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Jeez. Asthma sufferers etc. help!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by popinfresh, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Well. That was scary.

    My girlfriend has asthma, and just before she had an attack. She started wheezing a bit, so I asked if she needed her puffer, by the time I got it and turned around. She was saying she was fine in very slurred words. I gave her the ventalin and she had two puffs, but the puffer is pretty much empty, so she didn't get much. Her eyes started drooping and then she just fainted/passed out and leant sideways onto me. I had to shake her and call her name loudly to get her to even move (She was limp for about 5-10 seconds).. She then kept passing out for a second or two for about 4 more times. I got her to sit up and kept trying to get her to talk and stay concious. It took her a while, but she finally started taking deep breaths and gained ability to slightly breath again. I gave her puffer a really good shake and she got a real good shot of ventalin out of it.

    So she seems to be fine now (she's sleeping) and i'm just checking up on her regularly. I'm just kind of worried about the morning, and if she will need vent when she wakes up or during the night (Theres no more here, or at her house, and it's late at night and no chemists are open)..

    Anyways.. If i'm in this situation again, what's the best thing to do? My next move would of been to call an ambulance if she didn't get that ventalin.. But in the meantime, what's the best I can do for her? Should she be sitting up or lying down? Breathing through nose or mouth? I offered a drink, but then realised something cold would be bad.

    So yeah... I had a search on the net straight after, but didn't come up with much. Any asthma sufferers out there? Or anyone with tips on what to do? It sure was freaking scary..

  2. Im an asthma sufferer and i havent had an attack in 10years but heres what you can do to prevent/help

    The best thing is to call an ambulance , but give her puff on the ventolin , more than 2 though.

    ask her doctor for a "preventer" inhaler such as becotide , you usually take them in the morning and evening.

    get a nubuliser (s??) , like a oxygen machine but u dose them with steroids to help open the airways back up.

    hope this helps.
  3. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hmm, i'l think i'll get her to start using a preventer.. and just make sure I have a spare ventolin around my house.

    Any tips for breathing/posture/things I can get her etc? Or is there really nothing much I can do?
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yeah. Don't strangle her.
    Not much you can change. I don't think it matters whether she's standing or sitting or lying.
    maybe the best would be lying on her back. That way you are not constraining that little air that is going in.

    I always have one with me, though I've not had an attack in many years. If it was more frequnet, I'd keep one with me and one more at my home and whereever I spend some time (like our weekend-house)
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    And some more things to get attacks less frequent.

    I used to have medium/medium-severe asthma - sometimes I had attacks daily. Not anymore. It's been years since I had the last, and that has been because of 12-minutes-running at school.

    Swimming. Even better, holding your breath and swimming underwater. You can't imagine how much this helps.

    Some of my doctors said kayak/kenu or any other similar rowing.

    Breathing exercises And when you have an attack, take slow, deep breaths, even hold them down a bit - and don't panic!

    No smoking

    No sudden phisycal extortions (like longer running).
    I can now run a few hundred meters without an attack, but a few kilometers surely brings them back. Take it slow.

    Hope this helps.
  6. matt bass

    matt bass

    Apr 28, 2003
    Staffs, England
    17 year old asthmatic here.

    Have been in hospital 3 time in the space of 6 weeks last year, no fun i tell you. I defo recomend exercise, swimming, running = healthier (well less likely to have an attack).

    make sure she visits her doctor to get reassessed, it does sound like she needs some preventatives to stop these attacks.

    But hey, all this has already been said, im just reiterating through personal experience.

  7. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hmm, thanks for the tips. She doesn't really excercise (walks occasionally though) and she doesn't smoke unless it's at a party (And doesn't smoke much).

    I think i'll encourage her by taking her on walks with me etc. When summer comes around we'll do more swimming etc too.

    Thanks guys ;)
  8. popinfresh, tell the girlfriend that the cigs have gotta GO. Zero tolerance. Everyone I know that has had asthma and smoked, even as infrequently as you describe your girlfriend, improved markedly as soon as they stopped.

    Also, if you smoke, either stop (recommended for YOUR health) or make yourself smoke outside of the house, because second-hand smoke DOES affect asthmatics.

    I was married to one for 13 years, and got to know the drill very well. She got the flu once, and I thought she was going to DIE. :(
  9. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Oh and tests have shown that ocassional smoking is even worse
  10. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    I'm going to post something that may be controversial. Moderators feel free to remove it if absolutely necessary, and please...everyone feel free to debate it. I am not a doctor.

    There has been quite a bit in the news of late regarding medicinal use of cannabis. I happen to know of someone that uses it regularly to control their asthma, and reports to have not had an attack in years. Although it is a smoke, it is a known brochiodialator.
  11. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    Exercise and preventer inhalers will help. I've been dealing with my asthma since 5th grade. It's been a few years since my last attack, and I haven't had a really bad one for almost 10 years now. Cardiovascular work definately helps and no cigs.

    What I learned with CPR is that laying a person on their back and (gently) tipping their head back and the jaw forward will open the air passage. Supporting their neck with a towel or something similar will allow them to stay like that comfortably until they recover/the ambulance arrives.

