Post # 1
I have not been well the last few days. On Monday, I took a gulp of water, coughed on it, and ever since then I’ve had a terrible cough. My breath is all wheezy and my chest hurts, and I keep coughing up phlegm (attractive, I know).
The reason everyone seems to think it’s the start of asthma is because my sister suddenly developed it as a young adult, a couple years younger than I am now. Hers was caused by the severe pollen allergy that runs in our family (seriously, it’s like torture for three months of the year).
England is currently experiencing once of the highest pollen levels for months on end, and everyone keeps telling me that my coughing sounds like I’m having some kind of asthma attack. I’ve tried to do some research but nothing’s very helpful. Lozenges and warm drinks do nothing to help.
I can’t even get to a Dr until Friday at the earliest. So I wanted to hear from anyone who has asthma, is there a trigger for you? Does this even sound like asthma or do I just have a cold and I’m letting people’s words confuse me?
Post # 3
The weather is a contributing factor of unwell chests at the moment. My asthma has gone haywire lately but I’ve also had a nasty chest infection for 3 weeks…2 courses of antibiotics and steroids. I’m not medically trained but if you’ve got icky phlegm it might be a chest infection. Get an emergency appointment, don’t wait.
Post # 4
Coughing and phelm suggest an infection, cold or virus of some kind.
Ashtma attacks frequently aren’t like you see on TV. I have a asthma and so do a few people I know. Most of the time someone else wouldn’t even know unless it’s severe and you start passing out.
For instance at work once I went to tell a friend (who has asthma) I was going outside (something in the building had set off my asthma) but before I could say anything she said “Outside now, I’ll be right out.”. How did she know? She told me later I had my hands on my hips stretching my torso up and my mouth open a little and breathing through it. Which is a pretty standard unconsious way to try to get more air. Essentially it feels like someone is sitting on your chest compressing it and you can’t get enough air in (though really you aren’t absorbing the oxygen you need).
I have a friend who you’ll be hanging out with and the only sign is she gets quiet when she’d normally respond, and then she pulls out her inhaler.
I’m definitely no doctor, but just sharing some experiences to help put your mind at ease.
And even if it is ashtma, it’s usually easily managed with lifestyle/meds. So either way try not to worry and see that doctor. If you really feel like you’re in distress and can’t breathe have someone take you to the ER or Urgent care or call your local emergency number!
Good luck and happy healing.
Post # 5
My mom just recently had pneumonia and developed asthmatic symptoms (not asthma, just symptoms) so it could be something similar. I wouldn’t worry too much 🙂 To me it just sounds like you have a cold, but even if it’s asthma I wouldn’t freak out too much. I know it’s different for everyone, but I developed asthma as a kid and mine is very manageable.
Post # 6
Definitely get a test done, but the phlegm isn’t as normal with asthma. I’ve had asthma attacks and they’re actually more mild than you would imagine. I do get some mucous from it, but not to the point where I would be coughing it up. The gulp of water sounds like you could have gotten water in your lungs.
Just get checked out 🙂 Hopefully it isn’t anything serious! If it is asthma though, it is pretty manageable at least in my experience and in the experience of the people I know who have it. 🙂 It is extremely common in my area, so unfortunately I know a lot!
Post # 7
My BF said it’s possible you have pneumonia.
Post # 8
Every time I work out I have to use my inhaler before and after my workouts, and when I’m around cats. It really feels like you’re getting no air no matte how hard you try to inhale. I don’t know what you have bu maybe you should see a doctor.
Post # 9
@MrsTangerine: There is a misconception that asthma isn’t very serious. I used to think the same thing until my sister died of an asthma attack at 14 years old. She would put her hands on her hips like you described, trying to get more air. The day she died (March 7, 2004), she was having an asthma attack and called home to have my dad give her a ride to the hospital. I answered. She didn’t sound concerned, more annoyed than anything. My dad got to her friend’s house 10 mins later and the EMTs were there doing CPR (so obviously, in that short amount of time, her heart had stopped). They did CPR for a couple hours, but she was gone.
Asthma is nothing to sneeze at and isn’t always easily managed with lifestyle and meds. We all underestimated the danger she was in and maybe if we had been more aware that she could die from it, she’d be here today. I wish I had talked to her longer when she called, but I just said, “Ok, I’ll tell dad.” and we hung up.
Post # 10
@ZebraPrintMe: I was diagnosed with asthma at 19, and have been prone to pneumonia ever since ( I get it 2-3 times a year… last year I was hospitalized for 13 days with pneumonia). You sound more like you have pneumonia than asthma. Someone said that asthma attacks are ‘mild’ and that is not always the case. Mine flairs up pretty often (I have to use my inhaler daily and my nebulizer at least once a week) and they are usually really intense. When I have attacks, I can’t cough, I can’t breathe in, and I get silent and have to rush to find my nebulizer. Yes, sometimes I am wheezy and things like that, but for the most part, asthma attacks arent anything like what you see on TV.
Also, everyone has different triggers. I am allergic to pretty much everything envorinmental (pollen, grass, trees, etc )and animals with fur, as well as plenty of other things. Being around any of those can throw me into an attack. Also, any sort of excerise. And heat/humidity. I often stumble out of the shower needing my nebulizer if it is too hot. I would definitely get checked and tested for asthmatic symptoms, even just to rule it out, because it is a serious, scary ailment.
