Thank the goddess I don't have asthma like my mom or brother--but it does Rear Its Ugly Head on occasion....like the past 24 hrs.
My boss left early because of asthma. I was fine until right around 4:15 and WHAMMO!! The air gets sucked right out of my lungs. Now this has happened enough that I know to Stay Calm. Freaking only makes it worse. And it's important for the people **around** me to stay unfreaked.
Bottom line--it's bad, it hurts, but like with my blood sugar issues, I know what to do and how to help myself. (actually, I'll take an asthma attack over a sugar crash any day...). I may be uncomfortable but rarely have I been in danger.
Here's the drill. When an attack hits---STAY CALM. Relax. Breathe s-l-o-w-l-y. Take a puff of albuterol. Sip something hot--even hot water is good. Don't hyperventillate and don't move. Wait 5 min. Take a second puff. Wait ten minutes...if in 20 min you are not 75% over it---go to the doctor. If you are still having accute spasms and can't catch your breath, get your ass to the ER. Usually, after the second puff you start coughing up fluid and the actual spasms ease---the wheezing will gradually subside.
I had one yesterday and then a little after 9 I had a second one. The boss called my doctor and as soon as I was 50% better I headed to Dr. K who gave me injections of steroids and a Jet-Nebulizer/Oxygen treatment. I have to take prednisone for a week and have a stronger inhaler---and the doctor suggested the Ops mgr check to see if the air filters need cleaning.
So...I'm home for the rest of the day, trembling like crazy from the speed in the meds--trust, me, I am the *last* person on earth who would voluntarily take speed...I loathe being all shaky and jittery. But my breathing is greatly improved.
Sure scared the crap out of a bunch of people who've never seen asthma before, tho'. At one point I had to tell one dude to chill out and then joked to my boss, "I'm more worried about coughing and wetting my pants!"
O'course....all the damned Prednisone sure makes me hungry........wonder if there's any ramen in the house????