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Old 12-02-2004, 07:05 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posts: 2,459
wrin HB User
Re: Is it REALLY asthma?

Asthma specialists are doctors, usually respirologists who take their jobs very seriously. They will not 'just prescribe anything non-narcotic', especially since that would constitute malpractice if provable.

Almost all asthma when properly controlled exhibits little to no symptoms. To look at me, I ski with the Ski Patrol, I run on the treadmill, I'm hardly ever sick, have very few environmental allergies, and only rarely have an attack. Other than a near-constant throat clearing or productive cough, nobody would ever guess I have asthma.

The assessment that her asthma may be worse in her mother's house could be true, since a lot of it is environmentally triggered. I was fine until last weekend when I thought it would be a good idea to run around and play football in the dry dusty grass infused with snow mould, and I've been feeling it all week. However, I think that without knowing for sure what her symptoms are like in her mother's house, it's difficult if not impossible to say that that's the case.

Asthma however, is a chronic condition, with constant underlying symptoms, much like your diabetes. Occasionally things can get out of control, and an attack happens. This would be analagous to diabetic ketoacidosis. Does that mean everybody can 'see' that you have diabetes all the time? No. Does that mean you exist in a constant state of abnormal sugar balance? Hardly, you keep it under control with your medications and diet. Right? It's much the same with asthma.

I have personally had some disappointing experiences with people belittling diagnoses of asthma. For example, a few healthcare providers in my province were named in a lawsuit recently after discharging an asthmatic woman from the hospital when she was in respiratory distress. (What the ER doc did was inappropriate, but let's not discuss that.) Rather, I'd like to point out that her husband was rather adamant that she did not have 'asthma', merely 'anxiety', and can we get some Ativan and leave? Nevermind that her oxygen saturations were in the toilet, and the doctors admitted her to the hospital, doctors are idiots and they prescribe drugs like candy, it's just stress, can we go home?

Well, her husband convinced the ER doc to send her home where she collapsed, had a cardiac arrest, was later resuscitated and now has brain damage.

My mother used to tell me that I didn't have asthma.

I had to go to the doctor's myself at the ripe old age of twelve and demand a pulmonary function test, and then rub my mother's nose in the fact that I had a documentable pulmonary disease before she believed me.

Just examples, is all.

Things are very frequently not what they seem.