How I Overcome Severe Asthma

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Daniel Blake-Akpom

From the young age of 4, I remember regularly visiting a hospital each year due to having a severe asthma attack. I remember as a child always dreading winter, as it was often the time of cold/flu season, whereby I would often experience severe asthma attacks during this time. From the ages of about (4-13) I was always in and out of hospital annually each year due to having an asthma attack.

As a child, I often remember having asthma attacks that were so severe that it would often cause my chest to rattle, feel very tight and wheezy. I remember always carrying around both blue and brown asthma pump everywhere I went, just in case I were to experience an asthma attack.

Having been classified as a severe asthmatic in the past often mean’t that I had to receive both a cold and flu jab annually. Cold and flu jabs are often administered to people with asthma, as they are often at higher risk of contracting both a cold and flu when compared to the general public. People with asthma often tend to experience both cold and flu symptoms much worse then the general public.

Correlation Between Asthma and Allergies

People with asthma have approximately 60% greater chance of developing and having allergies when compared to the general public. There is a very strong correlation between asthma and allergies, putting most asthmatics at a high risk of suffering from an allergy. In my personal encounters living with severe asthma, I have always been allergic to nuts, mainly peanuts. I remember whenever I used to eat peanuts or be in contact with them, my throat started to swell and feel very itchy.

How Asthma Nearly Ended My Life

November 6th, 2010 was by far the scariest point in my life, as I woke up from my sleep only to find that I couldn’t breathe whatsoever. I remember my throat/airway being completely blocked, to the point where I couldn’t even produce a cough. I remember at the time kicking my parent’s door and gesturing for them to hit my back hard since I felt that something was blocking my airway.

Fortunately, thanks to my parent’s interventions, they managed to hit me on my back only to find that it was phlegm build-up obscuring my airway!
Once I saw that it was phlegm blocking my airway, I realised that it was most likely caused by recent episodes of asthma, since my chest would always rattle and fill up with phlegm after experiencing an an asthma attack.

Upon realizing that it was phlegm blocking my airway, my parents called for an ambulance to take me to the hospital. As soon as I visited the hospital, I remember them doing a health check-up only to confirm that phlegm buildup was blocking my airway. I remember being at the hospital and the hospital worker confirming my suspicions to be true. The hospital worker at the time said that my asthma was most likely the reason why there was phlegm buildup in my throat which then resulted in me choking.

Personal Lessons That I Learn’t From A Near Death Encounter!

November 6th (2010), being the scariest time in my life, really taught me how you should never in a million years take your health for granted. I could never have imagined that phlegm build-up in my throat of all things could’ve tragically ended my life in a big way. I remember thinking at the time of the incident that if phlegm of all things could have almost killed me, then imagine the health consequences of overlooked unhealthy habits people tend to do on daily basis, such as: 

  • Smoking 
  • Drinking Alcohol Excessively
  • Being sedentary
  • Overeating
  • Being Chronically Stressed

After months of suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTSD) being too afraid to sleep alone in case I wouldn’t wake up, I became fed up. I was tired of annually visiting the hospital each year due to having a severe asthma attack. I was tired of getting out of breathe when exercising or doing any type of physical sport or activity. It was time for a change!

I remember making an oath to myself that I would never go through a tragic ordeal than one I went through, in which I had to be at the back of an ambulance and go to hospital!!!

I knew at the time that I was more motivated than ever to do everything in my power to ensure that I would no longer have to go through the setbacks and limitations of having asthma.

The fact that asthma, that I had since I was a child nearly killed at 13 years of age, really got me to become invested into adopting a healthy lifestyle! Intuitively I knew that If I devoted time and effort into eating the right foods, exercising, taking vitamins etc., I would someday overcome my asthma.

My Current Situation

Fortunately as of now at the age of 24, I haven’t had asthma in over 10 years! I can confidently say that thanks to years of adopting a healthy lifestyle I have completely cured and overcome the condition. In addition to overcoming asthma, I have never in the space of 11 years have ever had a cough or phlegm build up in my throat. I also found that I could exercise intensely and not get wheezy or out of breath.

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