I was diagnosed with asthma when I was eleven years old. As a keen semi-pro swimmer and athelete, being forced to slow down was quite devastating.
Then, when I was thirty, the asthma suddenly disappeared. I could cycle for miles again, and go to the gym. It was fabulous! Obviously I was still somewhat restricted by my epilepsy, but it was wonderful to be able to get out and about again, with no danger of asthma attacks.
Last year my hayfever and sinus troubles worsened, and I began to suffer from minor bugs on an almost weekly basis. Eventually I developed a violent cough which would wake me from my sleep and even a change of room temperature would set me off. I developed allergies on top of the allergies that I already have, and the psoriasis that has always been mild became far worse.
After many blood tests and general health checks, my doctor finally noticed in my records that I’ve previously had asthma. After asking me a few questions he ascertained that the asthma was back – with reinforcements – so I was back on the inhalers. D was instructed to dust every surface, shut the doors when he mows the lawn… and we both had to stop using aerosol deodorants.
It was the day that my doctor diagnosed my returning asthma that he realised that – with skin allergies, hayfever and asthma – I have what he called The Holy Trinity of Atopic Syndrome. Many people suffer from this condition without even realising, but there are some obvious physical symptoms if your doctor knows what to look for.
Throughout most of this year I’ve been fairly asthma free, but in the last few months I’ve developed a cough. Initially I put this down to a bug I had that actually gave me a cough, but it’s become worse. I’ve also been experiencing violent chest pain and the cough is now waking me in the night. My heart has been working overtime, trying to send oxygen to areas that have closed down to pinpoints – so yes, asthma can cause heart attacks.
Back on the inhalers for me today. I already feel better for it.
The moral of this story? Don’t be stubborn. If you have breathing issues and/or chest pains then please see a doctor.