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Maya’s Story

Maya is a 14-year-old high school student who is one of four children all diagnosed with asthma. Maya has been diagnosed with a mild case of asthma, and only uses an inhaler during softball season and in the wet winter months.

However, Maya worries about her asthma more than all her siblings combined, and while they average about one doctor visit per year for asthma related appointments, Maya’s average is five. In fact, her mother is convinced that Maya’s worry actually causes at least some of her asthma attacks.

Since she was young, Maya’s parents have provided Maya with ongoing reassurance that her body is strong enough to cope, and that should her respiratory system weaken, help will be available. Yet Maya’s worry has only increased. She is hyper-focused on vague sensations and pain she claims to feel in her lungs and throat, carries multiple inhalers with her at all times, and each week conducts an elaborate check to ensure each inhaler is operating properly. She refuses to participate in any sports aside form softball despite expressing an interest in trying new things, fearful that unnecessary exertion will compromise her health. Although Maya agrees that some of her safety measures might be a little over the top, she is reluctant to give anything up, convinced that what she has given up might be the very thing that could have saved her life.