This is what a severe asthma exacerbation looks like .
This is not a portrayal, this is the real thing!
Below you’ll find photos and video clips taken during various hospitalizations from 2007 thru 2013, as well as a clip of an Australian teen suffering a bad attack. Im posting these images to impress upon others (including some health professionals),that not all asthma is created equal. While the vast majority of asthma sufferers have the mild and controllable form of the disease, a small percentage of us have the more debilitating and potentially deadly variety, which responds very poorly to treatment.
Because Ive had this disease since birth, I tend to be unusually stoic during a bad attack, even when I’m on the verge of respiratory failure. Unlike some asthmatics,I rarely get hysterical or panicky when I can’t breath. In fact, the harder it gets to breath, the more quiet I usually become. Sometimes the work of breathing gets so intense, even with the Bipap mask on, that my body starts to shut down from exhaustion and I feel like I’m drowning. It’s usually at this point that they have to knock me out, put a breathing tube in my throat and put me on a ventilator. Hopefully your asthma will never get this bad.
In the ER
Adjusting the BIPAP settings( drives the RTs crazy)
Intubated, getting ready to wean off ventilator
Self suction while on ventilator
Getting massive amounts of IV steroids which can cause diabetes
The aftermath. What it’s like AFTER being on a ventilator for 4 days
This next clip was taken from AsthmaUK.org and shows a teenager suffering a pretty severe asthma attack. He reminds me a lot of myself when I was his age. I lived this same exact scenario at least twice a year when I was growing up. Not fun.