March 24, 2017

Asthma


Here’s a free collection of resources about Asthma- Asthma blogs, support groups, first-hand experiences and advice from people who have asthma, etc.

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Asthma Blogs

Here’s a list of Asthma blogs- blogs written by people with asthma, or about asthma.

****Email alexbalinski@gmail.com to submit your blog to this list.***

My Life as an Asthma Mom asthmamomlife.blogspot.com 2017
Breathin Stephen breathinstephen.com 2017
Allergies and Asthma Network allergyasthmanetwork.org 2017
 Hardluck Asthma hardluckasthma.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html 2017
Asthma Allergies Children asthmaallergieschildren.com 2017
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America community.aafa.org 2017
Family Allergy and Asthma familyallergy.com 2017
asth.ma asth.ma 2017
The Asthma Center asthmacenter.com 2017
Asthma Cure by Mom asthmacurebymom.blogspot.com 2017
The Antics of a Brittle Asthmatic theanticsofabrittleasthmatic.blogspot.com 2016

Asthma Support Groups

Asthma Support Groups On Facebook

  1. Asthma Group (9754 members)
  2. Asthma, Allergies and Prednisone Group (8045 members)
  3. Asthma in Children Support Group (4921 members)
  4. Kids with Allergies, Eczema and Asthma (3908 members)
  5. Brittle Asthma Support Group (2086 members)
  6. Mommies of Kids with Asthma (1959 members)
  7. Asthma Awareness Group (1398 members)
  8. Children Living with Eczema, Utricaria, Asthma and Allergies (1279 members)
  9. Gateway Food Allergy, Eczema and Asthma Support (1216 members)
  10. Parents of Children with Asthma (843 members)
  11. Asthma – Living to Breathe Easy (793 members)
  12. Asthma Philippines (757 members)
  13. Hope for Asthma (546 members)
  14. Asthma Friends Australia (545 members)

Other Asthma Support Groups And Forums

  1. Daily Strength Asthma Support Group (499 members, 2,093 posts)

Asthma Survey

We’re surveying people about their experiences with asthma. Here will be a collection of their responses.

*This information is not meant to replace medical advice, and the information gathered via surveys may or may not be correct. Hopefully it will be helpful to you!

*Response format = Answer (Name, Age)


**Click here to share your experience with asthma**


Asthma Symptoms

What symptoms have you experienced?

  • Shortness of breath, o2 dependency, cyanosis, coughing. (Brennan, 2 years old)
  • Coughing, wheezing, struggling to breathe. (Archie S., 10 years old)
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, chest tightness. (Alyssa, 19 years old)
  • Wheezing, tightness in chest, coughing, feeling of impending doom. (Erin W., 19 years old)
  • Chest tightness, chest/back/rib pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, air hunger. (Belle, 20 years old)
  • Dyspnea, wheezing, cough, chest pain. (Maham, 22 years old)
  • Every symptom related to both asthma allergies and eczema. (Vickie, 28 years old)
  • Broncial asthma. (Arifa, 30 years old)
  • Wheezing, tightening in chest, shortness of breath. (Sam, 32 years old)
  • Trouble breathing, tightness, cough. (Shandi, 33 years old)
  • Shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, and anxiety. (Kate, 34 years old)
  • Coughing, shortness of breath, chest or torso pain during attacks. (Katie, 38 years old)
  • What have I not? I have severe brittle asthma, so I have had all symptoms at some point. Wheezing, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, loss of consciousness, cough, sticky chest- you name it, I’ve had it.. (Sandra, 40 years old)
  • Chest pain, tightness, shortness of breath. (Lynne, 42 years old)
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness. (Sarah, 43 years old)
  • Low SATs, SOB, coughing, wheezing, congestion. (Janet H., 45 years old)
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath. (Marla, 47 years old)
  • All asthma symptoms (severe). (Jera C., 49 years old)
  • Wheezy tight chest, short breath. (Meia A., 51 years old)
  • Coughing, extreme shortness of breath. (Jenny, 53 years old)
  • Uncontrollable coughing and unable to get air, phlegm production. (Jylonda A., 58 years old)
  • Clearing throat, oscar grouch voice, cough, extremely short of breath, right cheek become red, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, pressure in chest, and itchy skin, etc. (Tammy, 59 years old)
  • Chronic cough, excess mucus. (Donna, 62 years old)
  • Complete respiratory lock up…wheezing. (Jim B., 64 years old)

