- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Coping With An Asthma Attack
Dealing with an asthma attack is like experiencing a horror film where the illness is the monster taking your breath away as it causes the airways to constrict.
I had a lot of childhood memories of restless nights dealing with asthma. Back then, I don't have the inhaler that I have now that probably can't live without. We live in a farm in the province and life is hard. Ventolin is the medicine I'm taking when I'm having an asthma along with alternative remedies. But I guessed I've been used to taking the Ventuline everytime I'm having asthma. Time came when the medicine won't help me anymore. I would be dealing with my asthma attack for almost 2 weeks, and those 2 weeks has been really hard for me. If I reminisced my childhood, I'm even surprised how I endured those hard times.
Maybe my hardheadedness has to do with my attack as my parents will always remind me what's not to do, but I won't listen. I would have fun playing in the rain and playing with the puppies, running around or being in the ricefield during harvesting season. With all those years, now I learned my way and had known myself well on what triggers my asthma attacks.
Preventing an asthma attack is the best thing to do to avoid hardship of enduring the asthma once it got worst. One should be able to feel when an asthma attack is on its way. I know when I'm having an asthma and would do my best to stop the oncoming attack, but I'm saying this because I had witnessed something that was surprising to me.
We had one room in our house being rented by a lady and one day, two of her friends were spending time with her. My dad, brother and I was in our rooms that early evening and we're bothered by knocking in our doors by our renter. She was worried and in a panicked about one of her friends just lying in her floor, not wanting to get up. She told us to call 911. My dad asked why and what happened. And so she told us that her friend isn't moving, and doesn't wanna move at all but she's conscious. She just wanna lie there.
The other friend overheard the talking and she said that the one lying on the carpeted floor is having shortness of breath. My dad then asked if she have asthma. And she responded yes, confirming that she's having an asthma attack but she doesn't like the phone call to be made.
Do you suffer from asthma?
For those others who has asthma reading this, I think you would agree that "you just know it" when an asthma attack is on its way and you would do anything necessary to prevent it.
The friend suffering with an attack told us the she had left her inhaler into her place. Dad then suggested it is better for them to drive back to her place and get her inhaler, it's just about 20 minutes drive. If it was me and I knew of the oncoming attack, I would get back to my place even when its a 30 minute drive, I wouldn't wait for the asthma to get worst. And lying on the floor is just a no no. To my experienced, it makes the breathing even harder. She should be in a sitting position which makes breathing easier.
What I do to keep my asthma at bay and what I do to make myself comfortable during an attack
With all those years, I noticed certain things I do and foods I eat that when too much, triggers my asthma. And that's why I keep it into limits. Such example are the cold foods I love that when too much becomes the doorway to asthma struggles. During hot weather, I couldn't resist it but enjoys ice cream, yogurt smoothies, and I like making fruit salads too, whatever fruit we have at home, I would use it. But if I consume too much of these, I would be feeling bad accompanied with coughing and soon, shortness of breath. And there it goes, the start of the asthma attack.
Tea: From time to time there is this tea that I take that helps on keeping my asthma at bay. It has even helped tame my stubborn asthma that I had about almost 3 years ago. I could say that's the worst I dealt with in my 7 years here in US. I was just sitting with my head resting on the chair, but I have to fight for every breath I take it scares me and brings back memories of my childhood where I had endured the same situations many times. And to add to it that it was Christmas and I just had my birthday is distressing.
I just spotted this tea "Breath Easy" that promotes respiratory health one time I was on Henry's Supermarket, which was now Sprouts. I decided to try it but stopped it from taking since I was that lazy I admit. Whenever I feel well, it makes me forget the hardship I have to go through when I'm sick. During that attack, I remember the "Breath Easy" tea and decided to take a cup. The aroma is refreshing and somehow calmed me down. That week, I continued taking the tea which I believe had helped open up my airways. The taste? I love it too, a taste of menthol and a little sweet.
Essential oils: One of the remedies I had read online and tried was the chest rub and warm bath with lavender essential oil combined with olive and chamomile which I believe had contributed in my recovery from that attack I had.
With this essential oil remedy, I followed the instruction of combining 1/4 cup olive oil with 8 drops of lavender essential oil together with chamomile for antihistamine. With the oils mixed all together, I would used it for a chest rub just before I go to sleep.
I also used few drops of lavender oil into a warm bath. I use a pail with warm water and added the drops of essential to it and used the water in rinsing.
And during my childhood, few of thte herbal remedies I used with an oncoming attack were oregano leaves, bittermelon, and garlic with onion and honey. With oregano leaves, I would pick about 4 to 6 leaves or sometimes depends how many teaspoonfuls I wanna make.
Oregano: Oregano leaves is a good anti inflammatory because of the rosmaniric acid that can be found on the leaves. Rinsing the leaves, I would put them on the rice as it about done cooking. In about 15 minutes, the leaves would be ready for their juice to be extracted. Or the other way of doing this is putting the leaves in a microwavable bowl with few spoonfuls of water and microwave it for 2 minutes or until the leaves are ready.
With the bittermelon leaves, it is the same process as the bittermelon juice has to be extracted and drink.
Minced garlic and onion: This is the very first asthma remedy I had probably taken aside from oregano leaves. As a young kid, I've seen my mom numerous times prepared equal amount of garlic and onion to make a tablespoon for her whenever she feels an oncoming attack. And she does the same thing with me. She would peel and mince 1 clove of garlic and a little amount of onion, topping it off with a little sugar or honey, either her or I would take the remedy to stop the oncoming asthma.
With the garlic and onion, both has an anti inflammatory substance that helps on treating asthma problems.
What I do to make myself comfortable?
During an attack, I would be lucky if I could get enought sleep, but most nights, I don't. I could be sleeping for an hour and awake for the following hours, off and on, just like that. And if my asthma is on the early stage, I would sleep lying down but I would be awakened because it had gotten worst! And I'm scared of that.
So what I would do is puff my inhaler, take my cup of "Breath Easy" tea, do the chest rub, and I find wearing loose clothes comfortable. And somehow I like white colored shirts, it is comforting for me. I would also make sure the window is a little bit open so a fresh air can get through our screened wwindow. I just knew it when a window was completely closed. And I keep myself warm, that is during cold season.
And one thing my mom taught me that I'm thankful for is rubbing petroleum jelly on my cold feet. It makes my feet warm. I'm saying this because, you know during the Winter days when you already wearing a thick, warm sock but your feet is still icy cold? Try and use the petroleum jelly too, it works.
Also, don't insist sleeping lying down when you have an attack. What I do is I put a pillow on my back, against the headboard and just let myself fall sleep that way. It is much better for me, I might not get a deep, restful sleep but it is better than waking up with the asthma gotten worst.
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