Living ~400lbs

… and believe me I am still alive

Wheezing Around the Block

One of the recent rants I moderated out of the comments included something* about how “wheezing around the block doesn’t count as exercise.”

Wheezing is a symptom of asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, and other illness. Deciding that wheezing is only due to weight and only will be treated by weight loss is DANGEROUS.

I do wheeze. I have asthma. Now that  it is properly treated I can exercise without wheezing. My treatment plan is greatly helped by insurance to cover the not-available-in-generic Advair & other meds. One of my asthma triggers is exercise itself. This means I need to medicate pre-exercise. I’m also affected by things like air pollution and pollen.

If you’re fat and wheezing while walking around the block, you may need to see a doctor about your wheezing. It’s not necessarily “just being fat.” Waiting til you’re thin? A, may not help, and B, YOU COULD DIE in the meantime.

The fat haters of the world would have you believe you only wheeze if you’re fat and should lose weight to cure it. The fat accepters think that if you’re sick, you should be treated for that without having to lose weight first. I’m on the fat accepting side.

*Paraphrased to remove profanity & improve readability.

10 responses to “Wheezing Around the Block”

  1. I have had it up to my eyeballs with physicians that don’t want to treat fat people until they make themselves skinny.

    I really did, no kidding, have an issue for which I could not get treatment until I had my husband come in with me and verify I walked an hour a day with him.

    (Since it was a peritonsillar abscess, getting skinny would neither have prevented it nor waiting to get skinny would have cured it. I would have *expletive deleted* DIED)

    1. That’s frightening. Glad you were able to deal.

  2. I’ve been trying to get doctors to take me seriously about my wheezing-while-exercising since I was in grade school. They’ve always just told me it was because I am fat and out of shape, and I always believed them. I don’t have issues when walking or swimming, but rigorous dancing or running will have me gasping for breath. (So will being outside in spring without taking allergy medicine!) Most of the time, I just avoid anything too strenuous because I can’t get the doctors (even my current mostly fat friendly doctor) to listen to me.

    1. Have you seen an allergist? In my case, calling out how I have an easier time exercising after it’s rained helped.

      1. I have not seen an allergist! No one’s ever recommended it and I’ve never thought of it. I did go through a stress test one time after being released from the ER (due to chest pain). I remember gasping for air with so much pain in my throat and chest but the doctor not letting me stop until the timer ran out.

  3. I am a severe asthmatic and have COPD. Bronchial spasms do not make the exercise effective anyhow. It is better to do things slowly your lungs can handle. You will feel a lot better. I hate that many people blame the fat for asthma instead of the other way around. Asthma leads to less oxygenation, that is what one pulmonologist told me.

  4. […] with my weight.” -Another awesome fat project on Kickstarter: fat yoga online classes. -A response to a troll’s statement that “wheezing around the block” doesn’t cou…. -Shannon writes about the assumptions people make about her (unintentional) weight loss, and why […]

  5. I’ve had mild to moderate asthma all my life. When I was thin, I wheezed after climbing stairs or going up a steep hill. Now that I’m larger? Same thing. Actually, it has improved somewhat in my fat, nearly 50 year old self, over what it used to be for my thinner teenage self. Hum–go figure!
    Also, are these jackwagons now the Supreme Gods of What Is Exercise?
    Exercise has many levels, and there are many different things one can do for exercise. Some people can’t tolerate high levels of exertion, others can tolerate quite a bit. We are not cookie cutter beings.
    After my father (who was not obese) had a severe hemorrhagic stroke, he used to get as much exercise as he could tolerate by walking back and forth across the yard with his walker, and doing exercises holding onto the countertop in the kitchen for support several times a day. Unfortunately, once he had another stroke and a bad fall, he could no longer manage even this.
    When he was younger, he used to run up to six miles a day.
    Both of these activities were exercise.
    I hate people who think they can judge for others what they should be doing as far as exercise or anything else. They need to take a long walk off a short diving board into an active volcano.

  6. I have asthma too, but I also have panic attacks, which make it difficult for me to breathe even when I’m not exercising. At least the asthma can be controlled with an inhaler. And the seasonal allergies make everything worse :(

  7. Excuse the late comment, I was just reading through your blog, but- yes! This is so important! It reminds me of two things.

    First Jillian Michaels- who I once tried a workout video from on netflix instant and stopped at the beginning when she says it may feel like you can’t breath, but you are ok and need to keep going- of course this is a video and she has no idea if you are actually ok or if that feeling like you can’t breath is indicative of a problem. That she had such blatant disregard for the health of those doing her video made me sick and I just stopped the video.

    More importantly probably, it reminds me of my grandfather. He died because he thought being out of breath was just a sign of not exercising enough. He had stopped going to the gym or for walks or bike rides as he was taking care of my grandmother, who at the time required 24/7 care due to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. So when he started getting out of breath walking around the house, he thought it was because he wasn’t exercising enough and decided no to go to a doctor- after all, they would just tell him what he already knew, that he needed to exercise and lose weight. Then it got so bad he ended up in the hospital where they eventually realized he had pulmonary fibrosis caused by a medication he was taking, and he passed away in the hospital from it.

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About Me

Former software tester, now retired heart patient having fun and working on building endurance and strength. See also About page.

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