The Asthma Menagerie : Just a fun post... - Asthma UK communi...

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The Asthma Menagerie

EmmaF91
EmmaF91
41 Replies

Just a fun post (again with contributions from Js706, Lysistrata and KatieJ28). Between us we have animals which describe our symptoms/how we’re feeling. Some of our ‘pets’ are named, others are not... if you have any to add to the zoo please tell!! Or if you use any other way to describe your symptoms please say!!! Here is our list (so far) of the animals of asthma!

🐍 Steve the snake - a description of chest tightness... can be mixed up with just a general description of how ‘asthmatic’ you’re feeling (ie Steve was particularly busy last night)

🐘 Nelly the Elephant - she sits on you and causes the really restrictive chest tightness you get in silent chest

Ostrich (we have named them individually 😉) - the state of denial when you won’t admit to how bad you’re feeling

🦛 Hippos - consultants... can look/sound nice but be deadly (to Steve if they are good... to us if they are not!)

🧛🏻‍♂️ Vampires - phlebotomists... a common one I feel 😅

🐕 Dogs - the barking cough a lot of asthmatics have

🐎 Horses - the ‘normal’ more mild asthmatic usually under GP care

🦓 Zebras - the more severe, slightly weird asthmatics usually under their local consultant

🦄 Unicorns - the Uber weird asthmatics, or really severe ones, usually under specialist hospitals (they either don’t have ‘normal’ asthma symptoms or they don’t respond normal to drugs etc)

Sloths - the post attack fatigue that can linger for ages

🐉 Dragons - for excessive mucus production

Hummingbirds - the jitters feeling when your ‘high’ on asthma drugs (pred/hydro/nebs/salb/amino etc 😉)

Bulls - aggressive pred head

Simon the Slug - headache’s/migraines... not technically asthma but a common side effect of the drugs!

41 Replies
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Js706

🐇 Rabbits - the terrified junior doctors sent to manage the severe asthma attack 😂

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Echoblue
Echoblue
in reply to Js706

So true...... a rather common breed but not beyond hope and can be trained 😉

1 like
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Junglechicken
Junglechicken
in reply to Js706

That made me remember the last time I was in hospital. A med student came in and asked if I wouldn't mind being his guinea pig. I was cool with that. He said that he wanted to draw blood (I checked with him that he had done it before on a real person not just an orange!) I'm real baby when it comes to needles in any shape or form and was squealing all the way through. In the end he said "I think I'll ask a senior to come and do it" He probably transferred to Veterinary Science the next day!

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EmmaF91

Ha! I’m often a guinea pig... as a frequent flyer and cause I have a medical background I’m usually used to demo stuff to new juniors (with permission and usually when not in resus 😉)... have had my lungs ultrasounded in a&e just so the junior knew what to look for/how to do it on an acutal patient who moves 😂. Also been a lot of docs ‘firsts’... first neb, first cannula, first abg... 😂😂😂

1 like
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EmmaF91

Not animal related but;

Cling film - feeling when bacterial infection is in situ and lungs (not chest) can’t expand past a point... lungs are wrapped in cling film

Bubble wrap/rice crispies - the snap cracked and pops a chest infection can produce!

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Echoblue

I absolutely love these, made me actually laugh out loud at how accurate they are!

I would continue the animal theme and instead of cling film I see that as total bear hug or even a boa constrictor when things are really severe.

Pam

1 like
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EmmaF91
EmmaF91
in reply to Echoblue

Sorry to hear that Steve like you too!! (He’s a boa) 😕 😂

1 like
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Echoblue
Echoblue
in reply to EmmaF91

All joking apart Emma, I usually describe it as like wearing a concrete bandage wrapped around me when you try and take a breath and there is just no movement possible owing to the solid concrete!

It is a really hard thing to describe. I reckon “having a Steve” will do just nicely from here on! 😉👍🏻🤣 Pam x

2 likes
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Lysistrata
Lysistrata
in reply to Echoblue

Steve is such a pain! I can often be heard using unrepeatable words about Steve (but not in hosp lol).

4 likes
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EmmaF91
EmmaF91
in reply to Echoblue

I get the difficult to explain thing... it’s kinda how this started... 😅 but thought finding out how others described things would help with our own communication issues when trying to explain (five us alternatives etc for especially dim-witted docs 😅).

Hope Steve isn’t being too active with you today... and if he is, that the snake repellent works well! (Salb/meds’ of whichever form you use 😉)

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Echoblue
Echoblue
in reply to EmmaF91

Ongoing Emma! Am at least avoiding what had gone from fortnightly A&E for 8 months to weekly into resus as Birmingham severe asthma unit have tried me with nebulised Magnesium sulphate for almost 3 weeks and it is working well.

