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Old 06-10-2008, 08:59 PM   #1
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Question Fear

Do you have fear about your asthma? After an episode, do you fear getting the next one? wondering when/where it will occur? Do you fear an epsiode occuring during a big meeting or presentation at work? Do you fear the next episode being worse then the prior one? If you have mild asthma, do you fear it getting worse (becoming moderate/severe)?

A very good friend was rushed to the ER when he was teenager during an attack and they had to use epinephrine. I asked him if he ever fears his asthma getting that bad again and he says no. His girlfriend who never had asthma before went to the ER last summer 3x due to severe asthma and was also given epinephrine each time. When she relayed this to me, she spoke in a calm, somewhat quizzical tone (quizzical as in how the heck did this happen.) I don't believe she's had any bouts since and judging from the way she talked, any future fears are not there. My cousin has a friend with severe asthma. Actually the friend's husband also has severe asthma and their daughter is moderately severe with asthma. The friend will take a Zyrtec, don a surgeon's mask and help my cousin clean a dusty cellar. The husband does air traveling as part of his job. The severity of their asthma doesn't bother them.

I have mild asthma and have all the fears I wrote of in the first paragraph.



Thanks.

 
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:34 PM   #2
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Smile Re: Fear

Fear is a normal part of having asthma , but as long as you know you triggrers and have you`re asthma under controll you really shouldn`t let it be something you dwell on too often . I have sever asthma and my family doctor has allready stated that I probably will not live past 50 becasue of it (presently I`m 38). I try to not let it interfere with my day to day living anymore than nesessary but soem days it`s hard . Honestly it sounds like you may have a little bit of an anxity issue , maybe soem councelling would help you get a better handle on it .... just try to relax a little more and enjoy life becasue one day you`ll wake up and be 80 and say why did i spend so much time stressing .....`)

 
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:52 AM   #3
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Re: Fear

Good day,

I'm 31 years old and have had asthma for the past 24 years. I've been prescribed many different ventilators, the last one being ADVAIR. However, I want to let you in on a little secret of mine!!!! :-) Please take the time to read my little story!
About 5 months ago I had to take antibiotics for a throat infection so I asked the pharmacist if there was anything I could take with the antibiotics to reduce the diarrhea that I normally get when i'm on the antibio. He talked to me about a natural product, a liquid probiotic. Told me to take it for 30 days. I took the probiotic and to make a very long story short, ever since i've been taking this liquid probiotic (for 5 months now), I have not taken my ADVAIR...not ONCE!!! At first I didn't make the connection, but after looking into it, I realized that the probiotic was helping my asthma. I have NEVER missed a day of taking my puffer in 24 years...and now thanks to this totally NATURAL product, I am medication free!! I prefer taking this natural product then taking any medication, but that's just me!!!

And I feel like I have to let everyone know!!!!
So, thanks for reading!!
Olivia

 
Old 06-11-2008, 03:33 PM   #4
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Re: Fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer1961 View Post
Fear is a normal part of having asthma , but as long as you know you triggrers and have you`re asthma under controll you really shouldn`t let it be something you dwell on too often . I have sever asthma and my family doctor has allready stated that I probably will not live past 50 becasue of it (presently I`m 38). I try to not let it interfere with my day to day living anymore than nesessary but soem days it`s hard . Honestly it sounds like you may have a little bit of an anxity issue , maybe soem councelling would help you get a better handle on it .... just try to relax a little more and enjoy life becasue one day you`ll wake up and be 80 and say why did i spend so much time stressing .....`)
I agree, it sounds like a bit of anxiety. Honestly, I've found that two of the best things I can do to combat fear is to be prepared and to find a way to relax. If you are anxious about asthma, it will make you feel worse, you will think about it so much that you will start to notice every little thing. Counseling would give you strategies that would help you relax and have strategies to use when you start to feel anxious about asthma so you are not in such a panic that you are not able to take care of yourself.
Best of luck to you, and remember that there are so many people on these boards who are feeling the same way and are here to support you.
Andrea
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:36 PM   #5
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Re: Fear

I also concur on the anxiety. If you have your asthma under control and a written plan for any attacks or episodes that may occur, you should have no reason to worry about what might happen. Perhaps you feel you don't have that. If so, a visit to your pulmonologist for medication adjusting and a written plan is in order.

 
Old 06-11-2008, 07:19 PM   #6
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Post Re: Fear

engineer1961, OliviaC, acprivra, Titchou,

Thank you all for your replies. Thank you. Thank you. All of your words have given me comfort and helped ease my fear. Yes, I admit I have anxiety about asthma. It was much worse in late 2006 when I went for cognitive behaviorial therapy. It helped LOADS. I had an "asthma" epsiode yesterday morning. I put it in " " because sometimes when I get chest tightness it's sometimes anxiety. Unfortunately chest tightness is symptom of both anxiety and asthma. Very often I cannot tell the difference.

