I woke up around 6:00 a.m. unable to breathe, gasping for air. I had to fumble around for the lamp switch because I couldn't find my emergency inhaler on the nightstand in the dark. Fortunately, I was able to get to it and take a few puffs before I got too light-headed. This is the third time this year that I've woken up in the middle of the night having an asthma attack. It's really scaring me.
Unlike all the other times, last night no one heard me wheezing. When I woke up, everyone else was still fast asleep and stayed that way. VanGoghGirl was in the bed with me and The German was sleeping in the room adjacent to mine. I resisted the urge to wake up him up afterwards because then he would have been too worried to go back to sleep. Things are hard enough on him as it is. I can't begrudge him whatever rest he manages to get in between taking care of me. Unless he reads it here, I'm not going to tell him about last night.
I'm worried about why I'm having these sudden asthma attacks in my sleep. Despite having asthma my entire life, I never had an attack in my sleep until the past year. I've had times where I was sick with a cold or the flu and feeling wheezy in the evening so I used my pump before I went to bed but this is new. Each time, these attacks in my sleep occurred I didn't have any reason to believe that an attack might be coming on.
I'm really afraid. What if no one had woken up and I had passed out because I was unable to get to one of my inhalers? I keep one on my nightstand and another one on the counter in the bathroom connected to my bedroom. Perhaps I hadn't been gasping very loud; I don't know. I was too panicked to think about that at the time.
When my mother was in college, one of her professors had an asthma attack while in the classroom. By the time that the students got her inhaler out of her purse and my mother administered it, the professor's throat had closed up too much for it to do any good. She died in my mother's arms right there in the middle of class surrounded by students trying to help her.
Why is this happening? It could be because of the scar tissue in my chest. It may be diminishing the air capacity in my lungs. The German says it might be from turning onto my stomach while sleeping. I am terrified that it might be a sign that my cancer has metastisized into my lungs.