Your last year of high school is probably a mixture of joy, anticipation, and even a little anxiety for both your parents/caregiver and you. By the end of this final school year, you will have been supported for twelve years, to some degree, on how to manage your asthma.

You might be surprised how much needs to be considered so you are prepared for independent living and proper asthma management.

Once you’ve decided where you’re going after graduation, then a good place to start preparing on how you’ll care for your asthma health is with the very people who have helped you so far. Talk with your parents/caregiver: try ordering and picking up your prescription on your own. Become familiar with your insurance card and who’s in your network. If you’re questioning what a network is, then ask because sometimes there are boundaries on who you can use for a doctor, pharmacist, hospital and ambulance if you want to keep your cost down.

Ok, got that covered, now decide if you can still work with your current doctor for your asthma care. You might be relocating and need to ask for a referral from your doctor so you can continue with the same level of care. If you don’t have an asthma action plan, ask your doctor to help you get started. You’ll also need to have your records transferred to the new doctor or clinic.

Your pharmacist is a great resource of information regarding your medications and can help you transfer your prescriptions if you need to. Hey, can you even name your medications and the purpose for each?

We haven’t even talked about knowing your basic asthma information. Here’s where Breathe Pennsylvania can help get you started with a Student Asthma Kit which includes an Asthma Action Profile, a place to log in everything you need to record to properly manage. The Kit also provides a free peak flow meter and spacer with instruction.

Have you thought about where you’ll live, in an apartment, dorm, or house? Who will you live with, do they smoke, have pets, and would they understand if you had allergies?

It’s a lot to take in and it can be over whelming if you wait until the first day of the new job or school. You can start now so that along with planning your future career, you can make sure you’re also ready to manage your asthma health. Taking these steps early can help secure a healthy and successful transition out of high school.