When my daughter had her serious asthma attack this past year, I was a mess afterwards (and still am from time to time). I had some post-traumatic stress experience after that really terrifying situation, and through that I have talked to many people on asthma one being my mother. Despite everything that doctors said (she needs this med she needs that med) my mom told me that the absolute number 1 thing I can do for her is calm her down and relax her when she's having a flare up. Not to ignore medicine or anything, get her quick relief inhaler right away but she stressed that the way I speak to her, talk to her and act is going to make or break the situation. She said my grandfather (who had COPD) would have breathing attacks and at times she could get him breathing well again just through talking to him. Being calm, relaxing him, comforting him and getting him to breathe and out of that state of panic. Being uneducated on it and inexperienced, I kept the advice in mind but didn't realize the depth of it. I was with my therapist a couple weeks ago telling her I was having some recurring issues of anxiety and struggling still with the trauma. I told her that one of her pulmonologists had said something to me about asthma being like brearthing through a straw and it really triggered me and made me fearful because I tried this one day and I felt such a sense of panic and anxiety and sadness that my innocent toddler had ever struggled like that. She did an exercise with me using a straw and we breathed through the straw as if struggling for air, as if in a state of anxiety and fear. I could barely breathe. It was terrifying. My body felt like I was suffocating and it got worse quick. She had me relax, calm, and we had totally restored balance and asked me to breathe through the straw. I could breathe OK. It wasn't "ideal" by any means but I could breathe. I was OK – my body was able to adjust and I wasn't suffocating.
It was really unreal to me how the mind works. I needed to do such a simple exercise to realize the power of the mind in these things.
Has anyone else had similar experiences? Not saying have you been able to avoid your meds, I'd never ever try to avoid giving her the inhaler, but were you able to really help ward the attack off if you stayed in a good mental state? Just wondering feedback. What BEST helped calm you? Just someone talking to you? Reassuring you? Helping you count and distract you a little? Please share what helps you mentally during an attack?