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Living with Asthma for nearly 60 years !

I was diagnosed with Asthma when I was just 3. This was back in the early ’60’s and well before inhalers. I could tell you horror stories of treatments tried by doctors who actually visited (yes, they actually came to your home) our home to see what they could do. Anyways, from the very first medications (which was a yellow liquid that smelled like bananas but sure did not taste like them) to a pill (I don’t remember the pill’s name either but it got your heart beating so fast!) that did not work at all… to what I call my miracle drug (Advair 500/50 diskus). The improvements in treatments with medications, to me figuring out how to meditate early on in life to make it through countless battles of severe attacks, was astonishing to me. We’ve come a long way! There is just one thing that really bothers me about asthma, just once I want to have others, who do not believe that asthma is real or a condition that it can actually be life threatening and know, just how it feels to be in the grips of a severe attack! The best way, I can explain it to others is, it’s like breathing through a cocktail straw and never being able to get any other air in but through that tiny straw … over and over as seconds feel like days till you feel the very life drain from yourself. I have been hospitalized many many times through out the years for severe asthma attacks. Sometimes, even family members don’t understand either. That really hurts too 🙁 . Staying away from sibling’s homes because they have 3 dogs and a cat and hearing “oh that is just stupid, animals can’t make that big of a difference.” Or to not go on a hike on the trails because the humidity is 98% and seeing the disappointed look of others toward you for not going along. I am so glad that I found this site just to have a place to vent and to know that I am not alone feeling like many others that just don’t think that asthma is a ” real ” condition! Thank you Asthma.net, you are making a difference !! 🙂

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Starshine
    2 years ago

    Hi Leon,

    I apologise if my previous comment sounded a bit abrupt. I thought it had always been a well known fact. I know inhalers of today weren’t around of course, but they were different kind of inhalers like up until the 80s, asthmatics had herbal cigarettes, which were inhalers, but they got banned, most likely because it would have encouraged them to smoke real cigarettes and by that time, ventolin inhalers had vastly taken over.

    Could you please delete my comment as the way I said it sounded a bit rude.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi (again) Starshine. No need to apologize, your comment did not sound abrupt to me at all!! In fact, the information you provided encouraged me to look up a bit more on the historical information regarding inhalers. It’s all good, Starshine, and al welcome!!
    We appreciate your input!!
    Warm regards,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Starshine
    2 years ago

    Hi Leon,

    I apologise if my previous comment sounded a bit abrupt.

  • Starshine
    2 years ago

    Uh actually, inhalers were actually invented as way back as the 1700s. Nothing as we know it now, but they existed. The rescue inhaler was invented in 1957. You didn’t get an inhaler because you didn’t get the right treatment.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Starshine and thanks for letting us know a little bit about the history of today’s modern inhaler. In view of your comment, I thought you might find this reference to be interesting too, as it provides support for your most welcome statement: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/techniques/inhalers
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Richard Faust
    2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story Laurie. It certainly can be difficult to educate others on the realities and seriousness of asthma. In this article one of our experts looks at what she refers to as the asthma stigma, including how the seriousness of asthma is often downplayed in popular culture: https://asthma.net/living/the-stigma/.

    Unfortunately, these misrepresentations can lead to the popularization of myths that even family and friends internalize: https://asthma.net/living/10-myths-worth-noting/.

    On the positive side, as you mention, treatments have and are continuing to improve. In addition, technology makes communities, such as this one, that improve the sharing of information and support possible. Thanks for joining the conversation and enhancing the community. Best, Richard (Asthma.net Team)

  • Breathinstephen
    2 years ago

    Hi Laurie, I believe the liquid you’re referring to was called Quiberon. I remember it very well. Had a sickening sweet smell of bananas. It was actually theophylline mixed with a cough expectorant (guaifenesin). It was nasty stuff, could sure make you nauseated. They still make it today.

    The pills you took might have been Tedral? Was a combination of ephedrine and pnenobarbitol. I took both of these drugs, It’s amazing anyone survived.

  • Laurie author
    2 years ago

    The article your suggested was informative Richard . Thank you !

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Laurie and welcome! We appreciate you sharing your experiences of 60 years with asthma, it sounds like you’ve faced a good number of challenges! We’re glad you find our website to be so helpful. I thought you might want to check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AsthmaDotNet/ You will find that in our online community, you are never alone!
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Glad to hear it, Laurie. I’m sure you’ll be glad you signed up there.
    Warmly, Leon (site moderator)

  • Laurie author
    2 years ago

    joined Leon and Thank you ! 🙂

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