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British Lung Foundation
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Need a Tattoo or Two!

Got myself into a breathless panicky state yesterday, and didn't remember to try to control my breathing and calm myself down.... I need a tattoo on one hand saying KEEP CALM and PURSED LIP BREATHING on the other.

I had been wheezing all day when my neighbour asked for help catching a cat and kittens which she had found in her garden (could be worse the previous occupants asked for help to catch a sheep). She rang the RSPCA and I searched through her Leylandii hedge ... my breathing got worse and I managed to get home to find my inhaler and nebuliser were upstairs ...panic. Did reach them in the end as you will have guessed!

Trouble is episodes like this dent my confidence and make me so annoyed with myself.

And the cat hasn't been caught.

8 Replies

That was a very scary experience for you. Don't let it ruin your confidence tell yourself your got through it and when if/it happens again you'll get through that also. Some things you can do would be have more that one rescue inhaler I have three. I keep 1 in my kitchen drawer 1 in my handbag and the other1 in my bedroom. My hairdresser has a very rare illness and god love her she is only in her early 30's but has had a couple of very scary experiences she has a tattoo in Latin which means "while I breath I hope". Just thinking it wouldn't be a bad one for us to get.:)


Hello Knitter,

You have my deepest sympathies as I too suffer panic-attacks when I get severely breathless and can start me hyper-ventilating that adds to the problem. I have not yet found any help for this other than self-control of the breathing - perhaps others may have some good advice that I would also be interested to hear.

I wish you all the best and unwanted-animal free gardens,



Hi Pete,my consultant prescribed Lorazepam, 0.5mg under the tongue as soon as possible when hyperventilation begins, it slows everything down very quickly. There was a bit of a fight between my consultant and gp as gp didn't want to prescribe it, but consultant won! It worked so well that after a while I found I needed to use it very rarely, just knowing it was there helped me take control. I have some in the kitchen, loo and lounge, so always readily available. Just the last week or two with this weather tho I have been very breathless and started with a number of panic attacks, so thank God for lorazepam. Speak to your gp intially. Libby


Hi Libby,

I have been searching for something to help for a long time and this could be the answer.

Thanks, keep well,



Hi Knitter, a link to a blog I did a while back, hope it makes you smile


1 like

I always keep ventolin in my pockets.


Totally empathise with you knitter. It's the worst feeling ever! My GP prescribed citalopram, but it gave me terrible side effects, that I'm better off without it.

The respiratory nurse I saw when I went for a Spirometry test was really helpful when I was in distress with my breathing, and talked me down - hopefully, I'll learn more coping techniques when I go for PR :)

As for tattoos, well, I don't like needles, so I'll pass on that, unless they do them in stick-on transfers LOL :) Take care, and have a nice weekend :)

Sandra x x x


I always carry an inhaler in my pocket - in fact if what I'm going to wear doesn't have pockets, I don't wear it. Just having it there is usually sufficient but I use all the slow breathing technique before to avoid using it. :) xx


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