I know it’s a sticking plaster approach until they can find out what is causing such instability but I can live with being able to “stick that plaster” myself rather than having to earn frequent flier points at A&E!

Means I also don’t have to wait until I am too unwell before starting medication too.

Not perfect, but way better quality of life as a result 👍🏻👏🏻 hope you are doing ok. Pam x

1 like
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EmmaF91
EmmaF91
in reply to Echoblue

Sorry to hear this but glad they have got something in place to give you a better QoL! 🤞🏻🤞🏻 they get things sorted for you soon, with less sticking plasters and more stitches (ie meds which actually last!) xx

1 like
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Echoblue
Echoblue
in reply to EmmaF91

Thanks Emma, so do I. 💓 x

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Junglechicken

Barnabas Bear (with a sore head)- growling at everyone because it's hot, you can't breathe the air, you've not slept for wheezing and nobody cares. This is me today!

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EmmaF91

🐻

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Junglechicken

He's a lovely bear. Not grumpy at all :-)

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CDPO16

😂 nothing to add but all brilliant.

(emoji curtousy of hubby's smart phone)

Shhhh, haven't been seen!

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Lysistrata

Donkey/ass: an idiot Dr (most often registrar or consultant) who thinks they know better than you, won't listen and is stubborn. May bray about how they are the dr and know more than you about asthma, while uttering phrases like 'no wheeze no asthma' and 'asthma doesn't increase your heart rate'.

If you have a summary, the Ass is likely to refuse to read it, or not read it properly.

7 likes
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EmmaF91
EmmaF91
in reply to Lysistrata

😂😂😂

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Junglechicken

I actually printed off from the Asthma UK webpage the symptoms of an asthma attack. Guess what is listed? Racing heart rate

I've highlighted it, starred it and highlighted the web address so there's no doubt it's a trustworthy source. I'm going to shove it in the face of the next doctor who says asthma doesn't raise the heart rate.

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EmmaF91

🦉 The owl effect - the ‘can’t sleep, but midnight snacks are needed’ side effect of steroids/hydrocortisone

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Junglechicken

The Lark effect- when you are still awake come daybreak

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Wheezycat

Steve the Snake sounds a bit too jolly, friendly for me. That huge, squeezing snake is neither jolly, nor friendly, but sneaky and really nasty, and enjoys your suffering. It is s battle. So my snake will henceforth be called Boris. I drew a picture of him about three or so years ago, but named him only just now.

5 likes
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EmmaF91
EmmaF91
in reply to Wheezycat

Boris the Basilisk 🐍... for when Steve has been ignored for too long! Can petrify and has a deadly glare and poisonous bite!

1 like
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Wheezycat
Wheezycat
in reply to EmmaF91

Good one! Yes, that feels about right - especially as I have a clear history of ignoring/refusing and/or failing to notice Steve, to my detriment. My husband and doctor-friend both get cross with me.

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KatieJ28

(in hosp)

🦆 Mama/Papa duck - medic in charge of your care

🐥Ducklings/Minions - docs/nurses/students etc ‘following orders’ from Mama/Papa duck

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hilary39

Love it! I'm a total unicorn!

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EmmaF91
EmmaF91
in reply to hilary39

By this definition I defo am... in my head I think I’m a zebra 😂😂

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Junglechicken

I’m somewhere between a horse and a zebra

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Js706

I'm gonna go ahead and say I'm probably a unicorn... :P whether I want to or not!

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Lysistrata

I'm a unicorn because I'm weird. I still feel like a total fraud though after years of cons telling me I'm a pony! I now feel like I'm not really that bad.

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Melanie1989

Im definetly a unicorn, who wishes to be a horse 😂

In hospital

The parrots- the ones who just repeat or write down what they have heard from other dr's without actually looking at you!

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EmmaF91
EmmaF91
in reply to Melanie1989

🦜 🦜 🦜

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Mogget

This is amazing! I’d like to contribute the scorpion 🦂 for the sharp stabbing pain I sometimes get in my chest!

1 like
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EmmaF91
EmmaF91
in reply to Mogget

Ah! I call that the snake bite... from when Steve is particularly mean and feeling vicious 😂😂

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Junglechicken

Boas do have a nasty bite although not venomous

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Mogget
Mogget
in reply to EmmaF91

Haha that’s a good one 😂

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Mogget

Another one - 🐸 frog in the throat - loves to cause a hoarse, croaky voice

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EmmaF91

Elmer Elephant 🐘 - CPAP/BiPAP machines

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