Some days asthma makes me cross

My breathing problems affect my life on a daily basis.  Every morning when I wake up I take a handful of pills and puffs off inhalers.  I track peakflow numbers and sometimes take note of my oxygen saturation.  I must pay attention to my body and symptoms in an attempt to catch any flare up, attack or exacerbation before it gets bad.  I have to avoid smoke.  I can’t hang out around cats.  I have to stay out of musty/moldy buildings.  I have to limit my activity in extreme temperatures.  I must pay attention to the weather.  I must manage my stress levels.  I can’t let myself become too worn out or tired.

If I fail to stay on track with these things and others things can quickly go downhill for me.  I may not notice right away, but the longer I wait the worse it gets.  My rate of inhalation increases.  I may breathe shallowly.  I don’t always breathe with my abdomen well.  I over-utilize my auxiliary muscles to breathe.  I act irritated about everything.  I become sluggish and less responsive.  I slouch.  I become still.  I quit talking and start using other means of communication.  Oh yeah, and I can become irritable like a 3 year old who desperately needs a nap.

I’ve snapped at my wife, yelled at my daughter, blown people off, acted rude and have probably looked like an idiot at times.  I don’t like being this way and don’t try to act this way.  It’s just what happens sometimes when I can’t keep a lid on it anymore.  That stabbing pain every time I inhale or the constant struggle just to appear like I’m breathing normally without gasping for air in the middle of a meeting.  It can be rough sometimes.  I haven’t had a day where I’ve felt great since 2005 or so.  Invisible diseases are tough.

  • jules marsh

    You’ve just summed up perfectly how I feel about my asthma. I’ve over done things a little this week and now feel pretty rubbish. I’m coughing constantly, feel tired and breathing seems such an effort! I think only people who have an invisible illness/condition can really understand what it feels like to live with one!!

  • I’ve found it interesting recently how big of a push is being made for COPD education and prevention, but asthma doesn’t seem to get much notice. My friend BreathinStephen has said it’s because so many people have asthma and the majority of those with it have mild/moderate forms. It’s not seen as a life-threatening condition.

    • jules marsh

      Yes I’ve read his blog too and found it very interesting. Think that’s very true, cos most peoplw know someone with fairly mild asthma, majority aren’t aware of just how severe ot can be.