Asthma Interesting Facts

What interesting facts have you learned about asthma?

  • You can get it any age. (Archie S., 10 years old)
  • I learned the science behind it. I also learned everything there is to know about the medications commonly used to treat it. I have a well-rounded scientific knowledge of asthma and feel confident that I know what’s going on in my body and what to do about it. I learned that the most important thing (for me and many other) is to slow down as soon as I realize I’m having an attack. Keeping my heart rate down is super important, because if it stays too high for too long, it can be dangerous and require a trip to the hospital. I never knew that too high of a heart rate (for too long) would require an ER visit in and of itself. I also learned that an attack caused by allergies can have a second wind up to 8 hours later. I learned that attacks can last for 24+ hours, something I just didn’t realize before. (Alyssa, 19 years old)
  • There are different types. (Erin W., 19 years old)
  • Asthma is very unpredictable and it takes independence to stick to a medication and treatment regime strictly everyday. (Belle, 20 years old)
  • Asthma is reversible. (Maham, 22 years old)
  • Some people grow out of it. (Sam, 32 years old)
  • I’m always amazed when I find new unexpected triggers, such as cockroaches or storms. (Kate, 34 years old)
  • The existence of cough variant asthma. (Katie, 38 years old)
  • How serious and life-threatening it is. (Sandra, 40 years old)
  • You can get it later on in life, the close relationship with hayfever, the need to take your prevented daily, an attack is not always what they look like on TV. (Lynne, 42 years old)
  • That you can also have COPD along with it, even if you’ve never smoked. (Marla, 47 years old)
  • Adult onset. (Jera C., 49 years old)
  • Diet, lifestyle, avoid second hand smoke, pollution, managing meds smartly. (Meia A., 51 years old)
  • Can be triggered by perfumes, odors and gastric reflux. (Jylonda A., 58 years old)
  • I have learned to try to stay calm, slow my breathing, and leave if I smell something that I’m allergic to. It affects emotions and acid reflex has to be controlled. (Tammy, 59 years old)
  • It can be brought on by stress and anxiety, as well as certain environmental allergens, also, certain food preservatives can trigger it (sulfites especially). (Jim B., 64 years old)

Asthma Relief

What are effective ways to relieve your asthma?

