Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pride and Asthma

Growing up, I never had a problem with asthma. There are people in my family who had it, but I was blessed to never have an issue with it.

However, when I went on my mission in 2008, I suddenly found myself with difficulty breathing. Someone told me that Austin, Texas is the allergen capital of the world, and in my case it seemed to have been true. As missionaries, you are encouraged to exercise early in the morning, and my companion loved to run, so we would go out fairly early to run through the safe neighborhood that we lived in.

The first week I was there, it felt like I could run forever. I grew up in a high-altitude state, and so you would usually run short of breath before your muscles began to ache. However, in Texas, I could breathe and run and run and my muscles gave out before my air did.

At least, that's the way it was for the first week.

Then, suddenly, I found myself wheezing when I ran. It was a bizarre thing. This continued on and off during my 19 month mission in Texas. Some months I would be just fine, and other times I would struggle to breathe. My companions would often encourage me to go to the doctor, but I would brush off their advice with a bit of stubborn willfulness. (I actually am quite stubborn, in case you didn't know. This is especially true where matters of health are concerned. I don't like to go to the doctor unless I'm dying.)

Some seasons my asthma would be nonexistent, and others it would be awful. When I got hom from my mission and returned to school, my breathing only got worse. For that semester, I was wheezing and struggling to breathe nearly constantly. This really stressed one of my roommates out, and finally I was convinced to go to the doctor's and get my breathing checked out.

They tested me and gave me an inhaler. What a wonderful device! Suddenly, I could breathe again, and I didn't realize how much I had missed that.

I still don't have to use it constantly. This spring season seems to be kind of awful for me, but generally I don't have to use the inhaler at all. This is why I'm pretty sure my asthma is allergy induced as opposed to exercise.

Isn't it funny what our pride will do to us? It is so simple to have an inhaler, and no one judges me because I have a shortness of breath. Why was I so stubborn about it? I'm much happier when I can breathe, and I rather like being able to do so. The people around me are happier when I can breathe too,

I wonder what other areas of my life I'm not 'breathing' in because of stubborn pride. Where am I not seeking the help I need because I don't want to go see the person who could help me?

Breathing is kind of a vital thing. It was no one's fault but my own that I wasn't able to do it. There is a reason the Savior spoke out against pride.

It can kill us if we're not careful.

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