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Interview With Mandira Bedi On Navigating Motherhood & Asthmatic Condition

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"Being Asthmatic doesn’t make me Less Competent in my Responsibilities Towards my Kids": Mandira Bedi 

A fitness icon and prominent face on television, Mandira Bedi continues to live a wholesome life, both as a mother and a public figure, despite being asthmatic. She has associated with Cipla for a campaign that strives to dispel myths about the illness. She opens up about the condition in a tell-all interview…
 
  • Namrata Gulati Sapra : When were you first diagnosed with Asthma? 

I first got diagnosed with asthma in my early 20s and the thing that aggravated the condition was the Diwali smoke when I was in Delhi. I was visiting my parents at the time when I got my first asthma attack. 

  • How did you react to the news of being diagnosed with the illness? 

My parents were a little worried about me because the wheezing was quite relentless, but we've had a few people in our family who have had asthma, so they were aware of the condition. We got a diagnosis, and I got the hold on an inhaler and that's how it started. 

  • Do you remember an episode when you were judged or discriminated against because of the condition? 

People’s reactions were more of a concern and the reaction didn't bother me. It’s simply that it is a medical condition that needs to be addressed and requires adequate measures to ease the lives of asthmatics. 

  • How has using the Inhaler helped you lead a better life and cope better with Asthma? Are Inhalers any better than medicines? Do they have any side effects?

"I do believe that inhalers helped me a lot." Recently I had an attack, at the start of the pandemic, and I used my inhaler every night. The inhaler brings my breathing back to normal, opens my lungs, and makes me feel better instantly. "An inhaler gives you comfort, helps in getting your consciousness and balance back, and you start breathing normally again." I use my inhaler when I feel a slight bit of breathlessness and it sorts out the condition. It gives you a feeling of comfort that your breathing can be brought back to normal, to breathe in a non-laboured way if you have an inhaler by your side. 

  • What are some myths associated with the use of an Inhaler that you’d like to bust? 

There are some myths related to inhalers, that they should be used at the time of the attack. "I don't believe that inhaler is the last resort." I use it even when I have a slight breathlessness or when breathing becomes slightly difficult so that I can breathe freely again. So, I never use it as a last resort. I believe why suffer or feel uncomfortable when an inhaler can give you the comfort that you need.  

  • Have you ever been in a situation, wherein you couldn’t find your inhaler, or felt embarrassed using it in front of a gathering?

I never have been worried about what people think even of me using the inhalers in public. I do believe that inhalers helped me a lot.

  • As a mother and a public figure, you must always have your hands full. How do you ensure that you perform the two roles effectively despite the illness and continue to be physically fit and most importantly, happy? 

I agree with the fact that as a mother your hands are always full, but we need to find a formula that works for all in the family. "Being Asthmatic doesn’t make me less competent in my responsibilities towards my kids." I do multitask like any other working parent and that helps me in managing things on a day-to-day basis. 

  • How did you first explain Asthma and the use of Inhalers to your children? How did they respond to it? 

It has never been a taboo to use an inhaler at my home. My kids have seen me using it, they have often asked me about inhalers and how I feel post using them. I understand their questions/reactions are out of concern only and I answer all of them. I tell them the inhaler gives me relief and makes me feel better. During the pandemic, my son also had a breathlessness attack and the doctors suggested him to use an inhaler. So, it's never been an unusual thing that needs to be addressed in the family.

  • How can mothers suffering from this condition sensitize their children towards Asthma and the use of Inhalers? 

I don’t think there is anything that needs to be sensitized. "The inhaler is like any other medicine used as a preventive way to counter discomfort caused by breathlessness."

  • What is your message to mothers suffering from asthma? How should they make time for self-care, especially for their mental health when they’re already overburdened with work and home responsibilities? 

I would like to give the message to Asthmatics that it is important to know what an inhaler does. If a product like an inhaler can give you comfort, then one must use it. I'm a believer in not suffering. It’s the same case, if you have a headache you take pain killer similarly in case of breathlessness, the inhaler can eradicate that discomfort. "My advice would be to address the issue as early as possible and don’t be ignorant of your condition."

  • Why did you decide to associate with the Berok Zindagi campaign by Cipla? What does the campaign strive to achieve and how does it aim to create an impact?

#InhalersHainSahi is an awareness campaign that is helping to start a social conversation to address the stigma and misconceptions associated with asthma and inhaler. I am very glad that I could be a part of the initiative and this association is my effort to raise awareness on Asthma and normalize the use of Inhalers in public. I can see around me the social stigma with asthma & using inhalers in public. #InhalersHainSahi is all about ensuring the right treatment and leading a limitless life. Together, we all can help remove this stigma, and support Asthmatics to live a better life.

 

Namrata Gulati Sapra is a passionate part time journalist blogger and a fulltime passionate mommy, whose journey in motherhood is nothing like she expected it to be, she believes. When she isn't blogging or mommying, she is enjoying her cuppa and Netflixing! 

Found this article useful? Read more blogs at www.themomstore.in 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.

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