How do you comfort a child who is passionate about something that she suddenly finds she can no longer participate in because her body is rebelling? What do you say that is meaningful?
Last week I took my daughter to see a Pulmonary specialist. She has developed Activity-Induced Asthma. The problem? She’s a long-distance runner. She’s been competing in Cross Country at the high school for several years. She worked incredibly hard all summer to improve her speed and endurance. That was when she discovered she couldn’t make the full 10-mile run.
Before turning to track and cross country, she played soccer for several years. She was darn good at it, never stopping for one and half hours. So what we can’t figure out is why this happened now? She’s a senior and this was her last year to run. That’s the devastating part.
The doctor gave us a booklet about asthma, pointing out a graphic listing of possible triggers. As we studied the chart we realized she has nearly every trigger listed.
We live in a Victorian home with original windows and doors; therefore dust.
We live in the country; lots of blooming plants and grasses.
We live in Florida; humidity all summer and fall, blooming grasses, trees, etc for nine months.
She’s under stress; dual enrolled at the community college (three classes per semester); straight A student; running coach on her back because she thinks my daughter is ‘faking it’ (even though my daughter is the ONLY member of the team who made every single practice twice a day all summer; and uses an inhaler before running and during.)
She inherited external allergies and asthma from her grandfather and internal food allergies from her grandmother. Both are triggers.
Last year her track team made it to District Finals for the first time in the history of the school. Their goal this year is Regionals. She really has her heart set on running the 400. So we all decided she knows her body, she’s eighteen years old and knows when to quit. She’ll condition for track when it starts. But she’s promised to quit running as soon as her breathing becomes labored.
Her primary doctor explained that she may be allergic to the chemicals that build up in her system during running. If that’s the case she can’t run at all.
In the meanwhile we have an appointment with an Allergy-Asthma specialist. Hopefully they can figure out what’s causing the problem and give her a medicine regime to control it so she can run.