Welcome to my page

I have a dream

My name is Megan, I'm 12-years-old, and I'm happy that you decided to visit. I have one brother, a mom and a dad, and story to tell you about asthma. But first, I thought you might like to learn about my favorite activities. I love to perform, and I love to play the cello, and I really love to dance. Believe it or not, ballet helps me to stay healthy. Dancing is a way of my gaining strength without being too active. To stay healthy, I take two inhalations of medicine in the morning, and two inhalations and a pill at night before I go to bed. Most of the time, the medicine does its job and I stay pretty healthy, but when it doesn't, well that's what I'd like to tell you about.

See, I have a medical problem, asthma, that sometimes makes it tough for me to breathe, and when it does, I get annoyed.  To begin with, my 9-year-old brother Charlie doesn't have asthma of any form. It's not fair.  My dad has asthma, my mom has asthma, I have asthma, but Charlie is untouched...lucky guy!

Another thing that drives me crazy is having allergies. Get this, I can't even touch a plant--I break out in hives when I do, so believe me, I try not to get too close to them. To help with the allergies, I receive special medicine through a needle in my arm. I really hate it when my arm swells up because of these shots. I have to get them every other week. Yuck.

One experience I'll never forget is the time last November when I was in the hospital. I had bronchial pneumonia on top of the asthma. My heart was racing trying to send oxygen around to the rest of my body, but even then, it was having a tough time. Because I had a very low oxygen level in my blood, I had to receive extra oxygen through what looked like a space mask for two days. Most of my body liked it, but my nose did not. When I was finally OK without the mask, I had a huge blister across the top of my nose!

The faculty at school is REALLY great. So are my friends. They are very understanding and always try to support me, to cheer me up. There are a few other kids with asthma in my school, but I have it the worst. I try to keep my illness under wraps, but that doesn't work very well since I have to have someone escort me to the office when my breathing becomes a problem. Then the word gets out.

I hate it when people dare me to run without my inhaler or when people at dance class sometimes say that I'm lazy because I sit out occasionally. They just don't understand. I put up with the teasing by simply trying to ignore it or by explaining to the teasers why I have to do what I do.

So here I am being a ballerina

I think that most of the teasing would stop if kids were educated about illnesses. I believe that they tease because they don't understand what the kid that they're teasing is going through. Here's a web site you can visit to learn more about asthma. I have learned that everyone is different, and that we need to accept people for who they are, not what they can or can't do.

I have a dream that someday I will be the one to find a cure for asthma. I plan to go to college, become a doctor, and find the cure. Just think, you can say that you knew me when I was 11. Thanks for visiting my page! Megan

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Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: August 28, 2007