Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Asthmatic Encounters

Kids do strange things at camp. They are out of their normal environment and routine, and it makes them.... Well, interesting. For example, a 12 year-old girl walked up to me at camp and started the following conversation:

Calm Kid: I'm having an asthma attack.
Me: Right now?
Calm Kid: Yes.
Me: Like, right this instant?
Calm Kid: (takes deep breath, waves at friend, nods) Yep. I'm having an asthma attack.
Me: Right now? At this very moment, you are having an asthma attack?
Calm Kid: (smiles, nods again) Uh huh. I'm having an asthma attack.
Me: Ok...

Now, unlike my boyfriend, I'm not an MD, so I might not be very well versed in asthma symptoms. BUT I checked WebMD (which is practically the same as being in medical school), and here's what they said:

An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms caused by the tightening of muscles of your airways (bronchospasm). During the attack, the lining of the airways becomes swollen or inflamed and more and thicker mucus than normal is produced. All of these factors -- bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production -- cause asthma attack symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty performing normal daily activities. Other symptoms of an asthma attack include:

  • Severe wheezing when breathing both in and out
  • Coughing that won't stop
  • Very rapid breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Tightened neck and chest muscles, called retractions
  • Difficulty talking
  • Feelings of anxiety or panic
  • Pale, sweaty face
  • Blue lips or fingernails
  • Or worsening symptoms despite use of your medications.

If you have asthma, you may go for weeks to months without having any asthma attack symptoms. Then suddenly, when you least expect it, you might have asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.

Guess they forgot to mention those asthma attacks disguised as normal breathing patterns.

1 comment:

  1. there is something significant about this post..

    no, it is not the kid who has a fake asthma attack. :)