Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Asthma and Claustrophobia

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Serious up.  I'm asthmatic and have claustrophobia.  Does being asthmatic necessarily mean you're going to be claustrophobic?  Maybe.  I read about this in Prevention magazine.  It seems that recent studies show that there is a striking connection between asthma and psychological problems, i.e. depression and anxiety.  If you've ever been in a situation where you have not been able to breath, it's not hard then for the mind to extrapolate,  "small place, no air."
In the last year or so, I've unfortunately had some anxiety attacks regarding my asthma.  For example, during our trip to Russia (vacation dropper) I must have acquired some bug because when we returned,  I was sick for a good 6 weeks with coughing, sinus problems etc.  So, the coughing exacerbates the asthma.  I'm going to the allergist, taking all kinds of stuff and still having trouble breathing.  One night I wake up in a sweat and am gasping for air.  I tried not to panic.  I was able to slow my breathing down and work my way out of it.  But it was scary as hell.  I can not imagine what it would be like to have a full blown panic attack.  But, back to asthma and claustrophobia.  I've tried to overcome the phobia.  A few years ago while in Rome (oh, another vacation dropper), we decided to go to the top of St.  Peter's Basilica.  Now, if you've ever been in these old churches, you can only surmise that the people who built them must have been 5'5" and 150 pounds because all of the walkways are very narrow and low.  I decided to give it a try (my mantra is that if God put it on this earth, I want to see it).  It was July and peak tourist season.  As we begin to ascend, you're walking in a spiral.  So, you really only see the people's butts in front of you.  There are 100's of people in front of me and 100's behind me.  No escape!  My dear dear husband.  How I love him so.  But what does he say?  "This must not be very good for your claustrophobia".  Screenplay: Wife reaches back and strangles husband.  Life:  "Thanks a pant load dear".  As you get closer to the top of the dome, you are now bending to the right because the staircase mimics the dome.  Help!!!  Luckily, every so many steps there was a window that was open.  I would stick my head out of the window, take a deep breath, and continue.  I made it to the top! Congratulations!  Now to go back down...(Update 1/24/14... A few years ago, before Egypt had  its revolution, my husband and I took a two week trip, an Egypt on your own with our own guide and driver.  We used our usual tour company, African Travel Inc.. Our g

I've decided to go back on allergy shots to help alleviate my asthma but, I fear, the claustrophobia is here to stay.  Any movie or TV show that has a person locked in a room, under ground in a cave, a room with no window, forget it.  I can't watch.  If a terrorist wanted info from me,  just threaten to put me in a small cell...I'll talk, I'll talk!!!!!


  1. WTF was that first comment! Asthma and Claustrophobia make sense. Hope you never saw "Kill Bill" part two. One scene nearly had me running out of the theater! Love your blog. I finished "Tattoo" and I'll get back to you with some comments. Milt

  2. I enjoy reading this, but.. still can't find the answer I've been searching for. Does asthma cause claustrophobia?