  • Pulmicort. (Brennan, 2 years old)
  • My inhalers and montlekurst. (Archie S., 10 years old)
  • Calm myself down/breathe slowly, use inhaler, use nebulizer, drink cold water, take hot shower (sometimes makes it better, sometimes worse). (Alyssa, 19 years old)
  • Symbicort, rescue albuterol inhaler, albuterol nebulizers. (Erin W., 19 years old)
  • Nebulisers 3 times a day, reliever and preventer inhalers daily, deep breathing, effective coughing of mucus. (Belle, 20 years old)
  • Inhalor, oral steroids, leukotriene inhibitors. (Maham, 22 years old)
  • Inhaler nebulizer and sometimes oral meds. (Vickie, 28 years old)
  • Medication. (Arifa, 30 years old)
  • Relaxing, getting fresh air. (Sam, 32 years old)
  • Steroids. (Shandi, 33 years old)
  • True HEPA air purifier, mask during inversions, nebulizing glutathione, managing stress and good ol albuterol. (Kate, 34 years old)
  • Albuterol or duoneb in my nebulizer. Prednisone when its really bad. (Katie, 38 years old)
  • For me if my regular meds and nebulisers don’t work, IV medication helps such as hydrocortisone, magnesium and aminophylline. (Sandra, 40 years old)
  • Take Your Inhaler daily, more if needed. (Lynne, 42 years old)
  • Steroids, preventive inhalers, rescue inhalers, nebulizer treatments, oxygen. (Sarah, 43 years old)
  • Medications. (Janet H., 45 years old)
  • Rescue inhaler. Breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, while someone is rubbing my back. (Marla, 47 years old)
  • None. (Jera C., 49 years old)
  • Keep bedroom aired. Everyday diet, avoid your allergies using a scarf over mouth cold to warm, warm to cold. (Meia A., 51 years old)
  • Prednisone and albuterol nebs. (Jenny, 53 years old)
  • Emergency inhaler, rest, breathing treatment. (Jylonda A., 58 years old)
  • Use rescue inhaler, avoid triggers, take time for myself at least half an hour daily to rest (which is very hard for me to do) Breathing exercises. (Tammy, 59 years old)
  • Arnuity helps with the cough. (Donna, 62 years old)
  • Coca-Cola, Albuterol nebulizing, rescue inhalers, proventil, etc. Qvar..trying to remain calm. (Jim B., 64 years old)

Asthma Difficulties

What are the most difficult aspects of living with asthma?

  • Constant breathing issues. (Brennan, 2 years old)
  • Scared to go too far away from my mom in case I have an attack. (Archie S., 10 years old)
  • You never know when something bad is going to happen. It’s difficult to live not knowing when I’m going to have an attack, when I’ll need to go to the hospital, when I’m going to be fine. It’s also hard to judge whether or not I need to go to the hospital and it gets stressful. Medical bills caused by asthma-related appointments or incidents are very expensive and take a toll. I can’t just spontaneously decide to go for a run or even an aggressive walk – I need to prepare and take my inhaler beforehand. (Alyssa, 19 years old)
  • Getting active, feeling safe to leave the house and being able to breathe. (Erin W., 19 years old)
  • Waking up nearly every morning struggling to breathe, and feeling as if my chest were crushed. Constant severe chest infections like pneumonia that land me in the hospital for weeks. (Belle, 20 years old)
  • Difficult to enjoy winters. (Maham, 22 years old)
  • I cannot join any military branch and I just have so many issues. (Vickie, 28 years old)
  • Traveling. (Arifa, 30 years old)
  • My asthma is linked to my allergies. If people have cats I can’t go to their houses. It’s restricting. (Sam, 32 years old)
  • Always having issues. (Shandi, 33 years old)
  • Learning new triggers the hard way. Having bronchitis for months at a time. Activities being limited if asthma is not being well controlled. (Kate, 34 years old)
  • It makes dealing with any kind of respiratory infection worse, and it limits my ability to exercise. (Katie, 38 years old)
  • The physical limitations, and also the fatigue from putting so much work into breathing. (Sandra, 40 years old)
  • Carrying Medication, limited exercise, hayfever. (Lynne, 42 years old)
  • Time away from things and people I love, feeling like I can’t do things that I know I should be able to. (Sarah, 43 years old)
  • Being on oxygen and low energy. (Janet H., 45 years old)
  • Waking up in the ICU. (Marla, 47 years old)
  • Reduction in activities. (Jera C., 49 years old)
  • Becoming breathless suddenly. (Meia A., 51 years old)
  • The severe asthma I have has cost me 100 days off work in 12 months. Lots of folks don’t understand that asthma can be that bad. (Jenny, 53 years old)
  • Perfumes or chemicals in confined spaces (airplanes, elevators, restaurants). (Jylonda A., 58 years old)
  • Never knowing when I may walk into a store and have a reaction. Then dealing with using nebulizer, extra inhalers, prednisone, etc. I have no energy for a month or more. (Tammy, 59 years old)
  • Taking the medicine because I hate the smell of it and trying different products to see what helps and what doesn’t. (Donna, 62 years old)
  • Shortness of breath…when you’re trying to walk or just exist, low oxygen is not pleasant. (Jim B., 64 years old)

Asthma Advice

What words of encouragement/advice can you share with others who have asthma?

