Fairly recently during a visit to the Thoracic Consultant at my local hospital, I was sent for the obligatory lung x-ray. While I made my way, slowly, to the x-ray department I met an older gentleman who was really struggling for breath. I asked if he was okay and did he need any help and did he have an inhaler. Oh my days, that started a floodgate ....... his five minute rant boiled down to him firmly believing that his breathing was made far worse by constant use of Ventolin.
I went away and thought quite hard about what he had said. In the early stages of being diagnosed I found that I was literally hammering the Ventolin; it was opening the airways but the more I used it, the more I needed to. Very shortly afterwards, I started the Pulmonary Rehab course and one of the first talks was about breathing techniques. They explained that many people with a lung condition changed the way they were breathing without realizing it. Most people were chest breathing which gave short-term relief but didn't do much in the long term. After being shown the proper techniques, I found that in 95% of cases when I became breathless, instead of reaching automatically for the inhaler, I used the techniques. I went from being anal about having an inhaler with me at all times, day or night to actually not thinking about it. I wouldn't advocate not having one nearby at all, but I often look back and think about the conversation I had with that gentleman and think that he may possibly have been right. I also think that by being far less stressed about the condition and not allowing it to take over my life has helped too. Oh and chocolate (just in case you thought I was Scrobbitty's alter ego)