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
- 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!