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Monday, July 14, 2014

Woah! My asthma symtoms changed!

(Shutterstock Image)

So Hubby and I decided to take a picnic dinner and go for a hike with daughter Kitty on Saturday. It was a beautiful night (but a little hot - it is the middle of summer!!) The trail wasn't very steep or very long, but I couldn't seem to catch my breathe.

I wondered if I was really out of shape. Or had I eaten too much? Maybe my pants were too tight? I didn't think I ate THAT much for dinner! I changed into loose fitting clothes when we came home, but that didn't see to make a difference.

I went outside to work in my flower bed, I was determined to get the weeds pulled out. But I was feeling miserable. I kept having a hard time breathing and was starting to sigh to catch my breath.

I went inside, where it was nice and cool. And suddenly I realized that I was having an asthma attack! Duh! It took me a while to figure that out, because an asthma attack for me is always a sudden, hard coughing spell. I might be exposed to perfume, smoke, cold air, etc and instantly start coughing. This time, I wasn't coughing at all, but felt short of breath.

I took two puffs of my inhaler (waiting 2 minutes between each puff so the pressurized air and medicine would have a chance to mix of course!) Then I propped my feet up and waiting for the medicine to work. 

It only took a few minute before I was breathing a little easier, but the shortness of breath stayed with me all night. It was a little scary.

So, what are the common symptoms of an asthma attack? Is it just coughing? Webmd lists the following symptoms of an asthma attack:

  • Coughing, especially at night
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
 I also like one section from their web page that says:
"You may not have all of these symptoms, or you may have different symptoms at different times. Your asthma symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next, being mild during one and severe during another."

Be aware of ALL of the symptoms of an asthma attack. And know that they can change over time. I knew all of the symptoms, but am used to the same thing - a sudden hard cough. If you are having other symptoms, check with your doctor or use your Asthma Action Plan. Your doctor should have instructions for what you need to do if you are having an asthma attack.

Make sure you are taking the right medicine at the right time. And remember that your symptoms can change when you have an attack. 

Keep that inhaler handy, you never know when you might need to use it!


  1. Hello. It's hot as blue blazes in Texas. Just wanted to share my frustrations of people not vaccinating their kids because they think vaccines cause autism, remember I myself have autism. I also have cystic fibrosis and get sick easily. I had my Tdap booster two years ago which includes whooping cough. Well, it didn't take for me , the pertussis part because of my weird immune system. In a perfect world that shouldn't be a problem because we have "herd immunity" if at Least 90% of the population is vaccinated. I work at an autistic school, and I started coughing weird. Not my usual smoker sounding cough from cf but it was like my chest was spasming. I went to my doctor and he told me I have whooping cough after a respiratory tract culture. He tracked it down to a kid at the school who never vaccinated their son for ANYTHING. He was a carrier and didn't have symptoms. The parents said "oh we haven't seen whooping cough and it's nearly eradicated, the vaccine isn't important" back in the 50's, so many people saw people with polio that they saw firsthand the consequences of not vaccinating. Today, not so much. People see lots of autistic people with the diagnosis rate rising and think "oh vaccines=autism" the link between autism and vaccines has been refuted time and time again and dr Wakefield who published the original paper suggesting the link had his medical license revoked. And oh Jenny McCarthy. She has caused so much harm. Parents are trusting the medical opinion ofan ex porn star over the cdc and medical doctors. She says " I could just tell by my mommy instincts the doctor was wrong. I get that moms and their children have a special Bond others can't comprehend but since when does giving birth automatically qualify you as a medical professional. It's worth noting that the kid who passed the whooping cough onto my is severely autistic despite not having any vaccines. I'm in the hospital now hoping I'll get better. Thanks for letting me share my frustrations

    1. That stinks! Sorry you are back in the hospital :(

      I know what you mean about immunizations. In our area, if there is an outbreak of whopping cough, measles, etc and students aren't vaccinated, then they are required to stay home for school for a certain amount of time (21 days or something like that) The parents are outraged, but that's why we have immunizations - so you don't spread diseases that can be prevented.

      We have had numerous outbreaks of measles here because parents refuse to vaccinate their kids, then travel abroad and bring measles back with them. And in infect everyone on the plane, at the school, in the neighborhood, at's ridiculous!

      I am also frustrated by people who send their kids to school while they are sick. A simple cold to their kid can mean pneumonia and ANOTHER hospitalization for my kid!

      Feel better!! :)

  2. When I was becoming sick in the late 90's, nobody thought about couhg as the only asthma symptome. That's why my Mum heard a lot of strange stories from doctors: I had almost all diseases of lungs (maybe without TB or CF), but nobody thought about asthma. Fortunately, after long, long months we founded good doctor, who knew a lot about it.
    Today I also have good doctor - that's good, because since longer time I see, that my disease has been getting worse and worse. That's normal, but it is again more similar to my "cough moster" from childhood, than to "normal" asthma from medical book.
    Greetings for You and Your Children from far away Poland.

    1. It sounds like you have a great mom, I'm glad she finally found someone to help you.

      Sometimes it pays off to be persistent!