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Monday, March 26, 2012

Asthma attack in the car

I was looking at bright, new colored purses for Spring, but have a hard time finding one big enough to carry my inhaler and spacer (along with everything else a mom has to carry-wallet, bandaids, fingernail clippers, chapstick, lotion, Dramamine, Advil, cough drops, tissues, etc.) It's funny how Hubby and kids always expect me to magically have everything they need tucked away in my purse. You can see my inhaler and spacer peeking out of the top of my purse-that's probably the most important thing I carry.

I make sure I ALWAYS have my inhaler and spacer with me, you never know when an asthma attack is going to hit. I take a daily controller medication, but I still have asthma attacks. This weekend, we were driving to visit family who live 5 hours away. About half way through the trip, I suddenly started sneezing. Then I could feel my chest tighten up-slurp! Then the coughing started. Here we go again, another asthma attack. Of course I had my inhaler with me, and it works like magic! Hubby said the pollen count on the news said that cottonwood trees were in the "extra high" category. So are willow trees, cedar trees, sycamore and elm trees. We were driving along the mountain range and passed plenty of open land with cows grazing. So there was a lot of "nature"- it could have been anything that was triggering my asthma attack.

I battled my asthma all weekend. It was fine if I was in the house, but it was such a gorgeous day that I decided to open up the doors and enjoy the fresh breeze and sunshine. Ha! Silly me. That lasted about 5 minutes before I started sneezing and coughing again! All weekend, as we drove around in the car, Hubby would put the windows down to "enjoy the fresh air". I would immediately start sneezing and coughing-it's so annoying! Why can't we just enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, like normal people? But nooooo, we have to have allergies and asthma. Guess that means we won't buy a convertible!

My asthma was finally feeling better when a weird thing happened as we were driving home-we were at the half way mark again when I suddenly started sneezing and coughing again. I had to use my inhaler again. Whatever we passed on the way to visit family was the same thing we drove through on the way home. I don't know what trees, bushes or whatever else we drove by, but it came through the vent system and started another asthma attack. I still wasn't feeling better when we got home, so I had to use my inhaler again.

When it was time for bed, I couldn't get to sleep. The albuterol kept me up for at least an hour. I felt like I had several glasses of Dr. Pepper. Fun little side effects of asthma.

But, albuterol keep us breathing, so I like to keep it handy. Even if I do have to buy a king-sized purse to fit it in with all the other things I carry around....


  1. Hi Andrea, I am sorry you had such a difficult time and I can understand you completely because I am living a similar situation with my little son.
    I was wondering what is your opinion regarding magnesium supplements and asthma? Have you tried something like that with you or your children?
    I have read a study recently in this link
    and what I found interesting for my child was the following:
    Of interest, asthma exacerbations have been related to magnesium deficiency. In one study9 300 mg of oral magnesium daily was given for asthma prevention for 2 months to 37 patients between the ages of 7 and 19 years. Both the treatment and placebo groups received inhaled fluticasone and salbutamol as needed. Children in the magnesium group had fewer asthma exacerbations and used less salbutamol compared with the placebo group. Bronchial reactivity to methacholine and the allergen-induced skin responses were also reduced.

  2. Interesting study, there are other things linked to asthma. Vitamin D has been shown to improve symptoms too. I think you need to try different things and see what works for your son. There are so many variables, it's hard to find the right combination. And what works for one of my children doesn't work for another.....such is life.

  3. How do you keep your spacer clean in your purse? Mine gets full of dust!

    1. I keep the cap on the end of my spacer and leave the inhaler in the other end. In essence, it is sealed up. It gets dusty on the outside, but the inside still works!