I can pinpoint my first symptom of asthma to around the time of the 9/11 tragedy. It all started when I noticed a change in my breathing â€“ I found myself coughing a great deal, having trouble catching my breath and felt tightness in my chest. I brushed my symptoms off as a results of stress and anxiety from the recent events and did not offer them rather more thought. It wasn’t until several years later while filming the show Pushing Daises that my symptoms took a turn for the worse and I started to notice the impact they were having on my career. While reception visiting my folks in OK, my mom noticed how sick I had become and urged me to see a doctor in my hometownâ€”it was there that I was diagnosed with adult on-set asthma. As a singer and histrion, being able to breathe properly is a critical component to my success, so needless to say I was devastated when I received my diagnoses; however, I was also grateful to finally know what was causing my symptoms.
Although it took it slow, I eventually grew to accept the fact that I had asthma and worked closely with my doctor to determine a way to safely manage my condition. With my busy, on-the-go lifestyle, my doctor prescribed me a rescue inhaler with a dose counter, which keeps track of how much medication I have left. Now, whether I’m on stage, in the studio or traveling to my next gig, I can feel confident in knowing that I have enough medication on hand when I need it most, such as during an asthma attack. It’s no secret that managing respiratory disease as knowledgeable singer are often very powerful. I will recall one instance throughout my career wherever my respiratory disease symptoms began to get the most effective of ME and that i had to go forth stage to use my inhalator. Fortunately, that’s not a regular occurrence, but it taught me to always be prepared. In addition to my rescue inhalator with a dose counter, I have to be really smart about recognizing the onset of my symptoms. I learned the hard way that avoiding or ignoring your asthma symptoms is not the way to go and can’t emphasize how important it is to listen to your body when it’s telling you something is wrong.
After scuffling with respiratory disease in silence for quite a decade, I decided it was time to share my story in an effort to show other people living with asthma that the malady doesn’t have to be compelled to limit you from doing what you like. When I was approached by the respiratory disease and hypersensitivity reaction Foundation of America (AAFA) and Teva metastasis last year to partner with them on a replacement public service campaign referred to as Know Your Count, the timing just felt right. Know Your Count aims to raise awareness of the seriousness of asthma and educate those living with asthma and their caregivers, about the importance of having a rescue inhaler with a dose counter.
With May being Asthma Awareness Month, I’m excited to announce the launch of the Know Your CountAsthma Pledge. During the months of May and June, we are encouraging people to visitand simply click a button to make their Asthma Pledge. For every pledge received, Teva Respiratory will donate $1 to the Consortium on Children’s Asthma Camps in an effort to help send deserving children with asthma to summer camps nationwide.