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How do I get used to dealing with asthma?

I have a problem with asthma denial. I think I've probably always had asthma - I have never been able to tolerate exercise. My mom always acted like I was being a sissy. My sister had asthma, "real" asthma, and she never heard me wheeze, so there's no way I could have a problem. Then about ten years ago I had thyroid cancer, and during the surgery I aspirated. I was down to about 10% lung capacity and had to be on 100% O2 for several days. I believe this did some damage, but honestly, I was just so grateful it healed at all, so I didn't really think about it.

Well, it has gotten worse in the last few years and I'm supposed to use a daily inhaler. It helps a great deal, but even with all my other medical issues, I can't get used to this one. I feel like the denial of it was just so drilled into me, I don't know how to get rid of it. I really need to, so I can take charge of my life and take better care of myself. But it's also something I tend to downplay, probably because I've got so many issues, you know, the more problems you have, the more likely a doctor will stop taking you seriously. That's been my experience, at least.

I do have bigger problems, but I feel like if I could really get a handle on the breathing issue, I would probably feel better generally. And to do that, I need to stop feeling guilty about refilling my inhaler (it's expensive).

Sorry if this is rambly. My neurons are acting up. Just trying to get my head on straight and the only person who's supporting me is my husband. My primary care doctor diagnosed me because my symptoms were pretty obvious, but I don't have a specialist. I don't know if I need one and I'm so afraid of being shot down because I'm not having life-threatening asthma attacks. I did have one seriously scary episode in a hotel room that was full of chemical smells. My parents refused to change rooms. I used my rescue inhaler and Benadryl but by early morning I had to go sit in the car. Ugh!. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like this. I just don't know what to do about it.

  1. Hi , and thanks for your post,
    You have certainly come to the right place, as we are all about all things asthma and asthma related. We have an entire community which understands how you feel and knows what you are going through.

    I am hopeful that others in the community will see your post and share their own personal experiences managing this condition.

    We do have a wealth of material published right here, on our asthma.net community website, which covers different aspects of your question. For starters, I thought you might find it helpful to look over this article on the topic you have expressed concern for. For your convenience, here is a link to that article: https://asthma.net/living/whats-it-like-living-with-an-invisible-illness/.

    Wishing you well,
    Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

    1. Hi , take your asthma seriously. Just because you don’t wheeze doesn’t mean you don’t have asthma. I wish they would explain this to some drs especially er drs. I’m so tired of having them tell me I’m having an anxiety attack. The older we get the more problems we may have and if a dr doesn’t understand you have more than one health issue find a better dr! You know your body better than they do.


      1. Hi again, Rjanssen, and thanks for chiming in here with your own support and encouragement. Your input and feedback is very much welcomed.
        Warmly, Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

    2. Even mild asthma can get lifethreatening, because lifethreatening attacks are not only for those with severe asthma. That being said, it doesn't have to. Having your rescue inhaler close to you all the time and taking the LABA are the most important things here, so don't feel guilty about it. As someone who is from a country with free healthcare, I don't exactly know the costs, but I am quite sure about a few days in ICU, a ride in the ambulance and getting intubated might be even more expensive - but honestly, it is horrible that you have to pay medications and hospital stays out of your pocket.


      I am sorry you have to go through that. It will get worse from time to time, but it gets better as well.


      For me, exercising was very helpful. Yes, it can be hard at times, but if you are able to, I'd recomend start doing something. You will build ab endurance which will help you in the long run, and it just feels good. It really is a mental health thing as well. Just don't start with a marathon. Going for a walk, then a slow jog-walk-thing and finally a run can help you with your confidence and is very healty, as long as you communicate with your doctors, know your limits and feel good about it.

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