What I know now: The doctors who... - Living with Asthma

Living with Asthma
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What I know now

FearNot
FearNot

The doctors who diagnosed me with asthma were emergency-room staff. I believe one stressed the importance of following up with a visit to my regular doctor. My asthma was usually mild, allowing me to brush it off most of the time, so I never followed through.

The wildfire smoke of the past few summers brought the fact that I have asthma powerfully to my attention. Now I had questions. I learned that having an asthma plan can be life-saving. Also, I needed to manage my asthma. I do this by natural means and avoid taking a ton of pharmacueticals.

I'm still learning how to take care of my health. What do you do, besides taking medicine, to manage your asthma?

12 Replies
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Minushabens
MinushabensAsthma Captain

Apart from the medication, I think the main thing I've done all my life is trying to stay in a state of denial! I always tell myself that I will get to a better place & that I'm going to live the life I want...which includes not always eating healthily, going for a few pints when I want & so on. I'm not daft...I balance it all with salads & suchlike, but I refuse to accept that I'm sick (even though sometimes I obviously am).

I hold down a very demanding job (teaching 9/10 year-olds in a school in a very deprived area) which requires me to be on my feet all day, physically active, etc, I coach the school football team...I think I benefit from the belief that I can do it even though I know that I have a complex set of problems going on & suspect one of these days I'll have to accept the inevitable, but psychology is powerful & has probably been my best friend for managing my health down the years,

FearNot
FearNot
in reply to Minushabens

You made me smile. I've never thought of denial as a useful tool.

Like minushabens, I try to act like I’m not as bad as I am. I do my best to avoid triggers, but always carry antihistamines, preventer and epipen with me just in case. If I want to go out, I go out, I just may come back early. If I’m ill I’ll (eventually) seek help - similar to you I started off using hospitals with no GP follow up (crappy surgery at the time), then my asthma spiralled out of control so I changed surgery and learned to use them more often as I wanted to avoid hospital!

Breathing exercises, mindfulness, yoga/Pilates etc can all be good for asthma, as can singing as it improves lung capacity and respiratory control. Hot steamy baths help me (although not everyone!) and recently discovered mustard baths (for if you’re ill)!

I hope you find good control soon and get a good management plan in place for those wildfires! X

FearNot
FearNot
in reply to EmmaF91

Thanks for your reply! You've given me something to think about.

I'm a classically-trained vocalist. I wonder if that's why my asthma has been mild for so long. I've stopped performing and let myself get out of shape vocally. I should change that.

I love mindfulness and practise it often. Like singing, I didn't connect it with improving asthma.

EmmaF91
EmmaF91
in reply to FearNot

At least you’ll be good to listen too - I sound like a wet cat 😂. If it’s something you enjoy, definitely worth restarting and sticking to it.

With mindfulness if you take time to ‘check in’ with how you’re breathing you can potential spot and stop any dysfunctions you may be developing, and it’s a good way to judge if you’re heading for an attack!

Minushabens
MinushabensAsthma Captain
in reply to EmmaF91

As the saying goes, I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but I think whatever it is that you enjoy, and that makes you feel alive & part of something, is what you should do.

FearNot
FearNot
in reply to Minushabens

We all need that, don't we? It's all about living anyway.

FearNot
FearNot
in reply to EmmaF91

Sing away anyway! LOL!

I'm learning to pay attention to subtle signs. I started taking lobelia again (prescribed by my naturopathic doctor) after noticing I'm coughing more. That seems to be doing the trick.

The main thing is figuring out what triggers it and how to avoid those things. And if you can't avoid those things, try to minimize the impact (take meds before breathing gets bad, less exposure or reduced time to exposure).

Be mindful of your body & how you're breathing. If you have a partner in life, get them onboard. It's nice when they understand your needs without you constantly having to say it.

I do a lot of denial, but that tends to get me into more trouble because I delay getting help. I get depressed when it flares up, and that's not good either.

Lately, I’ve been trying to drink more tea. I hear certain flavors with the steam helps open the lungs up. So far so good!

Our weather in NJ has been cold and dry. I didn’t know that dry air was a trigger till recently, so that was good to learn! But I’ve found myself taking my rescue inhaler more often, so anything that I can do to pull back on that a bit is a plus!

Carakraft
CarakraftAdministrator

Thanks for sharing SaraMarie25!

What flavors of tea are you trying?

Any time! I have some peppermint and Jasmine green tea. They’re delicious!

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