Are these symptoms normal after a severe asthma attack?

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/7/2012 2:22 AM (GMT -6)   
it's been a long week.

my girlfriend was in the hospital for several days after having the worst asthma attack she's ever experienced. on top of that, she was starting to get a little better but then she was allergic to one of the meds they gave her in the hospital and it caused her to have another asthma attack during her hospital stay. the ER doctor said it was one of the worst asthma attacks he's seen in a long time. i'm still pretty shaken up about the experience.

she got back from the hospital a few hours ago with a lot of new meds that she's been taking; she's exhausted, her chest is sore, and she says it hurts to breathe.

a few minutes ago, i noticed that her breathing was starting to sound a little tight and wheezy. she says her chest feels tight, but otherwise, she is okay, and that it's normal after a severe asthma attack.

she had 4 asthma attacks in one morning, which was the reason for the trip to the ER. (during her worst attack, she refused to go to the ER and said she could deal with it and she just needed a few more nebulizer treatments -- finally i stopped listening and took her to the ER, and i'm glad that i did.) so i'm concerned that she might be going into another asthma attack now. she's been taking the recommended meds from the hospital, but her breathing still sounds like her lungs are pretty tight. i'm worried that she's going to have another severe attack warranting a trip to the ER again. are these symptoms normal after a severe attack?

is this normal after a severe asthma attack to be wheezing or to be going into more asthma attacks? what should i do if she has another asthma attack? also, how does it feel after a severe asthma attack? how fast is the recovery and what types of symptoms should i expect? is there anything i can do to help with her recovery?

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/7/2012 3:09 AM (GMT -6)   

i called a nurse through our insurance who said that the symptoms are normal and an additional attack called a second wave a few hours after the initial attack does occur and to just help her use her meds if she's having another attack.

after her last nebulizer treatment, her asthma seemed to ease up a little and i thought it was over, but i guess i spoke too soon. i returned from getting her some tea 5 mins later, and found her hunched over, her ribcage is sucked in and her breathing sounds so tight. she's now on another nebulizer treatment, still insisting that she'll be fine and theres no need to go to the ER. how much worse are these follow up second wave attacks supposed to be? and how many nebulizer treatments before we go to the ER?

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 2/7/2012 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry she is going thru so much. My motto is, when it doubt go to the ER. It's better to be safe than sorry. If she seems to be improving than I would say give it more time but if she is the same or getting worse, she should be seen again.
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Diagnosed Left sided UC in '92 - meds: 6mp, Colazal, Remicade and Bentyl*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, in '11 diagnosed with IBS, Diverticulosis, Fibromylagia..I also have Sacroiilitis, Scoliosis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/2/2012 12:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Asthma attacks are wily things. Sometimes it feels like they are lifting, then they descend again, even more severely. I once had a 36-hour asthma attack that continued to stir for the following week. Tell your gf she doesn't always need to be so strong and tough. Sometimes we asthmatics worry we are being melodramatic, or inconvienencing everyone, or unnecessarily taking up the doctors' time for an episode that may or may not be worsening. It can also be very expensive to go to the ER. A voice of reason like yours is often what we need to take certain episodes seriously. Sounds like you were wonderfully supportive!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/12/2012 12:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I realize it's been a few days. I hope she's feeling better. In Canada it's said that asthma is the chronic disease most poorly managed by ERs. I certainly avoid them. However, I'm glad you took her, it's true we often think we can handle more than we can. For myself, I check with my allergist for "episodes". He deals with it much better because he knows the severity of my asthma.

This is a bad attack and should be taken seriously. It's amazing how long it can take once these are over to feel better. I always find I need to keep things cleaner and do less for months after.
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