Post # 11
@YogaFaerie: I would not say that asthma attacks are mild. I have unconrollable asthma, and my attacks are very stressful, anxiety raising, scary things. If you think they are mild, you probably haven’t have a full-blown asthma attack where you almost pass out and need 5 viles of abulterol in your nebulizer.
Post # 12
@bunnyharriet: +1. I am so sorry about your sister. But I know what you mean, how people don’t think its serious. I have gone unconscious from asthma attacks before, and they are he scariest things that I have ever gone through.
Post # 13
Honestly, that sounds more like pneumonia than asthma.
All that being said, while asthma is scary and something that should be treated seriously, for most people it’s not a big life-changer. I have asthma – allergy, excercise, and weather-induced. So I take some allergy meds during the season, always carry my inhaler while running, and take it easy when it’s cold out. I’ve had a few REALLY scary moments, but that’s when I was younger and didn’t really understand my limits. Asthma in no way affects my day-to-day life, other than I’ve got an inhaler in my bag at all times. For some people, yes, it is a MAJOR medical condition, and people do have asthma attacks and die from it, but don’t freak yourself out (that only makes asthma worse!). A TON of people have asthma and live with it every day with no ill-effects other than it being a mild annoyance.
When you have asthma, though, it does put you at a higher risk for contracting pneumonia and the flu. I get a flu shot every year and I’ve gotten the pneumonia shot as well. Pneumonia is nothing to mess around with.
Post # 14
First of all, bunnyharriet, I’m so sorry about your sister. A classmate’s mom passed away from an asthma attack once (there were other issues at play – they called 911 and the ambulance got lost on the way…)
Anyway, I just wanted to point out (and please don’t think I’m being argumentative, I’m just trying to clarify) – I think there is an important distinction between “asthma is not serious” and “asthma may not affect your day-to-day life”. A lot of people have asthma and don’t have to do anything about it except occasionally take a puff on their inhaler. For some people it absolutely can be devastating and alter their lives significantly, and unfortunately, lead to death, but I would venture to guess that those cases are the exception, not the rule (I’m going off of purely anecdotal reasons here, though).
While any medical diagnosis is scary, I think that with the properly tools and knowledge, asthma can be a non-issue. I’ve had some really severe and scary asthma attacks, but I’m not going to let those times define my life and how I live it.
Post # 15
@ZebraPrintMe: Has anyone mentioned that pneumonia is caused by water in the lungs? You coughed on water. You probably inhaled it into your lungs.
@StL.Ashley: My sister had gone to the hospital several times over asthma attacks, but not in years. She manged her asthma with the occasional puff off her inhaler or nebulizer treatments during an attack. Then, out of nowhere, she died. We were all shocked. Asthma didn’t affect her day to day life until it killed her.
It is uncommon for children to die from asthma (mostly it’s people over 65). Less than 200 children died of asthma in 2004. It’s just bad luck that one of them was my sister, but that’s life.
Post # 16
@bunnyharriet: I’m so sad and sorry about your sister. I hope you don’t blame yourself and know that there’s nothing you could have done. I know that probably doesn’t help. But you only knew what you knew, which was she sounded ok for the time being but wanted help. I’m personally horrible about not wanting to be “that person” who’s crying wolf or getting attention because of it… most people with asthma I know are that way. It’s a double edged sword. Cause so often you feel like you’re dying but you’ll be fine with your inhaler or getting away from the trigger, etc. So it’s super hard to draw the line between “use inhaler” and/or “get away from [heat, scent, cold, stress, whatever trigger] and I’ll be fine” and “I’m going to die if I don’t get help.”. By the time you reach that last point, you likely can’t talk. 🙁
And you are correct, most people don’t think it’s serious. It’s usually “easy to manage” on a day to day basis but there’s those times it might threaten your life. I guess it’s easy to downplay it, even having it, because unless you’re a drama queen who wants to be “that sick person” you don’t want all that attention if you’ll be fine after a bit, ya know? So most people really don’t talk about it and how serious it can be. Because especially when you’re in the middle of not breathing well, it’s hard to distinguish. I see it a lot like Type 1 dibetes (I had a couple close friends who had it), “easily managed” means “most of the time you don’t notice if you avoid X, Y, and Z… but it can still kill you.”. Which to someone who can’t do much without meds seems pretty manageable. It’s sort of a relative perception type thing.
And I was so lucky because that day I just went out side after telling my friend, I laid down on the sidewalk around the building. She followed me but told another coworker/friend who came too. While friend one called 911 because I was unresponsive, friend two pet my hair and coddled me like a child. I have brief recollections of moments and at the time I felt humiliated but after I was so appreciative for what they both did. I only remember wanting to tell my first friend I was fine and not to get EMS out, and I wished the second would stop coddling me like a child, but I couldn’t do or say anything and if she hadn’t kept on I might not have held on as long. I feel super lucky. I was mostly out of it, and don’t even remember the first responders who were firemen from just down the block (I hear they were all cute lol). I remember the ambulance techs though.