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Real Patients: Attacks


Real Patients
I deployed to Afghanistan and when I came back, the breathing issues is what started after we were doing squadron PT’s. It was literally around a year after I had returned. I could run at the time, you know, a mile and a half in nine, ten minutes. And then I couldn’t run anymore after that.

I can remember one time we were doing a five k and I forgot my inhaler and I had an asthma attack about half way back and I had to walk the rest of the way back. Took me about an hour.

Most people around me they kind of can hear it coming out where they can just, sounds like I’m, you know, gasping for breath.

They would see me always on the ground breathing very heavily.

It kind of felt like somebody had put a plastic bag over my head or something.

I start with a cough and then the cough will get worse. And then I feel like I just cannot catch my breath.

My dog hasn’t been for a walk for a while, outside. And it was nice, dusk, and evening. And it’s usually calm and easy and not too bad except for the flies coming around the corner. And I, my dog took off and I could feel the pressure building up in my chest and I feel the burning sensation and it started expanding like a balloon. And I could only do half breaths trying to keep up with my dog.

You can help those attacks obviously with your inhaler. But once you get an attack, it really doesn’t, you know, stop just because you use your inhaler.

When I’m starting to feel poorly, my airways are starting to get tight. Just even bringing the laundry up the stairs from the laundry room can wind me. And I feel like I can’t catch my breath just going up two flights of stairs.

Basically I have to be fast enough so that at about fifty percent or so of my max speed, I can finish my PT test in time. I can run fast enough at about fifty percent speed. If I go faster then that, it is going to trigger my asthma and I will have an attack.

If I try to do too much, I can end up having a full-blown asthma attack and ending up in the hospital.

I always have to have an inhaler on me. Because you never know when you’re going to have an asthma attack. If could be that coworker walking by with that certain perfume that triggers it. It could be hey someone decided to spray the deodorizing spray can to eliminate the bad smell in the bathroom and it could be something that sets you off.

Is this going to stop? Is this going to keep going? I just want to feel better. I want to be able to breathe and do, go about my daily activities without having them hindered by okay, am I going to be out of breath by the time I get into the store? Or I go up the stairs?