Five things to know about asthma


I had a terrible shock to my system a few days ago.

For the past year I have been coping really well with my depression, but Thursday I collapsed.

I already knew that stress triggers my asthma, but because I’ve been so busy I didn’t pay attention to the signs.  And here I am today… Traumatized.

Things on my mind last week :

  • Grade 12 moderation – the weakest group I’ve ever had
  • Pencilbox programme, how to print certificates
  • Barnard House Braai –  250 learners, halaal, kosher, vegetarian… Drinks, salads, meat.
  • Barnard House prize giving ceremony –  top achiever certificates and trophies
  • Hofmeyer Cup singing competition
  • Hostel inspection for Matron Sam cup
  • Perfect selection for 2016
  • Prefect camp weekend
  • Schalk’s first super 12 swimming competition
  • Grade 10 life Science cycle test

I started out stressed on Thursday getting ready for the competitions and Braai.  I got the braaiers ready, the charcoal and bits. The grade 11 group helped set out the 100 chairs.  We hung the flag and set the tables.  Then I walked to the office to get the table cloth for the Trophy table…


My lungs closed up 10 m from the office.  I made it inside and phoned my husband to bring my backup asthma pump because mine just emptied right there.  I remember sitting down and breaking out in cold sweat as my body tried to get air.  I tried to relax but panicked because I could not breath.  It felt like hours before he arrived with the pump.  After that… Blurry.

He took me home and for the next two days I stayed in bed, slept a lot, nebulised, slept, asthma pump, slept, used much mucolytics, slept. I worried about Saturday and the swimming, but we packed a sleeping bag, tent and cushion.

Monday I had to go back to school and I was really worried about how my body would handle it.  I was  exhausted but the end of the day but elated that I made it.  Last night I cried.  The stress and relief flooded my system.

This has been a traumatic event.  October seems to be my red flag month.  I will have to put measures in place to prevent the same thing from happening next year.

The University of Maryland medical center had an excellent summary of Asthma.