Advice needed

Hi,

I have severe asthma and have had a good few hospital admissions this year. Each time I have been treated right and then been released as normal. When I have attacks I only get a slight wheeze but I have always been taken seriously.

Well last night I was doing a dance show when I had an attack. I stumbled out of the wings into the dressing room wheezing quite loudly. When my teacher found me I was on my nebuliser (still wheezing) and I was drifting in and out of conciousness. My teacher called for an ambulance and admitedly then I did start to panic...I didnt think I was going to make it. Therefore my breathing became faster causing the whole pins and needles, claw hands thing.

By the time the paramedic got there I no longer had a wheeze and was slowly starting to improve (although I was still in the danger zone), because she couldnt hear a wheeze she took my nebuliser off of me. I managed to slow my breathing down but outbreaths were really hard still so I grabbed my inhaler and she snatched it off of me. She tryed to pass it all off as a panic attack but I have had asthma long enough to know when something is and when something isnt asthma.

Then she wrote on the sheet that I was able to talk.....when I really wasn't!!! and even though my O2 levels were 93 at one point she never wrote it down. She didnt do my peak flow or anything.

It was like a living nightmare and has made me really scared about future attacks!! This morning I dont even have the energy to get out of bed. Imagine having an attack and having all your meds taken off of you.....has anyone got any advice about what to do? I feel so confused, frustrated and scared Please help

claire

5 Replies

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  • Hi

    Hope you are starting to feel better, asthma attacks can leave you feeling wiped out for a long time so I hope you are going easy on yourself.

    I too have severe asthma but don't wheeze, what I found helpful is the card you can get from asthma uk which tells people what to do in case of an attack. There is space on their to list symptoms which are specific to you. I often can't complete my words but found it useful to show this card and it has helped on a couple of occasions when people thought I was having a panic attack. Might be worth a go.

    Take care

    Rabbit

  • Do not let yourself being intimidated by ""we know it all"" medical personnel . Think about all your friends and family who love you and understand you. What happened was just one wrong person in a wrong place.

    As you said, you managed to get control all by itself. You can do it again.

    It is normal to feel, so it is normal to panic. Talk to your parents, friends and teachers and let them know what you think and that you want them to take you seriously and back you up in any future events. Be strong.

    p.s. Have you tried ant visualization/relaxation techniques?

  • Sorry to hear you had such an awful experience. A few months ago the same thing happened to me in hospital. The nurse told me i wasnt having an asthma attack because my oxygen stats were ok (they only drop when i get tired but usually im in ICU by then) n that there was no wheeze n that i should be able to talk if it was asthma (i couldnt speak at all but is this not a sign of a severe asthma attack?!?) so it couldnt possible be an asthma attack. So she left me there for like an hour n a half with no oxygen, no nebs - nothing. Meanwhile my oxygen started to drop n when it hit 83% the nurse decided she should get a doctor!! It was horrible.

    Maybe try and get a letter from you consultant stating that you may not wheeze. Personally I believe that anyone who has anything to do with asthma should now how serious a silent chest is!!

    Hope it never happens again.

  • Thanx for your replies its put my mind at ease a bit although I do have one question.....

    On the sheet the paramedic ticked the box saying control informed. So does that mean next time I have an attack requiring an ambulance they wont take me seriously?

    oh and I already have an asthma attack card but it never got looked at. relaxation techniques usually help but not when my nebs taken off me during an attack

    claire x

  • Hello Claire,

    Sorry you have had such a bad experience.

    There are the occasional paramedic / EMT who will try to pigeon hole you into the 'perfect asthmatic' eg wheezy!

    The tick on the form was probaby just to record that they had called back control with an update. It should in no way influence how you are treated in future. Please don't worry.

    However control will flag various people for various reasons. Me and my address are flagged because of my severe attacks and latex sensitivity. People can be flagged for other medical reasons, usefull if you dial 999 but are unable to talk though an ambulance will be sent even if not flagged.

    Previous violent situations will be flagged and the amb crews are then advised to wait for police back up before entering a property.

    Crews will also get to know the 'Frequent Flyers' as they are known, be this chronic asthmatics or homeless drunks that snooze in the street.

    Ambulance crews should be aware that people with asthma will panic when they can't breathe... who wouldn't! Especially if this is a first or a more severe attack.

    The fact that she tried to deny you your medication would have made the panic worse and taken any control that you had left away.

    It is difficult trying not to panic and trying to stay in control. I feel like a ducking on a fast flowing river sometimes... nice & calm on top but paddling frantically underneath!

    Take care

    Kate

    x

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