg meds im on.. And I'm worried about going on the hike because I've been out if hospital for less than 2 weeks..

How can I tell them without sounding attention seeking and stupid?

5 Replies

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  • So many people have asthma that they will all have seen people take inhalers before. It's not a big deal.

  • I don't like using my inhaler in public, but when I have to I try to make a joke out of it or act like it is nothing more than needing to stop to tie my shoe, just one of those things that needs to be done. My portable nebulizer sounds like Darth Vader, so that's a good starting point for being silly.

    As for safety: I'd let a few friends and the adults know where you normally keep your blue inhaler, just in case you have a really bad flare and need someone to get it for you because you are having too much difficulty breathing to fumble around in your purse/rucksack to look for it yourself.

    Have fun! Overall, I expect the exercise will be good for your lungs.

  • It might help to tell a couple of people in your group and room that you have got to know and trust a bit already that you have asthma and that you have inhalers and nebs etc. They can look out for you and when you need to take your meds they can treat it like a normal thing, as of course it is. Try not to feel embarrassed about taking your meds, just do it when you need to, I think the others unlikely to make any sort of fuss (my experience of people on challenge courses is that they're all really nice, the group I met this evening are fab).

    Also, make sure the staff with you (your group mentor and activity instructor) know about your asthma, meds and that you were in hospital a couple weeks ago. I work in the outdoors and am currently working with challenge groups, as I did last summer too. It's better for you to tell them before you start the activities than half way up a mountain. They can adjust the route/activities if needed. For instance, if someone told me they had a dodgy knee, I would chose to go up a mountain with a gentle easy descent so that it's less strain on the knee that a steep descent. The leaders will not think at all that you're attention seeking or stupid, they would much rather be well informed and help you if and when you need it.

    Sorry for the ramble, I really hope you enjoy the challenge. X

  • I told them, and my group were really supportive of me, telling me to take it easy and stuff when I was wheezy, the instructors sorted out an extension lead to put in our dorm to plug my neb in, and also a power adapter for the cigarette lighter in the minibus if I needed my nebs during the day. Also, it turned out there was a girl in my group with cerebral palsy, so our hike wasn't as intense as it would've been and there was always help on hand (: the only thing I would criticise was being forced to go canoeing when my chest was bad even though I told the instructors I just couldn't do it that day (had already had 4 nebs in 4 hours). But overall it was okay in the end, thanks everyone (:

  • So glad to hear it went well!

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