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Adamantly Afraid of Asthma
July 4, 2007
11:12 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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Just recently, I was diagnosed with asthma. Which came as a shock to me, because never have I had asthma symptoms a day in my life. Then I remembered, I smoked from 18-23 and have only been off cigarettes 2 years, which still makes me susceptible to lung problems.

First I was given prednisone and it caused steroid induced psychosis, which they hospitalized me for. So I was taken off of it and it has seemed like after taking that medicine, my nerves have not been the same.

Also, it didn't help that I had an acute asthma attack a few weeks before that which almost caused me to die. My father thought it was an anxiety attack and when we got to my dr, the doctor was furious with my father and immediately had me taken to the ER because the asthma attack was acute. Since that day, I have had problems with anxiety and I think it may be some post traumatic stress, because I sometimes lack the ability to think rationally, while other times I'm OK.

Now, the Dr. has given me Lorazepam for anxiety because sometimes I was having panic attacks which can mimic asthma attacks. Also, the Lorazepam helps me to be able to think clearly and feel normal. The only problem is that lorazepam cannot be taken for more than 16 weeks or there is a strong possibility of becoming addicted.

I am seeing a therapist for anxiety. What should I do once the medication is gone? Why am I so nervous behind asthma? Does anyone understand what I'm going through?

July 4, 2007
11:55 pm
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fantas
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Mr. Anonymous, I am so sorry that you are dealing with all this at once. It's very understandable that you would be anxious after a nearly fatal asthma attack. That had to have some profound impact on your psyche. Perhaps you can look underneath the fear and get comfortable with the fact that you have asthma but this does not mean it's fatal. Many people live with asthma and have quite normal lives. Try and learn all you can about asthma.

I think you might introduce some cognitive therapy techniques to deal with the anxiety am sure your therapist can help you with this. You can also introduce an exercise regiment into your daily routine. This has really helped me deal with anxiety in the past.

I am a strong supporter of natural medicine so I'd have to add that you should perhaps consult with a naturapathic dr. to see how they can aid your body to heal naturally. Many will work together with your MD. Sometimes the regular doctors are a little mistrusting of the naturapath way but that never stopped me from investigating. I send you lots of healing energy...Stay positive 🙂

July 5, 2007
12:35 pm
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mamacinnamon
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HI Glad you are here.

I am an asthma sufferer, as well as my daughter. I think education on asthma is the key to controlling it.

This is a PDF of Understanding Asthma:
The Asthma Center Education
and Research Fund Manual. You'll find it at...
asthmacenter.com/AsthmaManual.pdf

I think relaxation techniques will help you w/ your panic attacks. I used to get panic attacks and my doc taught me the relaxation technique. It is easy to learn and basically is tensing each area of muscle and then letting it relax while breathing in a certain way. I can post it if you want it.

The thing about the Lorazepam not bein taken for more than 4 months. I have been on it 2 years, but I take it as needed. I called my pharmacist and he said the thing w/ long term use of Lorazepam is that it is addictive. Other than that there are no long term affects it will have on the body that he was aware of.

I hope the info on that site will be useful for you and will ease some of your concerns.

July 5, 2007
12:37 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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I agree with mamacinammon. relaxation is helpful. I 've found alfalfa tablets to help my symptoms when an attack comes on too.

July 5, 2007
12:55 pm
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chimama
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I am in a similar boat,as I have a heart condition,and the 1 o 2 times it flared up,it was serious and that has caused me to live life like im a fragile piece of glass,afraid to do anything that may set it off.I have awful panic attacks and am nervous alot.I see a therapist,I journal,I take ativan as needed.This is all helping somewhat.I am afraid to be alone due to my "what if" thinking,so its a constant struggle.

July 5, 2007
1:29 pm
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on my way
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Hi Mr. A,

May I suggest asking your doctor for Lexapro, or a beta blocker blood pressure medicine. Lexapro is good if panic attacks and stress are immediate, and the beta blocker bp medicine is good for panic attacks if the stress is deep and on-going.

I was having severe kidney infections, which made me feel as if i was going to die when i had an attack....they scared me to death and made me so ill. The last one that I thought I was having was actually a panic attack...fear over the same symptoms but not an infection. I was having horrible panic attacks anytime, anywhere. My dr. put me on Lexapro...and it works beautifully. He only gave me Lorazepam if the panic attacks became too bad...I have not had to take it at all because the Lexapro is doing the job very well.

Good luck to you..try not to worry so much. A lot of asthmatics have the disease due to psychological reasons as well...not being able to figure out how to live life the way you want too, or feelinglike life is choking you...try to have some fun and relax!

July 8, 2007
9:52 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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Thankz all for your replies and encouragement. My anxiety attacks have been few and far between now. Also, my body is getting back to normal after having taken prednisone and encountered steroid induced psychosis. I have been back to church and have prayed daily and meditated constantly on positive things. Now, it seems that I am going to be all right.

I learned some things about asthma. For one, asthma is reversible (damage to my lungs can be reversed and kept at a minimum). Also, if an attack presents itself, there are numerous warning signs so that I can take immediate action before it gets too bad. Plus, with my home nebulizer, I have the treatment at home that the hospital would give anyway. So, I am going to be ok.

I am weaning off the anxiety medication and am currently reaching out every which way for support & believe me, it does help.

Please keep the support coming. It helps more than you'll ever know.

mr. A

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