Well, I'll tell you what it feels like when I have an asthma attack, but it's different for everyone.
I had a bad asthma attack Friday night :(
Who knows what caused it? The weather has finally cooled down, so I left the front door open a little to enjoy the evening breeze. I thought the pollen count had dropped to low levels, so it was safe to have the door open. But maybe not! Or was it the neighbor's Tabby Kitty who quietly snuck in the house.....
Who knows?! Sometimes it's hard to figure out what triggered an asthma attack.
Friday night is Pizza/Video night at our house. Yay! I don't have to cook that night! We had already eaten pizza and were watching a movie when my throat started to feel a little "twitchy." I started to cough a little, and my chest started to feel "tight." Then I felt like I had to cough again, but REALLY cough this time. It felt like it wasn't in my throat, but deeper down in my lungs. Then the coughing wouldn't stop. I could hardly catch my breath. Hubby looked at me and said "Sheesh! Are you okay?!!" I could feel phlegm building up in my lungs and started coughing up junk. Yuck.
Then I started breathing REALLY fast and realized I was having an asthma attack. (Ya, I've been having them all my life, you think I would pick up on it a little sooner! But I thought it was just a little tickle in my throat!) Luckily, my purse was in the same room, so I grabbed my inhaler and used a puff. You're supposed to try to hold your breathe for a few seconds, and then exhale. Hard to do when you are coughing really hard and breathing fast. Here's a video that shows how to use your inhaler properly.
I could tell that this asthma attack was going to be a bad one, so I waited 2 minutes to do another puff of my inhaler. It's REALLY important to wait between puffs on your inhaler because it lets the air and medicine in your inhaler remix. Otherwise, you aren't getting as much medicine as you THINK you are getting because it hasn't had time to remix. And what's the point of using your inhaler if you're not getting all the medicine you should in the puff?
My heart was really pounding now, not only from coughing hard and breathing fast, but from the effects of my Albuterol. I knew I needed to calm down and belly breathe. I took a slow, deep breath, and then let it out slow and deep. It took a while, but my body finally settled down.
That night, I hard a hard time getting to sleep because my chest and stomach hurt from coughing. *Sigh*
The next morning when I woke up, my chest was still tight, and I started coughing again as soon as I woke up. I think my body was trying to get the rest of the junk out of my lungs. I quickly used my inhaler again. Hubby asked how I was feeling, but I seemed to only be able to speak in a whisper. I thought, "Oh No!! I lost my voice!!!!" Hubby was probably thinking, "Oh Yeah!!! She lost her voice!!!" Ha ha!
I was really weak and wiped out that morning. And I SOUNDED terrible, so my teenagers took pity on me and actually did their chores that morning! Ha!! So I guess something good came out of it.
So, that's what it feels like when I have an asthma attack. It's not fun. Not only does it affect your body physically because you can't breathe, but emotionally since you start to panic. Make sure that you ALWAYS have your inhaler with you. You never know when an attack might hit. And try to stay calm. (And maybe your kids will feel sorry for you and decide to do their chores!!)