Yesterday morning @ 5:30, when I got this chest sensation (for lack of a better word) I was lying in bed half-awake and calm. Usually when I feel something like this I spring for the albuetrol or xanax (.25 mg.). A couple of hours before this, I felt this chest sensation--very mild--so I used a shot of albuterol and went back to bed. @ 5:30 I was calm in bed for a couple of minutes still with the sensation and the snooze alarm went off. I have the alarm across the room (so I don't roll over, shut it off and then go back to sleep.) As I was reaching for the alarm after getting out of bed, the sensation felt like it went from the middle of the chest (if I was a woman it would be in the cleavage area) to my windpipe. I don't know if it was fear or actually asthma but then I "felt" like it was asthma. I will admit I got panicky. I put a piece of Xanax under my tongue, dissolving it quickly and then used the nebuilizer. In my mind I worried I was going to have to go to the ER needing epinephrine. Graphics of me on the point of death and the injection going in and saving me came to mind. Almost right after the nebulizer was finished, I felt fine.

engineer1961,

Thank you for your response even with your situation more more dire. I am heartbroken at the prediction . Can't you get a 2nd opinion? What does your pulmonolgoist say?

Quote:
one day you`ll wake up and be 80 and say why did i spend so much time stressing
Wise words.


OliviaC,

Thanks for reading? Thanks for sharing . That is wonderful! I am so happy for you! I must look up that liquid probiotic.


acprivra/Andrea,

I think I need to go back to my CBT notes. The sensation in the windpipe--and the feeling that it was different from prior chest sensations--was what really freaked me.

Quote:
remember that there are so many people on these boards who are feeling the same way and are here to support you.
Thank you so much


Titchou,

My pulmonologist suspects the chest sensations/asthma are being caused by reflux. I have it in the larynx . Reflux can be a cause for asthma or asthmatic symptoms. I am setting up an appointment with a gastro for a PH test for the reflux.

 
Old 06-11-2008, 09:27 PM   #7
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Re: Fear

John, the similarity between asthma and anxiety symptoms is something I've really, really, really wanted to talk about with some people who have asthma for a while now. I'd really like to share my story, and I hope it isn't too much of a thread-jack.

I've had depression/anxiety problems for years, although depression is much more of a problem for me than anxiety. I was only diagnosed with asthma this past March, and I didn't have much testing, just basic spirometry in my GP's office, so I still have doubts about my diagnosis.

Two winters ago I started getting a lot of couple days long episodes of coughing, shortness of breathe, and figured it was a respiratory virus. By the middle of the winter I had a chronic cough, worse at night, triggered by cold. Coughing sometimes got so bad it led to chest pain, s.o.b. and wheezing. But a couple times in the past few years, I'd had episodes of rapid breathing, s.o.b., and such in conjunction with emotional stress--but always late at night. So, I thought that those were panic attacks and that the intense and constant coughing was probably psychogenic. But by the end of the winter, I was so ill and susceptible to infections that even going out for an afternoon of errands led to a couple days of fever, and a lot of interference with daily activities. I did think about going to a doctor, but didn't. It got bad so gradually, and I always had good days, and somehow it was easy to convince myself I was fine, and just imagining things.

When it got a lot better in the spring, I just forgot about it. Still had intermittent coughing, especially at night, but the pain and s.o.b. and wheezing went away, and I figured it was some kind of psychogenic cough. I guess I forgot how bad it was in the winter, and I was embarrassed to be coughing all the time.

This past winter it came back. Not as bad, and I didn't get sick as many times, or as severely, but the cough came back. And again, I was sure it was anxiety, or worry, or of some other psychological origin.

Then, one day, everything went wrong. The weather was terrible, fast, cold snow following some warm days, so the roads became slick with ice. I slid into the back of a car. Police report. Hours late. Childcare arrangements fell apart. For complicated reasons, ended up sprinting about four blocks in about twenty degrees (f). And then it happened. Extreme shortness of breathe. Tight chest. Huge amounts of mucous choking me. Wheezing and coughing. Well, y'all know what that's like, I guess. Got quite a bit better after a couple hours. Again, figured it was anxiety. Intensely stressful day.

Went home, got kid in bed, ate some dinner, poured a drink, called a friend. Talking on the phone brought it back. Ended up spending nearly the whole night on my kitchen floor. Couldn't breathe, couldn't move. To my embarrassment, ended up vomiting there in the floor from the intense coughing and inability to breathe. By morning it started to get a little better and I crawled off to bed. I was utterly incapacitated for the next five or six days. I had several more attacks like that, that would always get better, but never quite went away. By the time I got to a doctor I could barely walk. I couldn't say more than two or three words together without coughing or gasping. She sent me to an imaging place about fifteen feet away to get a chest x-ray, and it seemed like miles. Every time I go back to that office, I am astonished at how close it is. That day, it seemed so distant and hard to find.

But the spirometry said I was only mildly obstructed. Well, on the edge between mild and moderate obstruction. My lungs were fairly quiet. Chest x-ray was normal. They gave me a breathing treatment and an inhaler and antibiotics. A couple days later, added in Advair and Aciphex.

