caret icon Back to all discussions

How Do You Remember Life-Saving Procedures in a Severe Asthma Attack?

For those of y'all who might not be familiar with me, I'm a somewhat recently diagnosed asthmatic. My most severe symptoms arise when I get respiratory viruses. I recently got over COVID and a few days in I ended up having a severe attack. I'm prescribed 2 puffs of Albuterol every 4 to 6 hours as needed as my current classification is mild intermittent asthma. I had a severe attack one night. I used my inhaler, 2 puffs every 4 to 6 hours as needed, and it didn't help much. I woke my Mom up at 5am when I couldn't take it anymore. I told her I did my 2 puffs and I was repeating it every 4 to 6 hours but it wasn't helping. I thought I couldn't do more than that. I was fearing an ER visit, which I didn't want because that would be scary. When I woke her up we did a COVID test and it was positive. This attack lasted multiple hours and it was so bad I had trouble using my inhaler which didn't help matters. I couldn't get a strong enough cough to expel anything for the longest time, and I didn't want to cough because it hurt. Anyway, the point is, I forgot the 10 puff rule. I know what it is, I just couldn't remember it. I wasn't super panicked because I know that would make the attack worse, but I didn't know what to do. I remembered it after the fact. I'm just wondering how do you remember the 10 puff rule or other things you can do to save yourself when you're having a severe asthma attack? My Mom sat with me and made sure I was okay while this attack was at its worst, but I could have done more. Sorry for the lengthy post explaining things, but I honestly have been scared for the next time this happens.

  1. Thank you again for sharing your personal experiences, and for your great questions. This is yet another great one. And I have to say that I know exactly what you are explaining here, as I have gone through the same thing myself. During those severe attacks, it is often difficult to remember how to take care of yourself -- which is when it comes in handy having someone who can help you, such as your mother. I do have a tip that may help you. Have you heard of Written Asthma Action Plans??? (https://asthma.net/search?s=asthma%20action%20lans). You can use this link to learn more if you aren't familiar. Although, these are written plans you create with the assistance of your doctor that help you decide what actions to take when you are experiencing asthma symptoms. I do know many asthmatics who find these very, very helpful. Perhaps one would benefit you, if you don't have one already. John. asthma.net community moderator

    1. I may know a lot, but I certainly don't know everything. This is one of the things I definitely didn't know about. I thought an asthma action plan was as simple as "use rescue inhaler when symptoms happen" and I was doing really good with that. I will definitely talk to my doctor about that. I have like way too many medical appointments a year for various things, it gets exhausting. I am like totally burnt out on medical appointments for this year, and like all the other years. That's unrelated though. But the point is, I learned from my experience with COVID.


  2. Hi again, Wild Tech, and thanks for your candor in sharing your recent medical history here with the community. I see my colleague, , has already responded with a great suggestion about using an 'action plan' for asthma in concert with your physician. I concur with everything he has said. I do hope you look further into this suggestion, as I believe it will help you with exactly what you are looking to do moving forward.
    I also wanted to say you are indeed a fortunate young woman, to have such a devoted, compassionate, and knowledgeable Mother. I believe you mentioned in a previous post that she is a nurse (is that correct?). Either way, having her for a very strong support system is invaluable in managing this disease successfully.
    Wishing you well!
    Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

    1. It's okay. You didn't know. No harm done

    2. Thanks, Wild Tech - I appreciate that.
      Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

  3. In the meantime, while you think about putting together an asthma action plan with your doctor, I wonder if it would be helpful to have a notes file with all the things you want to remember in an attack -- even little comforting affirmations. That way, when you are struggling all you have to do is open up and read the file from the comfort of wherever you are. An asthma note to self, so to speak. -Melissa, asthma.net team

    or create an account to reply.