Newest Review: ... breathless. This helped for a few months when I did become breathless, but it became so regular. Sport, breathless, inhaler. Sport, bre... more
My Experience of Asthma
Member Name: Megasaur
My Experience of Asthma
Advantages: You can treat it, it's not the end of the world
Disadvantages: Damn irritating, leaves you breathless.
I've had asthma for around 7 years I would say. It's not as such an easy thing to live with, as some people may think. It most certainly does not ruin your life but it can be difficult not doing some things to the full.
For as long as I can remember, I have had breathing difficulties. If I ran just a short distance I would become breathless. When I was 11 we did a 'bleep' test and while the vast majority of people got to around 8 or 9, I could only manage 6.3. People in my class often just put it down to not being sporty and a bit of a wimp. It really annoyed me because I always have enjoyed sport, I just couldn't do it as good as I wanted to. I thought it would go on like this forever.
Finally, when I was 12 it was decided that I visited the doctor. I remember he almost immediately guessed it was asthma. I was checked out and he was indeed right. Being quite young, I thought my life was doomed, or at the very least ruined. However, I was told more information about how you can live with it and was given a blue Ventolin inhaler ( with demonstrations on how to use it ) to use if I became breathless.
This helped for a few months when I did become breathless, but it became so regular. Sport, breathless, inhaler. Sport, breathless, inhaler. It was great for when I did feel this way, but it wasn't preventing me from feeling the same the next time I had Games. It became irritating so the next time I had an appointment ( I was given regular check-ups ) I brought this subject up.
My GP had suggested to not push myself too much, and was given a brown inhaler. Apparently this would, if taken daily, decrease my need for the Ventolin over time. As the blue inhaler only opens up airways ( or something along those lines ) for a short period of time, it cannot help long-term. This new brown one I had would help my actual lungs ( I think my doctor had said that - I can't remember too well ) , stopping me being breathless so easily. Also, I found that newly cut grass and things simple ( eg. running up the stairs too quickly, pushing myself too hard all at once ) would trigger an attack so these had to be avoided if possible.
Oh yes, and I was given a spacer to take my brown inhaler. Google them, I think they are just to get the medicine into your lungs better and apparently under 15s have to use one with this kind of inhaler. I think the brown one is a steroid.
Over the next few years, I did see an improvement and my dose of the brown inhaler gradually became smaller. I thought I had total control until I had a horrible attack when I was 14 or 15.
Apparently my mum had heard me in the night breathing heavily and slow. She woke me up and I almost lost my breath completely. I felt so heavy and hopeless, it was truly awful. I was taken to hospital where I was kept the next 2 days, just to monitor my breathing. I had the 'full' breathing mask which I absolutely dreaded - I had one when I was younger and hated it. I think with those two days they only highlight was missing a week of school - my mum decided to keep me off further. I still don't know what caused this attack.
Now I am 19, I've not had any more serious attacks. I still take my brown inhaler, but only 1-2 puffs a day, and carry my Ventolin wherever I go, just in case. I have more knowledge of my asthma so I no longer think I am 'doomed' ! I'm rather sporty and it doesn't affect me that much nowadays! Loads of people have asthma so it doesn't make me particularly different.
Watch out for these symptoms, which may be asthma :
- Breathlessness at any time of the day
- Not able to do sport at full potential as it leaves you breathless
- Only capable of small, short breaths
- Feeling tight chested
If you have asthma :
- Don't push yourself on the sport side of things.
- Try to avoid things that appear to 'trigger' an attack- it may be pollen, or running up the stairs.
- Suggest to your GP if it is possible you can get a brown inhaler if you currently do not own one
- Visit your GP regularly ( I go every month )
- Don't take more of the Ventolin/blue inhaler if at first it does not work. It won't really make you better, as overdosing can be harmful. If the blue inhaler still leaves you breathless, contact the NHS Helpline or your doctor.
Don't listen to stories of people with asthma can't live their life happily, or that they will die. That's the most stupid thing to do. Asthma does not ruin your life!
Hope this review helped you. ( Well, not particularly help, as this was just an experience of asthma )
Summary: Annoying, but you can live with it.
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