All that helped a lot, but I still had some trouble. A couple of weeks later I did pretty heavy-duty yardwork that I now realize was a bad idea, and started coughing. It felt worse than usual, and I had a bad feeling about it. I tried to go to urgent care, learned they were closed, but by then it was getting bad enough that I went to the ER. I self-reported as having "a cold, and a little asthma trouble". I ended up being there for several hours, and gettign treated for a moderately severe asthma attack. Sent home with six days of prednisone. The next day my doctor gave me more antibiotics, for a mycoplasma infection that had contributed to the whole thing. The ER also gave me a peak flow meter. I posted recently about that. The peak flow meter read absurdly high for me by the time I was done with the prednisone. Into the 700's. And once again, I questioned myself. I actually went off all my meds for a week because I was convinced I was somehow making it happen, that it wasn't asthma, just weird psychology.

An ER RT, resident, attending, and nurse, all agreed I was having an asthma attack, and I was still convinced I was just being anxious and histrionic. Finally last week I got a different model of peak flow meter, and it seems to be more helpful in giving me an idea of where I am. The week without meds took a toll, and I had some bad days, especially this past weekend when it was so hot. I'm doing better now, but I'm still frsutrated because I feel like all of these respiratory problems are not real. That they are a psychological reaction to something. I dunno.

But, yeah, I find it very difficult to cope with having emotional problems in conjunction with what I guess I should refer to as asthma. It's very strange that I've had this illness for at least a year and a half, that it has seriously impacted my life, that it has made me very ill on several occasions, including being too sick to walk and talk and take care of my family, took me to the hospital, and I still am not convinced it's real.

And, yes, I am beginning to work with a psychologist because the counselor I had been working with did not have the experience to realize how important this issue is in my life. I've been wishing I could discuss this with someone familiar with asthma for a long time now, and so I hope this very logn and personal post is ok here. Just, yeah, emotional issues and asthma. Tough combination.

 
Old 06-12-2008, 08:12 PM   #8
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Exclamation snowdrift

OMG, snowdrift. What you went through!!

First let me say I appreciate you sharing your story with me. No problem about the length of it.

Let me start off by saying in addition to the (health) anxiety, I also suffer from mild depression. This is due to a whole lotta job dissatisfaction.

I highly recommend you start believing you have asthma. Shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness and chronic coughing are hallmark symptoms of asthma. Granted chest tightness is a crossover symptom between asthma and anxiety but when that tightness is accompanied by those other symptoms, I would bet my paycheck (which is tomorrow ) you have asthma. Cold weather is a definite trigger. Between 2000 when I first was diagnosed with asthma and late 2005, I never had a problem with cold weather. I got my first cold-weather asthma attack Thanksgiving night 2005 when my wife and I were walking to a friend's house for The Bird meal.

Colds, flus, bronchitis can also lead to asthma.

Quote:
For complicated reasons, ended up sprinting about four blocks in about twenty degrees (f). And then it happened. Extreme shortness of breathe. Tight chest. Huge amounts of mucous choking me. Wheezing and coughing.
Running in severe cold and getting those symptoms? That's asthma.

Snowdrift, I beg you--believe it's asthma! Neither anxiety or depression have s.o.b, coughing, mucousy feeling, etc. as symptoms. Find yourself a good pulmonologist and start right away on a plan to deal with this. Research online. You'll see all the symptoms you had are asthmatic symptoms. It's good you're going to a psychologist but you need to go to a pulmonolgist.
Quote:
a moderately severe asthma attack.
This is nothing to play around with. Also: you should not go off the asthma meds . Good God don't do that. I have done extensive research on asthma. Unfortunately it is very common what you are doing: denying/ignoring symptoms and attacks. Many people do this and they don't realize the reality of it until they are in the ER at the point of death. Don't be like this!

 
Old 06-13-2008, 09:25 AM   #9
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Re: Fear

Dear John,

The liquid probiotic that I take is called Bio-K+CL1285. I did a bit of search on the web and I talked to my aunt who is a Naturopathic Dr. She explained to me that we have nervous cells in the intestines and we produce some serotonin which helps to fight depression so the bio-k+ might help you deal with your anxiety and calm you.
I'm sorry to sound so anti-medication, but every since the Bio-K+ has helped with my ashtma, I have been searching NATURAL ways to cure some of my other problems as well.

 
Old 06-13-2008, 07:10 PM   #10
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Re: Fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by OliviaC View Post
Dear John,

The liquid probiotic that I take is called Bio-K+CL1285. I did a bit of search on the web and I talked to my aunt who is a Naturopathic Dr. She explained to me that we have nervous cells in the intestines and we produce some serotonin which helps to fight depression so the bio-k+ might help you deal with your anxiety and calm you.
I'm sorry to sound so anti-medication, but every since the Bio-K+ has helped with my ashtma, I have been searching NATURAL ways to cure some of my other problems as well.
Olivia,

Nothing to be sorry about. I appreciate you giving more info.

 
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