  • Doctors and nurses are there to help. (Archie S., 10 years old)
  • Always carry around your inhaler, even if you’ve been feeling totally fine for months, because you never know when you might have an issue. I never used to carry my inhaler unless I had a cold (when my asthma was much worse) and would find myself in an asthma attack without proper medication. I’d have to find someone to borrow from or try to deal with it w/o an inhaler which does not work very well. Follow your gut. If you don’t feel right, do something about it. Don’t let an attack get to the point of “gasping for air” before you even consider taking a puff or two of your inhaler. Nip as many attacks in the bud as you can to avoid further exacerbation. The longer you wait to do something about it, the worse it will get, and the longer it will take to recover. Trust yourself. Don’t let other people try to tell you what you’re feeling if you know they’re wrong. You know yourself best, and if you feel off, do something about it. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that it’s all in your head. They are wrong. (Alyssa, 19 years old)
  • Don’t give up and feel it is your fault. (Belle, 20 years old)
  • You learn to live with it. (Maham, 22 years old)
  • Don’t panic. (Vickie, 28 years old)
  • Be happy. (Arifa, 30 years old)
  • Do whatever you can to stay healthy. (Shandi, 33 years old)
  • There are ways to manage asthma and live a full life. Be patient with where you are. Accept, adapt, overcome! (Kate, 34 years old)
  • Learn as much as you can. You are your best advocate. (Katie, 38 years old)
  • It is controllable but needs commitment to taking daily meds. Help is always available from Asthma UK. (Lynne, 42 years old)
  • Get a good doctor (Sarah, 43 years old)
  • This is just an ailment, it’s not who you are. (Janet H., 45 years old)
  • Try not to panic. Call for help as soon as you feel it oncoming. (Marla, 47 years old)
  • Don’t give up. (Jera C., 49 years old)
  • Manage you meds smartly. Avoid allergens, pets included. Phys everyday, diet healthy avoid allergens. Again it will get better over time as research is coming along in leap and bounds. Keep relaxed, swim, yoga, cycling. (Meia A., 51 years old)
  • Keep looking for good doctors who listen to you, keep thinking positive. (Jenny, 53 years old)
  • Never give up. Push back when the venue tries to move you instead of the offensive odor producing source. (Jylonda A., 58 years old)
  • Asthma is a chronic disease. It will come and go, do try your best to roll with it. A lot of us experience asthma so you are not alone. Breath just breath! You can do it! (Tammy, 59 years old)
  • Don’t smoke. (Donna, 62 years old)
  • In a weird way, asthma is actually an action your body takes to protect you, though it doesn’t seem that way. An asthma attack, can really be thought of as a very extreme way for the body to prevent some trigger substance or allergen from entering your system (through your respiratory system). (Jim B., 64 years old)

Asthma Diet and Exercise

What’s been your experience with diet and exercise?

