Chantal Firth
Lives with Asthma 

“I grew up in a small town in NB and was diagnosed with asthma when I was 2 years old. I spent my entire childhood and young adult life dependent on knowing where my inhaler was at all times. My family doctor had no problem refilling my inhaler so much that I would sometimes go through one in only a few weeks! I went to my doctor many times for asthma and was never referred to a specialist. I would have asthma attacks regularly. If I went for a run I would need to use it before and during exercise.

I did my undergraduate degree in Quebec and nothing really changed. I was eventually put on other inhalers to try to control my asthma, but nothing was working and I still wasn’t referred to a specialist.

I did my graduate degree in PEI and at my insistence, I was referred by the campus doctor to a specialist at the local hospital. He didn’t even order pulmonary function testing and put me on yet another inhaler. Meanwhile I would have asthma attacks in my home that would lead me crawling through my house to get to my inhaler in my purse, because I was too lightheaded and winded to stand and walk.

I think that awareness needs to start with the GP and knowing there isn’t one drug for everyone (I’ve tried most of them).”