What to tell people

Once again I found myself in the situation, where I need to take reliever in a group of people that don't really know you. I'm so used to taking reliever ( I take it so many times a day) that I sometimes forget how others might feel. Luckily this time someone muttered: 'I cannot help feeling nervous over how bad you must feel, having difficulty in breathing'. And then I tried to calm them down, saying everything was really ok, I wouldn't collapse or die or anything - this was just my 'normal' med that I took cause I lost my voice... And that they needn't to worry over me coughing eather, since it doens't mean I'm in real danger.. It's sometimes tricky to make people understand that yes, I'd definitely prefere they didn't use perfumes or smoke when I'm around but No, every time I cough it doesn't mean I'll need to go to hospital right away - I just keep coughing. And then, just as you've managed to get this far and people start grow more confident, you should be able to tell them when things ARE bad - when I'm having real hard time breathing, when I start going unconscious etc... SIGHT

How do you tell people these things? Any good tips? :)

ps. I'm really happy I've managed to stop people from friendly offering me coughing-sweets and drinks when I'm coughing.. it used to be painful - trying to cough and simultaneously tell people the sweets would just worsen the matter.. ;)

3 Replies

  • Niccia, the only way you and anyone are ever going to conquer the fear of using inhalers and nebs in public or in front of new people is to do it, and the sooner people give over staring and and or flapping. I used to go and hide somewhere until a close encounter at a purfume counter meant I had I had to neb there and then since then I have just use my meds as and when. People look but mainly cos they are not sure if you need help, some will ask if you need help I prefer that cos at least I can say no thank you I will be OK in a monute. Once I got accused of using an electric bong !

    I lost a friend recently, OK she had forgotten her neb (it was in her other bag) she used to say ""don't hide it, if you gotta take your meds you gotta take your meds"" she was so right waiting or the stress of finding somewhere to hide could make a bad situation much worse. I would hate to go through what I have been through with the loss of my friend if I heard someone here had not used their meds for fear of being laughed at or stared at. What is more important putting up with the stares or living?

    Sorry to be blunt but as you can imagine remembering to pack your meds and taking them when you need them is something that has been brought home in the worst possible way to me recently.

    Sorry re-reading this I have answered off topic, I tend to say ""thank you"", or ""I am OK, I will let you know if I need more help"". I also have an envelope with my RBH protocol in it that says ""if handed this please dial 999 and tell them it is an asthmatic having a bad attack then wait with me and give this to the paramedics when they arrive"". That way if I can't speak I have some way of letting people know I need help urgently.


  • Thanks, Bex!

    I appreciate you comment. I'm sorry for the friend of yours, and for you.. I guess a big hug is best I can send you, and anybody else in a similar situation...

    Don't worry, however, I have learned to take my meds in any place ;) At class room, at work, at church, at bus, outside.. you know. And anyways, my need to take reliever isn't life-threatening ( at least thus far hasn't been :) ) I'ts more that things get so very incomfortable without it - eg if I'm working and I should be talking in public and then I start coughing, so of course it's natural to say, excuseme, I'll take my 'cough-medicine' :D and then you (usually) can continue working..

    The point in my question was more that how to deal with the people in those situations, as some might be really frightened - for vain, and some might ignore you even when you'd really need some help.. That was a nice idea, having a written 'letter' to show them if you really need help and cannot talk. I'm lucky to know Sign Language, as does some of my friends too, so when I can't talk I usually sign to them. They don't know the language very well, but the urgent things we can communicate :) And I also try to chat in it while having a lengthy-but-not-so-severe attack, and it's so comforting to get some messages thru without needing to use your lungs for the conversation. Friends/family around you are such a treasure in those moments :)

  • I am afraid others discomfort has to be put aside, it is all too easy to worry about what others thinking and forget the most important thing in a attack is you. If I am going somewhere with people who don't know me I try to explain in advance, but it is hard doing it without scaring them witless or making so light of it they think you are making a fuss over nothing. I tend to go for a ""just to let you know might be getting out my electric bong (how useful that incident was) telling them what it is! Adding that honestly the odds are that is all I will need but if I stop being able to talk or try to stagger to find quiet without and am not speaking then please sit on me and call 999 as I have a horrible habit of thinking that 10 minutes in a darkened room will magically cure a big attack (I get these strange random thoughts).


You may also like...