With most respiratory conditions one develops their own method to measure their symptoms, a guide to allow them to make a judgement on their next action, or hopefully confirmation that all is well.
Medical professionals have several methods and tools devised to give their patients the best guidance on what next steps one should take; peak flows, asthma plans breathing exercises to mention a few.
Its vital; as a patient you work with the medical teams and your own body to create a fool proof method enabling you to take the correct next step.
I have several: eyes and nose, shoulders and arms, walking gate, speech,
eyes & nose: I find my eyes widen and become large, my nostrils flare near double in size. I normally do not feel myself doing any of this; as if its an involuntary reaction from my body. I always imagine a plane coming into land and its wings extending out and doubling in size to gain as much air drag. Similarly my eyes and nose stretch to drag in as much air into my body.
Shoulders & arms: They raise up to my ears, arms stretch outwards, again this is involuntary and again I draw upon aeronautic comparisons; this time I imagine a fighter jet performing a vertical take off. My body formed into a similar triangular shape
Walking gate: Linked in with my raised shoulders and flared arms I will also find myself almost on tip toes, as if floating with each step.
Speech: The final part of the performance, being unable to speak in full sentences, needing to catch my breathe whilst talking.
If I experience any one of these reactions I know its time to act, whether it be changing my plans for the day or week, sitting down, taking my steroids and call for help.
In the scary occasions I experience all at the same time, I know I am in trouble and it has now become a fight against time.
I hope you can develop your own method, I visualise my health and symptoms. I find its the only guide I have that can not be altered by external factors. Despite what my body is doing my mind always seems to remain strong. If I start visualising planes landing or fighter jets without much further thought I am able to take action.
I urge you all to think about similar patterns you feel or see when experiencing an attack, it may be a good way to prevent or help assistant you in your next one.
Thank you for your time in reading and hope this has made sense to you. Feel free to join our facebook page and twitter to discuss anything written further.
Take a breathe,