Hello, my name is David Mull and I have asthma. I’m a 31-year-old happily married father of three. I’ve been struggling with asthma for as long as I can remember. My mother says I was diagnosed around the age of four. I wanted to contribute to this page and its mission to help raise awareness for what it may be like to suffer from asthma. This is a personal mission to me not only because of what I went through, but because my beautiful two-year-old daughter is showing all the signs of also having this disease.
Growing up I was like most little boys, I loved sports and I loved playing hard. Where I was different from my friends was that doing these things would often times lead to an attack. For those of you that have never experienced an asthma attack it is a very scary thing, especially for a small child. Imagine being suffocated to death with a plastic bag over your head and you’d be pretty close to what it feels like. I never wanted to not participate or play hard, so I learned to “manage” my disease with an Albuterol inhaler.
My other primary trigger was animal dander. Pretty much anyone who owned a pet I would not be able to visit for long without an attack. These visits and these attacks are in most cases what led to the several hospital visits I made as a child. I would wind up using entirely too much Albuterol, spiking my heart rate and still not breathing well. My poor mom was a nervous wreck during those trips, she would watch over me so closely as only a mother would. I know she was hurting for me possibly worse than I was hurting. I have the best mom in the world.
That Albuterol inhaler is still something I use today when needed, but as a kid it had become almost like a security blanket. I would never go anywhere without that inhaler. If for some reason I forgot it or misplaced it, I would go into panic mode and often give myself an asthma attack. I’d been told by adults who had no experience with asthma to try things that would never work. People seemed to make assumptions about how I felt or how bad an attack was. I beg you to please take asthma seriously, if your child has asthma please take it seriously! If an attack happens please understand your child is scared and suffering. You should follow medical advice and do what needs to be done!
Later in life as I moved out of my parents’ house and got married, I gained some weight. I learned the hard way that both weight gain and fitness drastically impacted my asthma. I decided to go see a specialist again (something my mom was always good about when I was young) and was prescribed Advair. This drug is VERY expensive, but in my experience worth every penny.
About the time I started Advair, I also began working out and losing weight. The combination of these two things have been a life changer for me. I now no longer carry an inhaler with me at all times and I’m not constantly worried about having an asthma attack. I manage my asthma and myself better. I feel almost like a non-asthmatic.
Cold season and infections still hit me harder than others. Often times I still need to use a nebulizer, but I rarely have asthma attacks these days. In fact, since 2010 I’ve competed in 30 different types of endurance races and I just completed the Ironman Louisville on August 26th 2012.
I’m not trying to end this story with an “I’m cured” moment because I’m NOT! I just want people to understand that proper management of asthma is a must! Seeing a specialist and having your child on a management plan is a must. Asthma does not have to be a death sentence, but does need to be taken VERY seriously. My wife and I are taking my daughters asthma signs VERY seriously and pray every day she does not have to battle this disease in the same way I had to.