I learned this at five

Nate - Menomonie, Wisconsin
Entered on April 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I learned this at five

When I was five, I was diagnosed with asthma and light sensitive eyes. What a great way to start out my summer knowing that if I ran too much I wouldn’t be able to breathe or if I stayed outside too long I would get sick unless I had a hat or sunglasses on. It was a good thing I was stubborn and didn’t like to listen to my doctor or my parents. I was five years old and all I wanted to do was help my grandpa with chores around the farm and play soccer till I collapsed. Well I wouldn’t collapse from playing soccer, but the asthma did hinder the length of time I could be out on the field. Luckily, when you were younger everyone got to play, so I got time to sit around and watch the other kids, and I was able to catch my breath.

I started to use an inhaler so I could run longer and play more; I also got a wide variety of hats so I could stay outside in the sun for longer periods of time. I didn’t let the asthma or the sun sickness get the best of me, I learned to live with it and find ways around it such as playing in the dark. Or when it came to running or doing an activity that would not be so wise with my asthma I would take frequent breaks, along with learning when I had ran too much. When it would come around for soccer season to start, I would dust off my foam hat, refill my inhaler and get ready for another awesome summer. I lived my childhood like any normal kid would have. Nothing was going to stop me.

When I was in the fifth grade, I entered an essay about life with my sun allergy in a contest and I won. I wrote about how being allergic to the sun did not stop me from enjoying my childhood. I wrote how I still did all the same things that other kids were doing. I won a hat as a prize it—was one of the coolest moments of my life. I learned to enjoy the background and got perks from having light—sensitive eyes. I got to go in early from recess and I was forewarned when we were going to have a fire alarm so I could be prepared for it. As I grew older my asthma faded into the dark and my eyes have become less and less sensitive to extreme light. Although I still need a hat or sunglasses to function outside for longer than forty-five minutes.

Granted I was not diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or some other crippling disease or a more severe case of a sun allergy like some kids, I still suffered nonetheless. With the diagnosis of the sun allergy and asthma I have learned to function with them. No matter what your obstacle is, I believe that you can learn to live with it and go on to live your life. If I learned that at five, I believe anyone can learn that life lesson.