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Cant Get Over Fear
minnesotaice posted:
I had asthma as a child and then it went away for about 20 years. For the last 10 years, I have been able to control my asthma with Ventolin. I just recently (a week ago) started Symbicort and things are pretty good but I am fearful that I am going to have an attack and then what?? I am on the highest dose possible. The fear of having an attack is causing my muscles to clamp up which is NOT helping my breathing. Anyone else?
amcate responded:
I also have fear of an attack, but then I try to stay focused on what I can control. So, Ventolin is an albuterol inhaler. You could ask your doctor what they would like you to take in case the Ventolin fails. My doctor adds in ipratropium bromide in a meter dose inhaler form, and if it stills fails, then I take DuoNeb by nebulizer. I can piggy back up to 3 of them with 20 minutes between each one if needed. If I have to do that more than twice (a total of 6 nebulizer treatments) in any 24 hour period, then the doctor recommends I go to the emergency room. That's my plan. Ask your doctor for a plan of action if the Ventolin fails to reverse the attack.

If what you're asking is what if you have an attack, what other controllers you can take, again I'd ask your doctor for an action plan of what they want you to do. In my case, using the Ventolin twice a week or less is acceptable. If I consistently use it more than that, then they have me add in more inhaled corticosteroids. I'm already on the highest level of Advair, but they add in FloVent or perhaps Qvar on top of it. If I still take more than two doses in a week consistently, then it's a burst of prednisone.

Ask your doctor for an action plan if you haven't already. Sometimes I also find meditation helpful in getting my anxiety down.
sgbl88 responded:
Believe me, we all deal with a degree of fear. What can be worse than not being able to breathe? I am dealing with a certain situation right now that instills FEAR. Hopefully you will have the supportive, patient friends I have.

The best way to deal with fear is to educate yourself. Here is a link to the the articles WebMD has on asthma.
I use it as a quick reference.

I would recommend that you focus on learning how to recognize early symptoms of asthma problems before you are in an attack and what your triggers are.

The Hollywood portrayal of an asthma attack is a late stage attack. If you learn to treat the early signs of problems then you probably will not have to deal with a serious attack.

Asthma triggers are personal. No two asthmatics have exactly the same triggers. Learning common triggers is a good place to start.
I am not sure if these articles mention a few common triggers to watch for - fragrances and chemicals, smoke, weather changes, change in altitude...

If you develop respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose, even an ear infection (learned that one the hard way)), start treating asthma immediately, even if you do not think you are having asthma issues. Respiratory symptoms can quickly trigger serious asthma problems.

Once you are familiar with your triggers, you can discuss pre-treating for exposures with your doctor.

I hope that helps you. You can overcome the fear.

Take care and
God bless.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end... Ye shall seek me, and find [me]

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