For anyone who has asthma you may feel the same as I do. Sometimes, I feel that asthma is often brushed off as a bogus disease or something that is imaginary. I have not experienced this from health professionals, yet I have experienced this from friends and family members.
5.4 million people in the UK have asthma, of which 1.1 of those are children. My asthma was discovered when I was a very little baby. I know they usually do not diagnose children with asthma at a young age but I had regular attacks and was taken to hospital for nebulisers. My asthma plateaued from age 8-17 and it was manageable and I have no attacks.
Once I turned 17, my asthma spiraled and it was no longer as manageable. I developed an allergy to cats that flared my asthma up every time I was around them. Developing a new allergy meant that I had to change my life style. I still cant visit family and friends houses who have pet cats. If people are going back to friends houses after being out I have to check if they have cats. Even things like booking private apartments and places on AirBnb I have to check that no cats have been there prior. Even when I am a passenger in someones car. If a cat has been to the vet and I am in there afterwards my breathing will flare up. When Milo goes on play dates, I have to check before if they have cats before dropping him off and collecting him.
The best way to describe what asthma feels like when I have a flare up is that I am struggling and fighting to take one breath, sometimes feeling like I am are breathing through a straw and feeling like someone is sitting on my chest. When my breathing is bad, I struggle to walk, to eat and sometimes to talk. When I say when my breathing is bad, it is not short lived, it lasts a week or so at a time so it is very draining and sometimes really frustrating because I am unable to do normal things.
I have learned what makes my asthma worse and also when it gets worse. For example, my asthma usually gets a lot worse in the winter months. This is for a number of reasons, first of all because a common cold is a lot more apparent and having a cold in the winter months is immense for an asthmatic. Illnesses can usually make your asthma worse When I was pregnant I had a bad cold that eventually turned into a chest infection and that then developed into pneumonia which was so tough because I could not do a thing. And secondly, the cold air impacts on my chest which makes it harder to take a breath.
Asthma is not curable but it is manageable. I have to take a pump in the morning and the evening every day. If my asthma is bad I have to take it easy and I may have to take steroids and up my pump use. I think because a lot of people who have asthma, that is why people forget how dangerous it is. Averagely, 3 people die every day from asthma in Europe which is very sad.
I think the most important thing to do, if you are asthmatic is remember to go regular asthma reviews and to keep your pumps and prescriptions up to do. Lastly, remember to actually take your pumps!
Lots of Love