  • I eat everything and do loads of sports still. (Archie S., 10 years old)
  • I don’t do any asthma-related diets. I have to take my inhaler (Albuterol) before exercise. I will generally still end up severely out of breath after a short period of running (or another vigorous activity). I take my inhaler again and just try to breathe through it. I dislike vigorous exercise because I dislike having difficulty breathing. For me, I kind of just need to get over it and exercise more. (Alyssa, 19 years old)
  • I haven’t tried any weird diet, however I find it very difficult to exercise with my asthma. (Erin W., 19 years old)
  • As I have brittle type 2 asthma, sometimes breathing is just so difficult that I do not have the energy and appetite to eat/exercise or even do any simple task as I get very short of breath. I try to take short walks and do exercises at home instead of going out which might trigger an attack. (Belle, 20 years old)
  • I eat whatever I want and physical exertions make me breathless. (Maham, 22 years old)
  • I try to diet and exercise. Dieting is easy, exercise not so much. I love to work out but cannot do it without wheezing or shortness of breath. (Vickie, 28 years old)
  • Have to be able to breathe to exercise. (Shandi, 33 years old)
  • Those have been the most important things in managing my asthma. If I’m unable to exercise due to asthma, I spiral out. When I pay attention to what foods don’t trigger me and keep exercising to keep my lungs strong, I don’t notice I have asthma. (Kate, 34 years old)
  • I’ve been more successful with anaerobic exercise. (Katie, 38 years old)
  • I can’t do exercises as I also have joint and mobility issues. If my breathing doesn’t stop me, pain does. (Sandra, 40 years old)
  • Difficulty exercising so took up singing. (Lynne, 42 years old)
  • Find the right regimen for your body and stick to it. (Sarah, 43 years old)
  • Difficulty. (Janet H., 45 years old)
  • It’s helped my asthma a lot. (Marla, 47 years old)
  • I wish I could do more exercise while I am eating a healthy diet. (Jera C., 49 years old)
  • I avoid whey protein, or your food allergens. Puts I do everyday, so should you. (Meia A., 51 years old)
  • I was able to control my huge coughing jags by changing my diet. Exercise has been minimal since I barely get back to ‘normal’, do a little walking for a few weeks, and the get a flare again. (Jenny, 53 years old)
  • Severe food allergies. (Jylonda A., 58 years old)
  • I have gluten intolerance so I have learned that eating gluten irritates my asthma. Doing pulmonary rehab now. Learning to take it slow on 10 minutes in cycle, bike, etc and increase tension not speed. (Tammy, 59 years old)
  • Fortuntanely I am not short of breath. (Donna, 62 years old)
  • I believe I’m allergic to certain preservatives (especially sulfites). I try to avoid those. (Jim B., 64 years old)

Asthma Treatments

What’s been your experience with treatments (medication, etc.)?

  • I was in ICU for days on life support at one point, when I came round I had nebuliser and oxygen for a week. (Archie S., 10 years old)
  • It is really important to find the right controller medicine which is strong enough for me. What works great for one person may not work for another. I was not properly controlled and ended up having 2 ER trips in 1 week. That was when I realized that I need to find a better doctor who would take my asthma more seriously and find the right medications. I have found that Combivent (albuterol + ipatropium bromide) works better for me during a severe attack than just albuterol alone. My allergy/asthma specialist prescribed me a Combivent respimat as a rescue inhaler (to use instead of a standard albuterol inhaler). That works well for me. I also learned that using a nebulizer works much better at getting the medication to where it needs to go for me. It is much more effective for me if I am beyond just a little bit of tightness in the chest. (Alyssa, 19 years old)
  • It can take some trial and error to find the right maintenance medication. (Erin W., 19 years old)
  • As I can get sick very quickly with the type of asthma I have, I take 4 inhalers daily, prednisolone steriod pills, 3-4 times of nebulisers daily and sometimes require oxygen as my oxygen stats tend to stay in the 80s%. (Belle, 20 years old)
  • They completely reverse my asthma. (Maham, 22 years old)
  • I’ve taken a lot. (Vickie, 28 years old)
  • I’ve been on many different types of inhalers. Symbicort is by far the best one for my asthma. (Sam, 32 years old)
  • Not working. (Shandi, 33 years old)
  • I haven’t liked the side effects of asthmanex. However, my asthma gets out of control during winter inversions if I don’t use it. I only use it during those months. Albuterol has made a difference. (Kate, 34 years old)
  • Right now, I’m on Advair 500/50, and I still need my rescue inhaler at least once a day it’s frustrating. (Katie, 38 years old)
  • I’m on step 5 treatment so permanent steroids, nebulisers daily, oral meds such as theophylline etc. I’m in the hospital regularly for IV meds also and have had adrenaline in an ambulance multiple times. I’ve needed airway support, and been ventilated. (Sandra, 40 years old)
  • Varied but now I’m on SMART program and it seems to be working. (Lynne, 42 years old)
  • Don’t forget it. (Sarah, 43 years old)
  • I hate nebulizer treatment. (Janet H., 45 years old)
  • They work as well, but some don’t, which seems to have triggered my asthma even more, making it worse. (Marla, 47 years old)
  • Not good. (Jera C., 49 years old)
  • Symnicort is the best, I’m practically off salbitamol now. Amoxicillin beware of thrush. (Meia A., 51 years old)
  • Thankful for prednisone. (Jenny, 53 years old)
  • Not enough instruction for self care. (Jylonda A., 58 years old)
  • I use Zyflo 600 mg 2 am and 2 pm, symbicort inhaler 2 puffs am and 2 puffs pm, albuterol as rescue inhaler, carry 2 epi pens, and nasal allergy spray (use as needed) When I have an acute asthma attack, my doctor puts me on prednisone 40 mg and count down to 10, cough pearls, nebulizer treatments every 4 hours used 2 medicines, albuterol inhaler every 4 hours, plus my regular asthma medicine listed above. (Tammy, 59 years old)
  • Arnuity for lung imflammation helped me. Still trying to find something for post nasal drip. I felt like Flonaze almost killed me. (Donna, 62 years old)
  • Dulera and Symbicort worked well as maintenance. (Jim B., 64 years old)

