Control your asthma or it will control YOU!


What and how it happened to me is still somewhat puzzling after all these years! I have had asthma my entire life and therefore, have had many asthma attacks previously. I have been hospitalized too many times to count as a child and an adult but, it has never
held me back. I have always “controlled” it, and was convinced I always could as I always had… or so I thought!

I’m sure it is hard for one to understand what it feels like to have an acute asthma attack or be in an asthmatic attack mode. There are no simulations one could do that would compare with the reality of an asthma attack where there is literally no air coming in or in my case, going out either. It is nearly impossible to explain the thoughts and feelings that litter and confuse your brain and cause one to ask questions such as “Can I have 1 more breathe” or “Am I going to die?”

But just for a second, imagine putting your head in a tub of water and having someone forcibly hold your head under water until you can no longer sustain and just before you take in water your head is pulled back out for one quick gasp of air before being shoved back into the water once again. If you repeat this process a thousand times against your will you may be able to identify somewhat with what I went through while enduring this particular asthma attack.

I remember telling my brother at the time as he called 911 to tell the operator to “send only an ambulance” and “absolutely no fire trucks or police” as I didn’t want to draw any attention from my neighbors. I was near death, but still cognizant enough to feel embarrassment over something I had no control over. It is funny to think about it now, but at the time I was very serious about this. In any case, within what seemed like an instant I heard what sounded like the sounds of the entire cities swat team, police force, fire trucks and every ambulance available, and they were all coming to my home and ultimately to my life’s
rescue. I first remember thinking, “There are too many people here in my house.” There were so many voices and feet rushing about and I couldn’t discern
what was being said about me. All I could think about through the confusion were my kids -and there they were, their young tearful eyes watching this
horrific scene as their father lay dying before them. My three girls were 14, 11 and 8 at the time.

The teams of people that were there immediately gave me high doses of oxygen, placed me on a gurney and rushed me into the ambulance. I will never forget looking into the fear within my children’s tear soaked eyes as I was whisked away amidst all the noise, fear, strangers, and chaos with sirens blasting down the street. Before being taken away, I remember being wheeled out and I fought out the words to my children that “everything was going to be okay and gave them all a traditional family “thumbs up” signal as I expected be home shortly. Unfortunately, my initial hopes did not come true. What I had initially hoped for and what came to be my reality are two different worlds. I will always wonder what really happened the evening on June 8th, 2006.

My reality now is I have Action Myoclonus, take over 25 pills per day to control my symptoms and am partially paralyzed at times as a result. I have been in a wheel chair for nearly 6 years with the luxury of being able to utilize a walker in or at certain places. Every aspect of mine and my children’s lives has changed forever.

Know that Asthma can change your life and end yours if not taken seriously (as it did mine)! Even despite having my background and sensitivity to asthma, it still flares up. I’ve been hospitalized twice since 2006 for asthma related issues and every cold or flu brings upon a wrath of asthmatic attacks where I am prone to using an anti-biotic and steroid medications to help that I always have on hand. I never go vacationing without my nebulizer or “epipin” for emergency’s and my inhaler is always in my pocket for psychological help more so than for asthma help throughout the year.

Asthma is a killer disease that affects your lungs. It is one of the most common long-term diseases of children. Asthma causes repeated episodes of wheezing,
breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, but you will have asthma attacks
only when something bothers your lungs.

In most cases, I don’t believe it is known what causes asthma nor is it known how to cure it. It is generally believed by many know that if someone in your family has asthma, you are also more likely to have it.

You can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an attack, staying away from things that trigger
an attack, and following the advice of your doctor or other medical professionals. When you
control your asthma:

  • you won’t have symptoms such as wheezing or coughing,
  • you’ll sleep better,
  • you won’t miss work or school,
  • you can take part in all physical activities,
  • you won’t have to go to the hospital!
  • You may not have to die!

I ask you… are you controlling your Asthma?