How many of you were identified as having Asthma as an ADULT like I was? It was QUITE shocking!

I'm active and like to hike, so I went to Spray Falls which is in the Mt. Rainier area, about 15 years ago. While traversing up the mountain, I had to continuously stop to catch my breath. This seemed odd. I couldn't figure it out. I wanted to get to the top to take pictures because the scenery was stunning, I just was having a hard time getting there. I eventually reached the top and took some pictures. I would love to go again someday.

Weeks after my hiking trip, I was still experiencing shortness of breath. Why was this happening suddenly? It made no sense! I was a little scared.

Off I went to visit my allergist. He had me blow into a device that measures breathing, plus ran some other tests. He informed me that I had asthma! I couldn't believe it.

He sent me home with an emergency inhaler and a preventive inhaler that I was SUPPOSED to use every day. I refused to use the inhaler for quite a long time, until one day I was out on a trail with a friend and had a severe asthma attack. I carried the preventive inhaler with me, but that never works DURING an attack. I didn't have my emergency puffer with me, but somehow I lived!

That awful experience forced me to finally listen to the doctor and start puffing daily. At first my voice went away, but I was breathing and that's all that mattered.

After using the higher dosage for a while, I was able to switch to a lower daily dosage. After doing that for a while, I felt like my asthma was gone forever and stopped using my meds. I was so happy that I was cured and could go on with normal life. After about a week, my asthma returned with a vengeance and the attacks got the best of me. I was spending the nights in hotels and hanging out in movie theatres and malls just so I could have some air. I didn't have air conditioning at my condo. This could not continue. I had to do something.

Back on the inhaler I went. I've been using it every day for years and seem to have it under control. I'm down to the lowest dosage, maybe a puff every other day. If I start flaring up, I use it more frequently. I actually am doing quite well now. I keep a few preventive and emergency puffers around my house and in the car just in case!

During my attacks I would frequently PANIC. I've learned some helpful tricks to help deal with my situation and they've been a big help.

1. Designate a quiet place in your house like the bedroom. Take a puff and relax.

2. Sit down next to a hot pan of steamed water or humidifier or get into a hot steamy shower for about 10 minutes.

3. If the air is freezing cold outside, don't go outside.

4. Drink hot water every day. You will make your lungs happy. Cold water can make you tight.

5. Even if you feel like you are cured, you probably aren't. Talk to your doctor before tossing your inhaler.

6. Don't eat until you are stuffed, it weighs on your lungs.

7. Take your emergency inhaler wherever you go. I have several that are stored in different places like bedroom, family room, purse, and each of our cars.

8. Replace your carpet with hardwood floors.

9. During pollen season, keep your windows closed. Install air conditioning if you can afford to.

10. To eliminate dust, buy a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner. Other Non-HEPA vacuums can redistribute dust in other parts of the house.

Always remember that If you are short of breath or think you have asthma please consult your health care professional.

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