Taking my breath for granted

Breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out.

It’s such a normal action we don’t register that we are doing it, until the moment we struggle.

Asthma is something that has played a big part in my life for nearly 16 years and if I’m honest maybe more. I remember being at school running the 1500 metres and wondering why I just couldn’t catch a breath. I was incredibly fit but at times it required real effort to control my breathing. Yet it was when I was pregnant with my eldest the real problems began, it seems my lungs didn’t have the strength to work for two people, without extra help.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a condition that affects the airways – the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. When a person with asthma comes into contact with an asthma trigger, the muscle around the walls of the airways tightens so that the airway becomes narrower. The lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell. Often sticky mucus or phlegm is produced. All these reactions cause the airways to become narrower and irritated – leading to the symptoms of asthma.

My asthma has a few triggers, stress being a big one. But also a simple cold can bring on an attack.

It’s strange the fear that an attack can breed. One moment I’m fine the next I’m fighting for a breath. I’ve been hospitalised due to asthma but thankfully it’s been under control for a while.

Until yesterday, maybe I should have been expecting it a few warning signs had been about. Pain in my chest, the walk up the stairs feeling like a mountain climb .

Yet I was still surprised when eating dinner I couldn’t catch a breath, I tried to control the breathing, staying calm, breathing in deep but no the attack was in full battle mode.

For what seemed a long time I struggled, my husband was making plans for a hospital visit, my daughters in tears with worry. When finally the inhaler started to take effect the breathing began to slow and become easier.

I was so exhausted, I fell into a deep sleep, only to be woken a few hours later with chest pains.

Let’s just say the night was long and the doctors appointment booked.

So many of us take breathing for granted yet the number of people with asthma is rising.

5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12).

There were 1,131 deaths from asthma in the UK in 2009 (12 were children aged 14 years or under).

On average, 3 people per day or 1 person every 8 hours dies from asthma.

These Statistics are frightening and also a great wake up call for me to sort out an asthma review.

Last night scared me.

All my information and statistics were found here asthmaUK

It’s a great site for more information.

One thought on “Taking my breath for granted

  1. Pat Yirrell

    Poor Sara, I hope you are felling better. I was not diagnosed till in my forties, I had always had a sharp pain when running in games at school. Funnily enough it was my Daughter’s diagnosis that led me to realise it was what I was suffering from.I don’t think I am asbad asyou though, as I’ve never been hospitalised. Son was later diagnose, but he thinks he has out grown it. I do wish he would keep an inhaler to hand though just in case. Household dust is one of my triggers, unfortunately thee is always quite a bit of that about.


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