    Aside from that, definately make sure you have at least one spare inhaler after the one you have now, it might seem a little excessive, but it's better safe than sorry and you can avoid instances like what you experienced.
  12. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    I'm with Gard. Zero tolerance on the smoking. That is serious. Also, I had redeveloped asthma a few years ago, and had to take an Albuteral inhaler several times a day -- way too much. MY doc prescribed Advair, a preventative. I began to take it about three years ago and don't even own an Albuteral inhaler anymore - and I play sports. Actually, I rarely take the Advair any more. It did the trick.
  13. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I have asthma, it's been getting better my whole life. It only bothers me when I have a cold or when I do alot of physical excercise (like running/jogging). I have a puffer (or inhaler..wtv) and whenever I feel asthma-ish, I just take it.
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    My better half has Asthma. When we were dating, she lived in a tiny place that had no ventilation, and had carpet and curtains everywhere. I'm not even asthmatic (though I am slightly claustrophobic) and I found it hard to breath at times, especially on a hot day. She was always on the Ventolin, and no amount of preventer could keep the attacks away.

    Nowadays we live together in a place that has wooden floors and blinds instead of curtains. She hasn't had an asthma attack since, and rarely if ever needs her Ventolin.

    The trick is to keep the dustmites at bay. Dustmites are know asthma triggers, so don't give them anywhere to breed. We haven't done anything about the bed or pillows yet, but we're already seeing a vast improvement.
  15. Yeah, the mite-proof covers for your pillows and mattress will make a HUGE improvement, get them Pete! Did that during my ex's & I attempt to eliminate as much of the asthma attack triggers. They made a big difference.

    The only thing we didn't do was get rid of the cats. The doc told us they hadda go, and we told the doc he was more likely to go than they were, and that ended that.

    But, after everything else, she was much better, even with the cats.

    She doesn't have the cats anymore, I do, so she's probably even better, although we don't talk now and I don't know for sure.
  16. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Thanks for all the help guys.

    Gard - You actually brought up a interesting point. And i'll bring it up with her tomorow. Smoking. She used to smoke when she was younger (year 8/9) and it was in that time that she had her last serious attack and was in hospital for two weeks, recovering from overdose of Ventolin (given at the hospital mainly) and the initial attack.

    She only started smoking occasionally again (I mean, one or two at the occasional party, say every two weeks) but only after a month or two of that, she had this attack. So i'll talk to her about it.

    We usually try to keep the place dust free, though my room has been getting messy lately (Where she had the attack).

    DLS: Thanks for the Advair tip. She's going to the doc's tomorow or the day after to get re-assesed and blood test. So i'll tell her to ask the GP about it.

    Thanks to all the others you put it, especially about the laying down thing..

    P.S Against will - I'm usually the only one who smokes weed, though she has had a J once or twice. From her point of view, I don't think she'd want to try it. Interesting point though, I think Marijuana is definently over rated concerning how dangerous it is.. But that's another subject ;)
  17. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I had severe asthma as a kid and occasionally it pops up to remind me that it's there.

    That sounds like a REALLY fast acting attack that you described, Popinfresh. Every time I've had it happen, it got steadily worse over a matter of hours or even days.

    If she's passing out because of the attack and Ventolin has not helped, you need to get her to a hospital. It's easier to breathe sitting up than it is lying down. You also might try giving her a cup of coffee - caffeine helps a bit with asthma.

    Are these attacks regular? If so, she should probably be seeing a specialist.

    As for the cannabis, I used to smoke it once in a while and it would make my asthma much worse for several days. The bad effect it had on my lungs was the main reason I stopped. I guess it has a different effect on everyone.
  18. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    Uh, actually Basshole suggested that. I've stopped smoking naughty plants because it could cause my asthma to work up. Though the after-effects of the cigarettes I smoked were significantly worse for me.

    Body types and how smoking affects them is different, but I'm with Gard that smoking (in all forms) is bad, m'kay.
  19. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Woops, sorry for the wrong quote Will.

    She went to the GP and all seems to be fine. She's got some preventative now as well as ventolin, and i've got a spare inhaler at my place. She going to get some more tests done though, just to be sure. One good thing about this experience, is that whilst she was there the doc said she could get desensitised from a few allergies which cause her asthma (Inlcuding cats, which we have in the house) and also to help with her eczema. Hopefully it all works for her, even if it's just a little bit.

    I cleaned up my room too (That made mum happy =/ ), so i'm hoping she won't have another serious one in a while.

    Thanks for all the help guys :)
  20. Preventers dont work for everybody. never worked for me.

    when I was young I attended these classes that taught me to breathe properly and control my breathing in case of an attack with no ventilan nearby.

    the thing you have to do, is get her to control her breathing, breathe slow and deep in through the nose, out through the mouth. it will be dificult at first cause theres always the tendency to breathe fast and shallow because of the panic factor.

    hmmm if you dont have a nebulizer, fill a deepish pan with boiled water, if you have any, add some mint or eucalipt leaves to it and get her to put her head over it, cover it with a towel to keep the vapor in, and make sure she doesnt get burnt. once again, slow deep breathing is the best key. the mint/eucalipt helps clear the passages.
    It takes a while to control the breathing, but it works. if it doesnt, then definitly call an ambulance...

    always have more than one puffer around the house.. I always buy 2 or 3 at a time, one for the car and 2 to have at home.

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