Asthma Recommendations

Anything you would recommend for someone with asthma?

  • If you finding it hard to breathe, tell someone immediately. (Archie S., 10 years old)
  • Work with an asthma specialist to figure out the best controller medications, and check in with him every so often to see how well they are controlling you to make changes as necessary. Be confident – don’t let anyone try to tell you that you don’t have asthma, that you’re exaggerating, or that it’s all in your head. Keep your rescue medication on you at all times, even if you don’t think you’ll need it (even if you haven’t had an attack in 6 months). Don’t stop taking your controller meds without consulting your doctor, even if you don’t think they’re effective. They may be helping you more than you think. If you don’t think you’re being controlled right, speak up. Talk to your doctor and be honest. That’s the only way he can help you to the fullest extent. (Alyssa, 19 years old)
  • Getting an air purifier in my room really helps me get sleep. Sleeping in a recliner chair also helps me breathe better. (Belle, 20 years old)
  • Do not let asthma hinder your goals. (Maham, 22 years old)
  • Do everything to stay healthy so it doesn’t add stress to your lungs. (Shandi, 33 years old)
  • Stay active. (Kate, 34 years old)
  • Track your peak flow, so you can move forward with data. (Katie, 38 years old)
  • Take it seriously! (Sandra, 40 years old)
  • Learn what you can to help you manage, the GP doctors do not necessarily know all there is with asthma. I was having an attack and they were arguing about whether to give me prednisolone as my oxygen levels were still high! (Lynne, 42 years old)
  • Follow doctor’s orders. (Janet H., 45 years old)
  • Change your eating habits. (Marla, 47 years old)
  • Find out everything you can, and go to every specialist available. (Jera C., 49 years old)
  • Exercise, exercise, diet, manage meds. (Meia A., 51 years old)
  • Read!! (Jylonda A., 58 years old)
  • Bronchial theramoplasty if your doctor recommends and your insurance approves. I finished my 3 procedure February 22, 2017. After about 4 weeks I started seeing about an 80% improvement in my asthma symptoms and reactions. Have not had an acute attack since. (Tammy, 59 years old)
  • Find a good doctor. (Donna, 62 years old)
  • Try to understand your triggers as best you can (not always easy). (Jim B., 64 years old)

Asthma Resources

What specific resources have you found most helpful?

