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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
18th-Oct-2011 12:23 pm
Katchoo - Terry Moore
I took a walk yesterday, early afternoon, and my asthma hit at about the farthest point from the house. Struggled home, used my inhaler, and waited a few hours to get back to breathing somewhat normally.

I was fine to go to the Alison Bechdel lecture and the amazing dinner, but I was exhausted; bed before 10. And while sitting in bed, the asthma came back with a vengeance. Much worse than the morning. Fortunately, I keep my inhaler in the bedroom because I need it most often upon awaking, so I didn't have to struggle to get to it - but I couldn't manage to breathe enough to administer the damn thing. One shot, then I tried again, but no, can't breathe, try again - this kept going for what felt like forever, until I got the other shot of albuterol in, and I pretty much collapsed shortly afterward (I'd taken my Lunesta before the attack).

Today, I still feel like someone is squeezing my chest. And I have the particular dragging exhaustion that comes with not getting sufficient air.

*sigh* We've been doing a lot of heavy cleaning lately, and the combination of dust and cleaning products has been setting me off; I think my lungs are hypersensitive right now. Back to Flovent twice daily for a bit, I think.

EDIT at 3:30 so you don't worry: The nap helped quite a bit, and I'm close to normal airflow. Your points are taken and I will call my ^%#&$^ doctor. Individual replies later!
18th-Oct-2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
I have asthma, as well. Something they don't mention until you're having a lot of mysterious attacks is that stomach acid can cause you start having an attack, without any symptoms of sour tummy/heart burn.

I start every day with a prescription version of Prilosec, and lo and behold, my daily asthma has become more monthly in nature.

You probably already know that temperature changes can also set it off (ie: getting warm from a walk on a cold day = breathing out warm arm sucking in cold).

If this persists, and you feel comfortable doing it, try a tums or two after hitting the inhaler. If you are not comfortable with it (or tums has soy or something else to which you are allergic in it), you might discuss with your doctor. It's very simple to treat and has increased my quality of life substantially.
18th-Oct-2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
When do you next see your doctor? I ask, because recently a dear friend of mine nearly died of congestive heart failure that was masquerading as an asthma attack, and I worry about things like that.
18th-Oct-2011 05:29 pm (UTC) - Huh...
Or there is something in the weather/mold spores... I've been having problems for the last 2 days as well. Aside from once last week, I hadn't needed my inhaler since the Spring.

18th-Oct-2011 05:45 pm (UTC) - Re: Huh...
Hmm given how wet the weather has been the mold spores are probably going to be off the scales. And since that is my #1 allergy trigger . . . yeah I'm calling my doctor now.
18th-Oct-2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
Okay, this may be unnecessary advice - but maybe not, if you're hitting that OMG-I-can't-breathe-enough-to-get-a-dose-of-inhaler stage.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a volumiser (is what we call them in the UK, at least) - basically a large container with a mouthpiece at one end and an inlet at the other, where you put your inhaler and blast it off half a dozen times to fill the container with good aerosol medicine. Then you just breathe through the mouthpiece, as well as you can. You're only getting fractional doses per breath, but at least you're getting something, and the rest is still waiting for the next breath and the one after that, you're not wasting it. If you don't have these things in the US or can't afford one, you can make your own; get a large plastic Coke bottle, rinse it out thoroughly, cut a hole in the bottom the right size to take the mouthpiece of your inhaler. Voila. Shove the inhaler in there and squirt away; apply your mouth to the mouth of the bottle and breathe away. It works. It does work. Trust me.
18th-Oct-2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
We call them spacers in the US. Sometimes insurance covers them, sometimes it doesn't. The DIY version is often cheaper (as long as you're someone who's able to do it, or has someone who can do it for you).

~aki, PharmD, RPh.
18th-Oct-2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
(thank you for knowing what you're talking about; I hate being that guy who waffles vaguely about what's available/commonplace 5K miles away...)
18th-Oct-2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
Putting my Asthma Mom hat on: if you're reaching for your rescue inhaler that often then get thee to your doctor, stat!!! I've had two friends who died with their inhalers IN THEIR HAND, sucking on them to no avail!!

I've got to have my doctor renew all my asthma meds too. Went off everything last winter, had not a single wheeze all spring and summer but this past weekend at Rhinebeck I was constantly short of breath (which rarely happens once I'm out of the city.) Have you ever tried a regiment of Singulair and/or Advair? (ETA: nm you're taking Flovent which is similar. Good thing!)

Edited at 2011-10-18 05:46 pm (UTC)
18th-Oct-2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
Next time it's that bad, kid, you need to go to the ER. I really don't want to see an obit.

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