At around 3pm our dog chased a bird in the garden, and I jumped up quickly and ran to catch her. Within seconds, I started to get breathing problems, and got into the house as fast as I could - which only made it worse.
Went for my Ventolin and it was so bad that I couldn't manage to inhale any. I was gasping for air and it got worse. Husband was trying to puff it as I gasped, and went to call an ambulance when I nodded 'yes' for help. (I must have been desperate to agree to that!)
They said 5 minutes, but it was actually around 25 minutes. I gasped to breathe for over 10 minutes, my eyes started to bulge and my face prickled with pressure. I had sweat running down my face and my clothes stuck to me. It was cool in the house too. I felt that I was going to suffocate with not being able to breathe, and was clawing at the air in desperation. Each time I tried to move, it got worse.
He kept trying the Ventolin, and eventually some must have been inhaled, and after a few more minutes I started to get a small amount of air.
A few minutes later a doctor phoned to see how I was and said the ambulance was just down the road. She asked my husband how I was because my breathing was so bad. It was slowly getting easier to breathe a little, and left me really wheezy.
Ambulance crew were brilliant - ECG, BP, sats, listened to chest, asked if I wanted to go to the rapid assessment unit for blood test and x-ray, but that would have made me even more distressed. My tests were OK, and they stayed while they wrote their notes etc. to make sure I was OK.
My chest hurts, but that's muscles with the exertion of struggling so hard to breathe.
I'm one to make light of things, and can often ignore ailments if I can, but that was absolutely terrifying, and I felt sure that if the Ventolin hadn't finally worked, I wouldn't have lasted until the ambulance came.
I've made an appointment to speak to my asthma nurse on Wednesday (soonest appointment I can get) - obviously if I feel short of breath again before then, I'll get straight to the hospital, but I never want to experience that again. It was horrible.
I don't tolerate steroids well at all, and can only comfortably manage one puff of Seretide 50 each day, but I've used an extra one this afternoon to try and help. It's not perfect yet, but with care I'll feel even better by morning.
The asthma is usually irritant and exercise triggered, but I have noticed that if I react suddenly to something alarming like chasing after the dog, I get out of breath and need the Ventolin - I'll be more careful with things like that in future!
First time anything like that has happened, and I hope it's the last.