  • Online. (Archie S., 10 years old)
  • I have a lot of friends who are doctors and nurses. I have spoken to them and gotten great explanations of the disease and medications. My asthma specialist told me that I know more than most EMS and even general physicians about asthma. I also did a lot of research on the Internet. It is helpful for me to know all of the science behind asthma, so I know exactly what is going on in my body at what times and to figure out which medications to take in different situations. (Alyssa, 19 years old)
  • My doctors. (Shandi, 33 years old)
  • Naturopathic doctor. Using glutathione isn’t common, but I love that it doesn’t have side effects. I also got great tips. (Kate, 34 years old)
  • My mom is a respiratory therapist. (Katie, 38 years old)
  • Asthma UK. (Lynne, 42 years old)
  • Stay out of the smoldering heat. (Marla, 47 years old)
  • Still looking, I read everything I can. (Jera C., 49 years old)
  • Keeping my bed bone dry and bedroom house aired, as house dust more loves moist warm atmosphere. (Meia A., 51 years old)
  • Foodallergy.org; cousin (DO). (Jylonda A., 58 years old)
  • Mayoclinic.org; my pulmonary doctor, pulmonary rehabilitation, inspire.com support group. (Tammy, 59 years old)
  • Reading online is very informative. (Donna, 62 years old)
  • Coca-cola does work for me, also…it doesn’t hurt to have anti-anxiety meds nearby (for me) but I use Dulera, Singulair and Xolair, QVar. (Jim B., 64 years old)

Asthma Stories

Share a story of when you had an asthma attack.

