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It’s Back….

Both my husband and my youngest daughter scolded me yesterday. Let me give you some history first. 

I was diagnosed with asthma when I was in high school. Initially, the doctor kept telling me I had an upper respiratory infection, I never got better on the antibiotics and landed in the ER three times. On the third trip a pulmonologist happened to be there and came to see me. He was frustrated that no one had picked up on the fact I had asthma, and not an URI. I was actually given two shots of epi, a couple of breathing treatments and a referral to see an allergist/pulm. It felt great to breath again. For years, I took a maintenance inhaler and had albuterol as a rescue. Fast forward, I get married, have three kids and then I don't have any problems. Doctor pulls me off meds and I do great. 

A couple of years ago I start having allergy problems again. I find a new allergist, who said I was only allergic to dust and mold. I know what the test is saying, but if I go outside in the spring, I am a mess. So I seek a second opinion. I came off an antihistamine for five days, go see the new dr who took pity on me and gave me meds in his office. Yeah, I looked that bad. 

My allergies, are somewhat under control, but I have a feeling the asthma is back. I caught a cold this week and it has kicked me in the butt. At first I thought it was just allergies but Wed, I felt terrible. Yesterday, dh took off so he could take my truck in for repairs. He comes home and asks how I am feeling. I tell him I feel like I am breathing through a straw, he just stared at me, like he didn't understand what I was saying. I kinda got frustrated with him for a second. His reply was, how can you not know what is going on? In the mean time, Bekah goes and gets a new albuterol from the basement, hands it to me and says you need this. Uumm, how in the world did I not see what was happening? Needless to say, I have an appointment with the allergist and they called in some meds for me to get me through. 

After I started to feel some better last night, Bekah gave me the what for for not seeing what was going on and not wanting to take the inhaler. Leave it to my teenager to set me straight. 

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Comments 17

  • Kathy P

    Oh, you've just described my life! I always had URI / bronchitis as a kid, but no one ever diagnosed asthma. I wasn't til I was pregnant. My allergies didn't show up on testing either even through I was always a mess and antihistamines helped. My current allergist would treat based on symptoms instead of testing. Now, after many more years, I test allergic to a ton of things! Go figure!

    I'm glad your family knew what to do even if you didn't recognize it! Kudos to Bekah!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Melissa … it's so clear and easy to see in our kids … not so easy to see in us.

    I'm glad you got the help that you needed and hopefully you'll get things stabilized soon!

  • Marie E Natzke

    Melissa 

    I've had 2 big asthma attacks in my life both almost killed me. The first was when I was 3 yrs old. The second one was a couple months after I turned 50.  I knew I wasn't feeling ok. Thought I had caught a cold from a trip I had gone on. I went to Montana to visit friends and took the Amtrak train roundtrip. .My symptoms were not the same as what I remember what they were as a child. The bottom half of both lungs were shut down but,….I wasn't wheezing. This went on for several days before I ended up in the ER. My daily inhaler wasn't working, neither did the rescue inhaler. No one was noticing that I was having a problem. Until the morning I went to the ER. I was starting to turn blue and having a grayish color. My thinking wasn't clear, my thoughts were jumbled. I thought I was answering my family but I wasn't. 

    So what I'm trying to get at is this. When we asthmatics are having a problem we aren't always aware we are in trouble. Share my story with your family. Explain to them that you may need their help to say when they notice a change in you.  I've heard asthma attacks can be predicted several days before they happen. So if they notice your under eyes are darker or you seem more tired or cranky or your coughing in your sleep. This may help you identify when you need to use certain meds.

     

  • Melissa G

    Marie, thank you so much for sharing your story! Wow, that had to be so scary! 

    I will definitely share this with my family. I am good about taking care of everyone else, not so good about taking care of myself. 

  • Melissa G

    I was doing well, since I took the albuterol on Friday. As I was leaving for church this morning, I saw the albuterol on the table and thought about putting it in my purse but didn't. Halfway through service, I could feel my chest tightening up. Then I started thinking, if only I had put the albuterol in my purse.  I took it when we got home and am starting to feel better. I think this crazy weather is really bothering me. In the 70's for two days, cool, rainy and in the 50's today then in the 40's by Tuesday. 

  • Pljohns

    Melissa-I never leave home without the neb and levabuterol.  I totally understand about the weather-we had 80 on Friday, then rain all day Sat., Sunday the high was 50 with a STRONG north wind and today is cold wind and in the 50's for high again.  We will be back near 80 by Wed./Thurs.  It's giving me fits as well.  My lungs just don't like it at all

  • K8sMom2002

    Marie, thank YOU for sharing your story! It really spoke to me and emphasized what my doctor said about using my inhaler sooner rather than later, so that it would work better. 

    Melissa, there are keychain attachments … and I even saw a Pinterest pix of a Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer holder pressed into service as an inhaler holder you could attach to your purse or keychain. 

    I thought that last was pretty ironic for me especially — since Bath and Body Works is a place on my "most likely to trigger an asthma attack."

  • Pljohns

    There are  inhaler cases with clips on them on amazon-great for clipping to purses or backpacks-I don't recall how much they were but I don't think that much.  You should be able to search on inhaler case.

  • Marie E Natzke

    Melissa and K8SMOM2002

    Yes it was very scary that day. I was so out of it. I just wanted to go back to bed. Good thing I didn't do that. I would have died in my sleep. I wasn't wheezing either. If I had been wheezing I would have realized it was my asthma. That's why I thought I had a cold. Like some of you say it's like trying to breathe through a straw. For me it felt like someone was sitting on my chest.  I could take a breath but wasn't breathing out. And my breaths were getting shorter. I even tried holding my breath to try to calm myself down and then slowly release my breath. 

  • Melissa G

    I am proud to say, the inhaler and spacer are in my purse! next step, to take it when I need it. 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Marie, I love your statement, "When we asthmatics are having a problem we aren't always aware we are in trouble", because it is SO true!!  Encouraging people to let you know when they see a change in you is very wise advice too. We all get used to our "normal" and don't even realize we've adjusted. Your comments are a great reminder!  Thank you!

    Brenda

  • K8sMom2002

    Melissa, glad to know that you're now "with inhaler – will travel!" It's hard to get used to carrying it at first, but the first time you need it and it's there, you'll be oh, so, glad!

    Marie, I'm with Brenda — I really love that insight you have!

  • Melissa G

    It's funny how I always make sure everyone else has what they need, and totally forget about me.  I am slowly getting better about taking care of me too. 

  • Marie E Natzke

    Melissa G after I had the asthma attack I have a portable neublizer with me all the time as well as my rescue inhaler.  I don't feel comfortable unless I have them with me.  I haven't needed the nebulizer but I have needed to use the rescue inhaler.  I also have a rescue inhaler on the 1st floor of the house, so I don't have to run up the stairs into my room on the 2nd floor if I need to use it.  I periodically get the rescue inhaler's refilled even if I don't need them so I have an extra one just in case and so I can have them in different areas of my home. 

  • Melissa G

    Marie, that is a great idea to have extras! You just never know when or where you will be when you have an attack. 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    @Melissa G, I totally agree! When I realize that I've been forgetting to take care of myself, I try to remember that I cannot help anyone else if I'm worn down. Therefore, I try to make myself a priority. It doesn't always happen but I also truly believe that I'm a "work in progress". As long as I keep moving forward, I'm heading in the right direction. 

    Melissa G posted:

    It's funny how I always make sure everyone else has what they need, and totally forget about me.  I am slowly getting better about taking care of me too.