Things to hate about asthma

Yesterday,my asthma was playing up badly;I threw up 4 times and just couldnt seem to get my throat ""calmed down""-I couldnt even ring in to work as every time I attempted to speak on the phone,I started to ""gag"" again,eventually having to write a message for my neighbour to ring in for me-its not the first time this has happened,I,m sure others have had something similar-how do you communicate to others what is wrong with you when you cant get the words out???

-ok today though,but I feel like I have been kicked in the stomach for an hour if I laugh!!

16 Replies

  • Text everyone! (inc hubbi downstairs messages ranging from please bring me up a cup of tea to get an ambulance!)

    When stuggling to speak I sign using makaton. Which is fine if you have told people before hand that you can sign other wise when suddenly start making mad gestures when previously talking normally they think you have lost plot completely and are mid panic attack made worse by the fact oxygen deprivation doesn't always make for the clearest of signs!!!

  • Never mind makaton we use diving signs here. If I can't get the co-ordination together to do the OK sign then matter how much shake my head my family are calling medical help ASAP

    Speaking of stupid signs, what about stupid things Dr's say like ""would you normally be ventilated if you were like this?"" yehh right, I am so going to say/sign/indicated ""yes"". Or is it "" is it OK if we take you to ITU and give you a bit of help with your breathing?"" or ""we think you need a bit of rest so we are just going to pop you off to sleep is that OK"", like hell you are!

  • Whilst I can relate to everything that's said here, I think it's worth pointing out that if you can't talk during an asthma attack, or even if you can't talk in full sentences, that is always an indication to call an ambulance!

    I know there are a few experienced folk with bad asthma who know their asthma very well and sometimes take a chance and don't stick to this rule, but generally not being able to talk in sentences is a very bad sign, and should always result in you seeking urgent medical help.

    Em H

  • Sorry EmH you are right, would you like me to edit my post?


  • I don't think you need to edit it, Bex, so long as the point has been noted by everyone!

    Do as Bex says, not as she does ;)

  • *shuffles off to the naughty step

  • I would like to say that sometimes I find it's just more COMFORTABLE to use signs in stead of speaking, even if I could say a whole sentence. But if I need to spare my breath for other purposes, such as walking, or if talking is painful/causes coughing, I often use signs in stead of speech. That is possible, as I know Sign Language of the Deaf, and I have taught some of it also to my friends and family members. It really makes things so much easier, as you don't need to use your lungs and you still can share your thoughts properly. They don't need to try to guess what you mean but you can say properly that "" please give me my reliever, I'd need to go to bathroom, my lungs are hurting"" and so on. I imagine that knowing even just some basics would be very helpful especially for all those asthmatics with worse condition than mine, as also I find signing really helpful :) Of course you need to seek help if you're bad, but knowing some Sign Language makes thing more practical even then.

    To start with, here's a UK web page where you can learn the basics on-line:

  • I was interested to hear from EmH that difficulty in talking is an indication that perhaps an ambulance might be needed:as my neighbour was talking to my people at work,I was being sick again but about 15-20 mins later,I felt relatively ok-albeit that this scenario had happened a few times that day,I get the impression that by the time an ambulance HAD arrived,I would have passed the ""worst""-having someone who works as an ambulance driver and hearing their tales of time ""wasted"" on ""false alarms"" perhaps has made me reluctant to ring for one as I (perhaps wrongly) assume I will be fairly ok shortly afterwards -my usual symptoms are coughing/vomiting,I never really get breathless or wheezy-a false sense of security??

  • Hi Bluejam,

    I'm not exactly clear from your posts whether you're unable to speak because you're too breathless, or because speaking is making you gag, retch or vomit.

    If you're too breathless to speak, that is definitely an indication to call an ambulance; it's a sign of a very serious attack. Gagging and vomiting induced by speaking is a slightly different issue - it sounds a bit unusual, and not a symptom that I've come across all that frequently. I'd certainly suggest speaking to your GP about it. Have you been investigated for reflux and so on as well as asthma?

    Please, though, never be afraid to call an ambulance because of fears of being thought a 'time waster'. If in doubt, do call an ambulance. It's not worth risking leaving it later than you should - most healthcare professionals would far rather you called for help sooner rather than later.

    Hope this helps

    Em H

  • Sorry should have made it clearer usually if I reach the point i'm trying to sign I'm already admitted or in A and E!!

  • It's my first time on here so i'll give it a go :)

    That doesn't sound good at all - is there any reason (other than asthma) that may be causing it, maybe medication?

    I often find that when you find those having an asthma attack (i'm a first aider) that they either know what to do but the person with them, if anyone, is unsure.

  • Well this aspect of my symptoms has been mentioned to at least 3 doctors in my local practice who,whilst expressing a bit of surprise,havent exactly done anything in the way of follow-up-I dont suffer particularly from any sort of reflux-the best way to describe it would be to say that when my throat gets irritated and my coughing starts usually a couple of relief ""blasts"" will calm it down-on other days however the relief inhalers dont stop the coughing and eventually it seems that only vomiting causes the irritation to die down-its usually on THESE occasions that my throat is so irritable that the act of talking acts as a kind of tipping point to set off my vomiting-I have had a camera check in my throat which was negative-the last time it had occurred outdoors I was told by the (temp) asthma clinic nurse that I had probably had ""a touch of that cold thats been going around""-anyway,apologies for the whingeing,I often think that my asthma seems almost random at times!

    Thanks for the replies and for ""listening""

    Take care everyone.

  • That's interesting, if unpleasant for you, bluejam; I'm glad I'm not the only doc who thinks it's a slightly strange symptom! It's certainly not one I've really come across before - I'm aware of the various conditions that are associated with vomiting, of course, as well as more random isolated vomiting syndromes such as cyclical vomiting syndrome, and I'm certainly well aware of the relatively common experience that people with cough variant asthma get, of coughing so much that you vomit, but I don't think I've quite come across a history like yours before. The story of vomiting triggered by talking strikes me as quite unusual. I sometimes get coughing fits triggered by talking, usually if my throat is very dry because of a dry atmosphere or using oxygen or something like that.

    All part of the infinite variation that is asthma, I suppose.

    Hope you're feeling better now and haven't had any more episodes.

    Em H

  • I have lost count of the number of times I have had to cut short telephone conversations to ""gag""_ I even thought at one point I may be allergic to the materials the telephone was made of!!

    -have been ok this week thanks and as I will be travelling/revelling this weekend,I hope it stays that way!!

  • Hi Bluejam,

    There could be microscopic toxins released from the many manmade items used in a phone in addition to the possible radiation from mobiles, especially if kept on all the time.

    But, if you are lucky it could be the telephone ear and mouth pieces -these are known to harbour germs and bacteria due to frequent use -if this is the cause an antiseptic wipe should do the trick if you are using the standard phone.


  • Yes Twizzle,I have tried wiping the telephone frquently but unfortunately it hasnt had any effect over the years and I never have the mobie on for very long-its just there to make the odd call-hate to think how scrambled kids minds are going to be later in life with the amount of time they spend glued to them!!

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