  • I had one that was bad two weeks ago. I got sent to a local hospital in nebuliser, they sent me to London as it was bad, and I went on looking for support, my lungs were too weak too work alone. After three days I could breathe unaided, but went to children’s HDU for a week so they could give me frequent oxygen and nebuliser. It was scary. (Archie S., 10 years old)
  • I had a severe asthma attack this past April. I was sharing a room with a lady who smoked. She would spray perfume to cover up the smell of her smoke so no one would know she smokes. I happened to be allergic to this kind of perfume. She sprayed a lot of it one night, and I immediately knew I needed to go to a different room to have the asthma attack that was starting. My inhaler wasn’t working well to stop the attack. Even after taking it four or five times, I was still having difficulty breathing. My capillary refill was slow. My heart rate was way too high for too long. It was at 170 for a long time and wouldn’t calm down. I was getting very exhausted. I live in a place with a community-based volunteer emergency medical service (EMS)/ambulance system, so there is a paramedic for EMT on nearly every block. My friend went next-door to get her neighbor who is an EMT to come check me out and see how I was doing. He saw me from across the street and started running. He ran straight past me and into the house to get someone’s phone to call for an ambulance. I honestly wasn’t doing so well, and he could tell I was going downhill. It was as if it was breathing through a straw. I was coughing nonstop and couldn’t catch my breath. I was very disoriented and not with it. I wasn’t myself. I couldn’t get my heart rate down. I couldn’t take a deep breath. I couldn’t stop gasping for air. I was also very tired and starting to lose a lot of energy in this fight to breathe. The EMTs gave me continuous albuterol via nebulizer with 100% oxygen and it was doing nothing. My pulse got up to 95 on 100% oxygen. It wasn’t until they finally gave me ipratropium I that my lungs actually opened up at all. At this point, all of the albuterol hit me and I got a huge wave of adrenaline. I was vibrating, I was so high. I wasn’t myself. My friend, a nursing student, along with this EMT and the others that arrived, ultimately decided that I needed to go to the hospital. The medicine kicked in, and I felt okay, besides being super shaky. This attack easily could’ve gone downhill shortly after the medicine wore off, so it was important to go to the hospital to make sure it didn’t happen again or if it did that I would have proper care. I was very tired at that point and wouldn’t have had the energy to fight a second wind of the attack. I ended up not having a second wind of the attack at hospital, which was kind of frustrating, because we already made it all the way to the hospital and I seemed fine. For a second, it felt a little pointless being there, but I know it was important I went because it could’ve gotten much worse. I was prescribed prednisone and sent home and struggled to breathe for the next week. Two days after my prednisone was finished, I ended up in the hospital again with another severe asthma attack. I’m thankful for good friends who care more about my health than my fear of medical bills. I’m also very grateful for this community-based emergency medical response team who arrived in under 90 seconds to help me. (Alyssa, 19 years old)
  • I was walking out of one of my classes at my college, and walked through a cloud of cigarettes smoke. Instantly it triggered a major asthma attack. (Erin W., 19 years old)
  • My most recent asthma attack was a month ago which was also my worst one. I woke up at about 4am struggling to breathe so I took my nebulisers and inhalers which gave me temporary relief. The same night I came down with a very high fever and was shaking really badly and was unable to breathe in or out. I really felt I was going to die. I was sent to the hospital by ambulance but because my airways were so closed up they weren’t able to intubate me and I went into respiratory arrest for 6 minutes. I then spent the next 2 weeks in the hospital in an induced coma and had severe pneumonia in both lungs subsequently and both lungs ended up collapsing. I was just discharged 1 week ago and still feel as if I haven’t been able to take in a full breathe, and feel extremely weak and fatigued. The doctors said that a small part of my left lung has been scarred and is most likely irreversible. (Belle, 20 years old)
  • I once had an asthma attack during a vacation, I rode on a horse all the way back to hotel. (Maham, 22 years old)
  • I remember sitting hunched over on my bed trying to breath. I was using my ventilin inhaler, but it wasn’t working. I called my dad to take me to the hospital. After four ventilin treatments I was feeling somewhat better. Very shaky from the medication. (Sam, 32 years old)
  • I was floating the river didn’t have my inhaler with me and by the time we finally got to the vehicles I was barely with it. I was taken to the local hospital and spent 2 days there. (Shandi, 33 years old)
  • At work, a cna sprayed cologne on a patient and I had my first asthma attack. I didn’t even know I had asthma. I luckily had an inhaler due to still recovering from bronchitis. (Kate, 34 years old)
  • When I was 5, I told my mom my hip hurt. It was the first of many “but she’s not wheezing” attacks. (Katie, 38 years old)
  • It took a day to recognise I was having an attack as it did not match the TV attack. It was only after looking up my symptoms online did I realise. Very scary! (Lynne, 42 years old)
  • I couldn’t breathe or move. I almost got a tube put in. The hospital didn’t do anything. (Janet H., 45 years old)
  • I came home from work last August, laid down, woke up about two hours later to me asking my son to call the squad. I woke up four days later from a coma. (Marla, 47 years old)
  • Continuous attacks, hospital stays. (Jera C., 49 years old)
  • A heavily perfumed woman on the plane sat down in a seat in front of mine. The woman laughed at my almost immediate asthma attack. Airline moved me – not her, in violation of ADA – to the back of the plane by the lavatories where EVERYONE with perfume walked past. I went to the ER for breathing treatment upon landing. (Jylonda A., 58 years old)
  • See above. I believe asthma has been the most difficult thing in my life (last 10 years) to deal with. Others don’t understand or may not try to understand l. I had to retire from work and have to totally control my environment. I am doing much better but still have fear and anxiety about going new places or around new people for fear of reacting and then having to deal with an acute asthma episode. (Tammy, 59 years old)
  • It was constant coughing for 3 months that wouldn’t go away. (Donna, 62 years old)
  • May 2013 was my worst asthma attack ever, it brought me to my knees, I believe it was triggered by an allergy shot, I may not have needed, or was too strong. I was hospitalized about six days. (Jim B., 64 years old)

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