I often hear comments such as “you just be really scared when you are having an asthma attack” or others once they realise how severe my asthma is ask me if I am either worried about having my next attack, or whether asthma will eventually kill me. The truth is no, this isn’t me lying or trying to sound all macho and brave.
The truth is that when I am having an asthma attack I feel quite calm, as I have described before I put myself in some kind of zone whereby I know what is happening, I can hear people talking to me but I don’t take much in, it is like I lock myself into my own little world, almost cocoon like, part of it is as though I am watching somebody else having the attack, I am sat there watching all this fuss and comotion while all I am doing is trying to concentrate on my breathing. I don’t ever feel as though I am scared, worried or starting to panic, in fact the only thing that I seem to be aware of in the madness of it all is that my family are getting upset and seeing me struggle. That is the only thing that worries me. I always remember the usual daft or annoying comment like “calm down” or “breathe” but apart from that I know what has happened to me but can’t always remember everything what is said to me. I will either try to breathe in time to a certain song which seems to help, whether I am playing the song in my mind or am actually listening to it, I often get strange looks when I am having an asthma attack and the first think that I want is my iPhone and earphones. For those who don’t know, the song in question is the Manic Street Preachers acoustic cover version of the Rihanna song “Umbrella”. Breathing in time to the beat always seems to help.
As to regards worrying about having an asthma attack, apart from trying to be sensible and planning things and at other times being cautious, taking into account things such as weather, I always try to lead a normal life, this isn’t always possible but I feel that I know my condition, I trust myself and I will act accordingly, if I was to constantly live in fear of my next attack I wouldn’t have a life. I know that I will have another attack, it maybe today, tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year but it will happen. To quote the former legendary Scunthorpe United manager, Nigel Adkins, all I can do is “Control the controllables”
The one thing that I do think about, but I wouldn’t say I worry about is the fact that the toll that my asthma and my medication has taken on my body will probably mean that I won’t live to a ripe old age, but who knows?
Whether it is just me who doesn’t worry or is scared about my asthma I don’t know, I am sure that we all think and cope differently. I wouldn’t consider myself as either a positive or negative person, obviously I have mood swings but I still try not to worry too much about things, what will be, will be, yes I try to be sensible and my life has changed as my asthma has become more severe but why worry?
Just to finish this piece I would like to add that during an attack:
- I am calm and don’t need to be told to calm down
- I am trying to breathe, telling me to breathe doesn’t help
- I aren’t worried, telling me not to worry would help even if I was worrying
- I know that sitting up will help
- Yes I have taken my Inhaler
If any of the above is constantly queeried I am more like to become wound up and angry, not worried!