Has your feelings ever changed while having asthma?

Mine has drastically!!

I developed asthma when i was 13 years old. I'm lucky because i've only ever been poorly with it twice in the 34 years of my life. I started smoking quite young, at this time i never really thought how dangerous is was for my asthma.

I gave up when i found out i was pregnant with my son, then restarted about 4 years ago. I used to wake up feeling wheezy. It never stressed me out as i used to have a few puffs of my ventalin then light up a ciggie with my morning coffee.

I gave up smoking 2 1/2 years ago which changed my life completely, as i'm more active NO wheezing ever and i've turned into a real obsessive health freak.

But since my last bad illness in January my asthma has really stressed me out. My peak flow is never below 450. Its between 450 - 500 which is excellent for my height 5ft 3 1/2 inches.

My attitude towards my asthma makes my asthma worse. I'm so obsessed with my breathing i cause myself to hyperventilate.

I've started to tell myself how selfish i am. Theres loads more people with worse illness's than me. And i know some of you guys really struggle with your asthma. I think your all so brave and a real encouragement because of how you cope.

Basically i have let asthma take over my life and now i need to control it. I'm going to Spain on the 1st December for 4 days and i'm scared of being in a foreign country where i don't feel safe.

I wish i could learn to let go of it, but its hard. I haven't spoken to anybody about it. I was hoping my doctor would give me something to make me feel more relaxed but he just mentioned physio for my breathing which i have done and maybe i should practise more.

Its very hard to put into words how i feel, as i am feeling very desperate now as very depressed.

Whos going to kick me up the bum and tell me to deal with it!!!!

****i'm bending over ready******

5 Replies

  • this is why i feel so isolated with my feelings. Just got to learn to live with it!

  • Julie I sympathise with you about your feelings towards your asthma, it can be very frightening for you if you have previously been healthy and indeed it is difficult to distract yourself from the worry if you are experiencing symptoms. Have you discussed your feelings with your GP or chest consultant (if you have one)? In the past I experienced a lot of anger towards my asthma as it was interfering with my social life and affecting me when playing the sports I loved. I was referred to a clinical psychologist who was lovely and helped me to explore my feelings towards the changes in lifestyle my asthma had caused and come up with strategies for dealing with them. Over time I have learnt to worry less about my asthma and have started to swim and play hockey again. Gradually through working with my consultant we have tweaked my medication until it has reached a level where my asthma is much more controlled and isn't interfering with my life. I control my asthma, not the other way around!

    If you are experiencing regular asthma symptoms and feel that they are affecting your confidence particularly with your approaching holiday, please get in touch with your GP and have a chat about how you are feeling. There may be something else you can try :-) Sorry if this is a bit rambling and I'm sure there will be other suggestions from some of the more regular board members too!

  • Hi Julie,

    It's interesting to read how your feelings have changed over the years; thank you. Congratulations for giving up smoking - I've never been a smoker, thank goodness, but I've seen friends struggle to give up so I do have some idea of how difficult it can be.

    In terms of your problems with hyperventilation - it is very very common for asthmatics to have this sort of problem. Almost everyone with asthma will have hyperventilated to an abnormal degree at one point or other. You are right that it can make your asthma worse and can make you very stressed. Please don't be too hard on yourself about it, though - it is not your fault, it is a perfectly understandable reaction to being stressed about your breathing, and it can be a very hard habit to break.

    Your doctor will be reluctant to give you something to help you relax for several reasons. Drugs that relax you are usually things like diazepam (Valium) and similar - these medications are potentially addictive and can be dangerous for some people with breathing problems. They are also only a short-term solution - they may make you feel calmer for a while, but they will not do anything to change the underlying pattern of your breathing. Once you stop taking the medication (which you will have to do) you will be back to square one again.

    You do need to persist with the breathing exercises the physio has taught you. I know it probably seems like they are not helping that much at first, but if you do them often enough, you will get in the habit of breathing in a more normal pattern, even when you are having an attack. Try to set aside 10 - 15 minutes when you wake up in the morning and when you are lying in bed in the evening to practice. There are no easy answers but you will feel the benefit in the long run.

    Well done for resolving to control asthma rather than let it run your life. It's not easy, but you will get there.

    Take care, and enjoy your holiday,


  • i have to say julie that i undestandwhere youare coming from to a crtain point so that where i won't let it ule my day to day life it has stopped me flying until am more stable. good luck and keep fighting

  • Thanks for your replys. I have absorbed all the information given. Alot of it is mind over matter. I've been losing weight with weight watchers over the past month and i have lost 1 stone 1/2 lb. I have thrown alot of my day into concentrating on my health & diet. I am really healthy, just a little over weight. I put some weight on last year after my dose of flu and having to take steroids for a month. I was constantly starving!! I'm now back to a loose size 12 but i've got a couple of stone to go.

    I think with asthma, if you don't feel in control with your life then it can take over your life. I take preventatives but i never have to take my ventalin only if i have a bad cold.

    My respiratory consultant signed me off because my asthma wasn't bad enough for me to see him. This is why i feel so selfish because i know how poorly some of you are. I really admire how you cope with it, Big (((hugs))) too.

    I'm glad my GP didn't give me any tablets because i know how bad they are. My dad has basically lived on anti-depressants since i was little. I've watched him suffer because his body can't function without them.

    I'm not the most confident person in the world. Losing weight has increased my confidence, but i've got a long way to go. I just wish my attitude was the same as when i wasn't really aware of my asthma. But maybe i should of been more aware anyway.

    I'm sorry i rambled on. I feel much better talking about it & thankyou for listening. It really has helped.

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