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Monday, January 25, 2010

Asthma: is a gift from God?

I watched an interview a while back of Vince Flynn, the best selling author of Pursuit of Honor and Extreme Measures. I'm not positive, but I think the interviewer was Sean Hannity. Regardless, it was what Flynn revealed about his own personal struggle with dyslexia that caught my attention.

When he was a kid he said he was unable to read. He said he was basically an utter failure. His disease held him back in every imaginable way. Then one day he realized that what he often viewed as a problem was actually a gift from God. It was a gift because it gave him a unique perspective on life.

That's the philosophy I was thinking as I started writing about the benefits of having asthma. It's not something that holds me back, it's a gift from God.

(This is a followup to a previous post I wrote: "The 7 Benefits To Having Asthma."

Seven Ways Asthma Has Benefited My Life
by Rick Frea Thursday, November 12, 2009 from

As a follow up to a previous post I wrote, Seven benefits of having asthma, I thought that -- just for fun, I'd personalize this theme a bit by writing about the seven ways asthma has benefited my life.

Sure there have been rough days. When I was a kid there were rough years. Still, I'm one of those people who believe everything happens for a reason.

So, with that in mind, here are seven ways asthma has benefited my life:

1. Disposition: When I was a kid I spent six months at an asthma hospital. Now, you might think this doesn't sound like something good, but it was time spent with therapists there that taught me how to take my asthma, and life, in a stride.

2. I don't smoke: Well, since two of my four brothers and my dad smoke cigarettes, I bet this horrible habit would have been my destiny if I didn't have asthma. So, having asthma kept me away from an unhealthy habit.

3. Education: Since many of my siblings work in factories, this may have been my fate had I not had asthma. I had no choice but to go to college and enter a profession where I could be in an allergy-free, dust-free, pollution-free work environment. So, in this sense, asthma forced me to get an education.

4. Career: Having a long history as a
hardluck asthmatic has made me empathetic towards other people with lung diseases. I guess it's fair to say this kind of led me in the path to becoming a respiratory therapist (RT). This job has turned out to be a pretty good fit for this asthmatic.

5. Soul mate: One day while working as an RT a nurse with a beautiful smile and perfect personality was assigned to follow me for the day. Little did I know at the time this was a set up by her instructor who wanted to set one of her students with "that RT guy." Two years later we were married. So, indirectly, asthma lead me to my soul mate.

6. A hobby: It gets busy where I work, although there is plenty of downtime too. Since I don't like to waste time, and I love to write, one night I decided to start a blog:
Respiratory Therapy Cave. Now I have a place to share my experience as an RT and asthmatic to satiate my desire to write. So, by way of slow nights at work, my asthma led me to the blogosphere.

7. Asthma blog: Lo and behold, one day the editor for sent me an email that said, "I love your blog and everything about it." She asked if I would like to write an asthma blog. And, hence, my asthma led me to what you are reading right now. Now I get to share all the asthma wisdom I've obtained over the years and meet other asthmatics in the process.

Well that's my list. I know most people don't think of asthma in such a positive light as I do, but it's a lot better than the "Why Me?" approach.

It's kinda neat how things work out, hey? It's neat to think so many great things could come out of something not so good.

If your asthma has benefited you in some way, feel free to share in the comments below.

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