Asthma Phrase Book

Here is my guide to words and phrases either said by or said to asthmatics and what their actual meanings are (Please note, some are more light hearted than others):

Battle Scars – Bruises and marks on the body from IV Lines, injections etc

When an asthmatic says “Nellie is sat on my chest” – I have a tight chest


Costa – Hospital


When a doctor says “we need to take you ABG, it is a little bit painful” – We are going to attempt to stick a great big needle into your artery, it will hurt like hell and it will probably take us about 10 attempts to get it right, you will then end up battered and bruised.


When as asthmatic says “The little green men are taking me away” – I’m on my way to hospital

When a doctor says “I can’t hear any wheeze” – I don’t know what I’m doing


Prison – Hospital (Intensive care of High dependency)

When an asthmatic says “they are gong for a smoke” – Going on the nebuliser


When a doctor says “Can you just blow into this peak flow metre for me” – I know that you can’t breathe but I want to torture you!


PF – Peak flow

When a doctor asks “I you sure that it is asthma and not a panic attack” – I don’t know what I’m doing

Little Blue – Ventolin


When an asthmatic says “The escape is on” – I will be discharged from hospital later today but it will take approximately 8 hours for pharmacy to sort out my medication and for the doctor to complete my discharge letter

Sats – Oxygen saturation point (percentage)


When a doctor says “Just concentrate on your breathing” – I don’t know what I’m doing

When an asthmatic is told in the A&E department “You will be kept in but there will be a short wait for a bed on the ward” – Make yourself comfortable, you are going to be sat here for hours.


Candy or Sweets – Prednisolone

When a doctor says “I’ll just get my colleague” – I don’t know what I’m doing

During a Spiro test the asthmatic is told “Keep going, keep going” – Keep going until you pass out!

When a doctor says “Your sats are fine” – I don’t know what I’m doing

When an asthmatic is told “I’m going to start you on a course of prednisolone” – You are now going to put on loads of weight and you will never sleep again!


Neb – Nebuliser

When a doctor says “stay calm” –  I don’t know what I’m doing


When as asthmatic says they are “Captured” – They are in hospital

SOB – Short of Breath

When an asthmatic in hospital is asked “It’s white and no sugar isn’t it” – So you are back in again!

When a doctor says “Get some sleep” – Lay in bed wide awake all night


When a doctor asks “Have you taken your inhaler ?” – I am stupid!

NFA – Near Fatal Attack

When a doctor says “Calm Down” – I am Stupid









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