Bellows at Bursting Point

I had such an uncomfortable night…

I was honestly feeling like an over winded set of Organ bellows. With about a Coke can of expiration going on. Ridiculously, in the past week, several of us had been discussing the phenomenon of Air Trapping over on Steve’s SARP (Severe Asthma Research Program) Group on Facebook. Plus I had also received confirmation that my Sprirometry from 3 weeks ago showed moderate Air Trapping. And then my silly bellows joined in their own Air Trapping party. Leaving me at virtual bursting point, in a semi state of panic, barely able to move because I simply couldn’t breathe and almost, very nearly, almost giving in to J’s wanting to call me an ambulance. I did put out a few Tweets to Kerri and that seemed to make me stay put. Such is the power of concern from afar! And too, the power of the human mind when the body is simply not playing the same piece is quite incredible. I also stubbornly did not want to be banged up on BiPap, plus J (and I) was (were) enjoying watching the Golden Globes off the Sky+ system!

I found this picture online earlier. To me it is so wonderfully apt, and descriptive too. There seems to be an Orchestra inside my lungs at the best of times, but last night, the bellows had been over-pumped, and were unrhythmically wheezing out a completely different tune.

I also loved this description of the mechanics of The Wind Supply of the Organ:In order for the sound not to waver, the air must be at constant pressure in the bellows under the chests” Ha!

How completely and utterly apt.

I’m including this beautiful clip of a Vox Humana. My favourite organ stop. So expressive, and so named because of it’s resemblance to the human voice.

Vox Humana Tremulant

It just remains for me to say how grateful I am to all those who sent me kind messages, both when I said I was poorly last night and today when I charted I’d recovered enough to have a really great day at school. The Pred is still at 20mg. It took a huge amount of reserve not to just give in and whack it up again, although I don’t really know if that would have been beneficial?

I am feeling much better today, tired after school, and with physically sore, stretched muscles.

Sadly I haven’t been up to swimming today.

PostScript: Thursday, am, 25th February

This feeling of airtrapping has continued to happen on practically every Wednesday I have been at school. The only week I have not felt so hyper-inflated by Wednesday evening was last week, half term, when I was not at school.

Yesterday I had a nasty afternoon of really feeling twitchy in my classroom and not being able to do anything major in the neb line to help it as I had back to back lessons. Followed by a staff meeting, moving from a very hot class room into a cool hall whereby I had a full blown coughing paroxysm followed by an asthma attack, which after about 6 puffs I though I’d better leave the room. (Best not to let people see me OD-ing!)

So meeting over, I ‘rushed’ (sorry had to write that!) home, via another physio appointment… Interesting having acupuncture in my neck whilst sitting up as I couldn’t have layed down with my crappy full of air lungs. So my neck may be improving but the hyper-inflating isn’t.

Went to bed to sleep (!) pretty upright at 9.30pm. At 3am I was awake and having a full blown nasty asthma attack.

I feel less barrel like now, but still over full, over stretched and uncomfortable.

…What is it about Wednedays that does this to me?

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3 Responses to Bellows at Bursting Point

  1. kerri says:

    Glad to hear that you’re feeling better today, and glad to hear that even though I couldn’t *do* anything that tweeting did help some :).

    ALSO glad to hear you didn’t have to bump the pred back up.

    Hugs!

  2. Aw thanks, Kerri,

    I’m not actually sure if whacking the Pred up would have been the right thing today…. I have coped, extra puffs more than extra nebs- So very glad I didn’t just Pred it, and didn’t wreck my taper some!

    Hugs back!

  3. Richard Friedel says:

    A feeling of guilt

    Isn’t the whole of Western society guilty about asthma?
    As a simple maneuver relax muscles around the abdomen completely. The result is extremely ineffective and ultimately almost asthmatic breathing.
    From the point of view of school biology this might well be taken as a lead onto asthma causation by weak and/or insufficiently coordinated abdomen muscles. The Japanese have made a speciality of training the abdomen muscles and developed various martial arts such as aikido which are now well documented on youtube. See for instance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBrDRWhu92U, where the breathing itself is emphasized. This makes the student extremely strong in certain aspects where endurance is less emphasized. Pressure in the abdomen as opposed to relaxation is stressed. See a book on the subject http://www.lrz.de/~s3e0101/webserver/webdata/OBT.pdf
    So asthma understood as a breathing disorder with causation by dysfunctional or extremely strenuous breathing (Tour de France) could be considered one very weak end of a spectrum of abdominal breathing while the martial art breathing is at the other end.
    Therefore looked at from the school biology aspect there is an urgent need to consider asthma from this aspect whatever collective misunderstandings we may have.
    By consequently training my abdominal breathing by actually measuring air volumes while immobilizing my chest and then training patiently in a fitness studio I was able to cut out the effects of pollen and heavy meals when walking on my breathing. When one considers the substantial change in breathing, it is more or less obvious that there would be some effect on an asthmatic tendency – for better or for worse – and the former is the case.
    When I try to discuss the possibility of a drug-only approach on asthma I get all sorts of hints that I’m being tactless and should shut up, but I feel so guilty.
    Richard Friedel

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