Today Asthma + Lung Uk launched their campaign End the Lung Health Lottery. They have collected data which has been analysed and the results are shocking. Depending on where you live in the UK will depend on your lung health outcomes. If you live in an area of higher deprivation the higher the chance that you will have an emergency admission to hospital and poorer outcomes as well.
No one in the UK should be at a disadvantage with their lung health due to where they live. We should all be able to receive the best care possible. The important care is in the community so that you understand your asthma, the medication you need and action you need to take should your asthma get worse which will prevent emergency hospital admissions.
I am so fortunate that I live in Scotland where deprivation levels are lower but a key thing is that we get free prescriptions. Gone are the days for me of having to budget to ensure I had enough money to pay for medication but also make sure I had extra money for extra medications should I get unwell and need more medication. Many people who live elsewhere in the UK still have this issue. They need to choose between medication and eating or medication and heating. It should never be a choice as we are all entitled to breathe. If you are not able to afford your medication then you are at higher risk of emergency admissions to hospital.
Living with severe asthma it scary. One of the hardest parts I find is knowing that I could have an asthma attack that may kill me. Having had previous severe life threatening asthma attack which have put me on a ventilator I am terrified but the only thing that is scarier than this is the idea of not being able to afford my medication. All attacks I have had, all admissions I have had to ICU and on the ventilator have been when I have been taking my medication imagine what it would be like if I did not have my medication. I am pretty sure I would not be here. But this is the reality many are facing daily. They run the risk of dying from asthma or other lung diseases because they cannot afford their medication and are living in areas of higher deprivation. This is not ok. Everyone needs to breathe and everyone has the right to be able to breathe.
What makes asthma slightly unique to other lung conditions is that so many external factors can causes an asthma attack. Triggers which are not avoidable, triggers which we did not mean to expose ourselves too, trigger that’s others have exposed us to via their actions. Triggers can cause attacks. It is one of the hardest parts of having asthma and I find very difficult to deal with is having an attack caused by a trigger that someone else has exposed me to as I am then left constantly asking myself questions and the what if’s, what if I went out later, what if I didnt go out, what if I went a different way all the questions that we will never know the answer too but these questions have much bigger consequences when you don’t have the right medication.
Please stop and think about what you are doing. Asthma and lung disease can affect anyone at anytime. Asthma + Lung UK do so much work but we need others to wake up and make a stand too. More people need to talk about how devastating lung disease is. Please share this campaign with anyone you know.
Not being able to breathe is scary not being able to get medication is scarier.