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For asthmatics everywhere!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Hello everyone! I had a different blog planned but this really needs to be addressed.

So, we all know asthma is not a joke despite the countless television shows that try to convince us otherwise. Good thing some of us have a sense of humor.

Now onto the serious side. Just ask an asthmatic or someone with breathing problems how terrifying it is when you cannot breathe. Everyone knows it's serious and incredibly dangerous. Although that isn't new information, there are myths circulating around and another serious and dangerous problem that needs to be addressed.

There are 2 myths that stand out. The first is that all asthmatics wheeze. That is NOT true. There are countless times when I couldn't breathe and medical professionals would declare that my lungs sounded clear. I bet it has happened to some of you as well! Medical professionals need to be better informed.

The second myth is that we cannot communicate at all when we are having an attack. It's definitely difficult but sometimes, you can still talk, even though it's no easy feat. Sometimes, asthmatics feel punched in the back or chest. Other times, they may feel that their throat is closing. The most common description you will probably hear is that is feels like they are drowning and can't get air into their lungs.

There are other myths but my goal isn't to write a book on the topic.

I would really like to end the blog there but there was a horrible experience I had with asthma and I'm going to share. . It's important that we speak out against experiences like this.

*Here goes:
Basically, I had to go to the hospital (a very subpar one at that because it's the closest) and after 4.5 hours, they decided it was just a panic attack. The nurses were snappy and told me I was breathing too loud. That is an extremely watered down version of the situation but it was just an overall horrible experience. That was NOT a panic attack and a couple of days later, I had to seek medical care elsewhere. Now, I have an inhaler for everyday use that has been helpful.

That's another myth: Mixing up asthma and anxiety because they can both cause shortness of breath but it presents differently. It was definitely asthma and if you are nurse, please don't grump out at your patients when they can't breathe or assume they are having an anxiety attack. You don't want to be the medical professional that kills someone because you made the mistake over believing panic attack over actual asthma. By the way, when you can't breathe, of course you might start to panic. Breathing is important!

Someone can also have both anxiety and asthma and 99% of the time, they know the difference. Do. Not stigmatize. This happens often, esp. If someone has to mention they take an anti-anxiety med.

Asthmatics, always advocate when you are able. It is an incredibly important issue. Just because someone wears a white coat or scrubs doesn't necessarily mean they know better than you!

Have a healthy day everyone!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So true! emoticon emoticon
    Would hope this blog is read by & shared with a lot of people. It would be great if every medical professional had to read this ... but unfortunately the ones who need to pay attention probably wouldn't. emoticon

    2090 days ago
    This is a excellent blog! I shall be sharing it with our daughter who deals with adult onset asthma & has a child who is faced with the same disease.

    I had a first grade student who dealt with asthma (thankfully he never had an attack while at school). His family moved away & a couple of years later, we got the sad news that the little fellow had died from an asthma attack. How many times I have thought of his dear little smiling face, as I helped him zip up his snowsuit, I can't count. Such bittersweet memories. I can only imagine how many memories surface for his parents & sister. God bless them all!

    Asthma is nothing to fool around with. I say that the medical community should consider anyone one having trouble breathing to be having an asthma attack, until it is proven to be something else causing the labored breathing or whatever the concern is. And how dare anyone in the medical profession tell a patient that they are breathing too loudly!

    God bless!
    2093 days ago
  • BOB5148
    I can remember those when I was 8-12. Only had 5 attacks since then. Back in the 50's wasn't much you could do for it except hope you made it till the medicine started to work.
    2093 days ago
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