Have you ever experienced any Side Effects of your Asthma Treatment?
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This drug has been the bane of my life for years now and I’m sure many asthmatics feel the same. For most people steroids come in the form of powder, mixed with milk, the miracle cure for many gym goers who want to bulk up and, yes, steroids are a miracle cure. Without them, I would have been dead years ago, but it comes at a price. In this story, I want to talk about the side effect of steroids which I sometimes struggle to come to terms with.
By far the worst side effect is the lack of sleep, because the steroids may cause insomnia. I have had nights where I am awake when the sun comes up, and the birds start chirping. Lack of sleep is used as a form of torture because it is so bad for you. Every day I wake up and go to work, speak to customers and force a smile knowing that I haven’t slept for 3 days, its torture. Literally. Then finally, the fourth-night hits and I fall asleep. Bliss. Or so you would think. I don’t know how common this is for other asthmatics but for me when I finally fall asleep after days of being awake, I begin to suffer from severe sleep paralysis. If you’ve never heard of it before, read below for the definition.
Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes. Some people may also feel pressure or a sense of choking.
This is the worst part of having steroids, in my opinion, being scared to sleep. I constantly wake with a dark figure on top of me holding down all 4 limbs with a 5th hand over my mouth. Unless you have been through it its hard to understand how unbelievable real it feels. It is petrifying. I am interested to know if any other asthmatic has suffered like I have. Although I find it hard and I have spent days crying from exhaustion it reminds me that this is just another reason why asthmatics and other people living with long-term conditions are brave and empowering. It drives me to continue to fight to raise awareness for people living with asthma to get the credit and respect we deserve.
Before I finish this story, again steroids have kept me and continue to keep me alive daily, I owe my life to them and the pros 100% out way the cons but living on them every day for the last 18months has been hard and for anybody who has just started steroid treatment. Smile. It gets better.