I have had severe asthma attacksthat I’ve tried to hide because being seen as “needing help” is a problem for me. Having a severe asthma attack and not telling anyone isn’t a death wish. It’s a mind-bending self solution that I’ll be fine... I will be fine.
Camping with asthma
I have had all day asthma attacks where after a certain period of time and probably lack of oxygen I go completely insane. I race someone or I do some activity that pushes me over the edge. And if I’d resolved this earlier by telling someone, "Hello! I can’t breathe!" I’d have a much happier day... with less drama.
But there I was crying my asthmatic-self to sleep in a tent surrounded by campfires and smoke and I still refuse to tell anyone. I went probably two days and ended up destroying the campsite and trying to literally run away. Sounds ridiculous, I see that now, but at the time I’d been having an asthma attack for two days (lack of oxygen? 🤷🏽). I’ve thought so much about whether I was looking for sympathy or glory or whatever. I don’t think so, at least, I hope I wasn’t. Like I said before I didn’t want to seem weak.
Wanting to fit in
I have DOSED myself before taking tests to see how bad my asthma is to fool everyone that I’m fine. The only person I’m fooling is myself. What idiot tells people they are fine when everything is absolutely not under control? ME! Being asthmatic has stigmatization to it that you just feel like a useless person. You want to be sporty or active but doing it could result in being unable to breathe. Everyone is having fun running to the finish line, and you could win the race but you’ll probably end up hooked up to a medical device, but heck it... I’m gonna win. You want to show that you're powerful, you're capable, and that you're just better than everyone else.
But you have asthma and you end up in the medical tent surrounded by people worried about you because most first aiders can’t help you. Have you thought or imagined having a terrified person, child, a human being that has realized the problem all on their own and you look worried? Their over-concern is, even more, stressful because generally when you get help, you get help. But your asthma pump might as well be a slice of cake for the good it’s doing and what you need are steroids.
What works for me
I don’t need oxygen strapped to my face it will not help. I can’t breathe out, so what on earth is this tube going to do to help?
Yup... a quick fix is hot black coffee, peace, and quiet. I’m not lying- this works!
Training my lungs
But back to the point of this post. Train your lungs in a safe way. Keep active in a safe way. At the first sign of trouble speak up and ask for friggen help!! Please look after yourself and stay safe.
This "I’m fine" thing has led to long-term psychological damage in my opinion. I don’t trust people. I don’t want people to know my true feelings. I am jealous of active people. I am terrified of the idea that I will need help. Make the choice today. Choose life and let your friends and family help you. It’s normal to help. It’s fine to help. It’s okay to get help.
Now, I only hope I can take this advice myself. As I write this, I am having a mild attack and still can’t ask for help 😭.
Have you experienced a collapsed lung?