New confused and fed-up!: Hi everybody... - Asthma Community ...

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New confused and fed-up!

Danubio profile image
15 Replies

Hi everybody, I’m new here and haven’t yet been diagnosed with asthma, although this is the route the Drs are now going down. I’m a 63 year old healthy lady, never smoked and have never had chest issues until now. On December 28th I tested positive for Covid, although I had no real symptoms to speak of. Mid January, this started. Congested chest that I can’t fully clear, although when I do cough I can bring up some clear mucus. I can go hours with no symptoms at all, then it comes back. Tight chest, cough that once I start I can’t stop, and the wheeze and very crackly breathing. When I’m in bed I struggle to sleep because the noises I make when breathing is awful. My husband says I sound like I have a cat inside my body trying to get out! It sounds squeaky, creaky, wheezy, whiny, a popping candy sound, clicks….just all sorts of weird sounds. The GP (6 different ones by telephone consultation only) have all provided conflicting advice and diagnoses, from chest infection, for which I had antibiotics and they didn’t work, silent reflux, been told to take omeprazole daily for a month, not working, allergy been given a steroid nasal spray that I’m still using, and now a blue salbutamol inhaler, which after a few minutes loosens the mucus so I can cough much of it up. My last GP call yesterday told me I should only be using this 2 to 3 times a week because it’s bad for my heart!! I am on a very long waiting list for a chest x-ray. I’m so sorry to ramble on, but I’m at my wits end with all this, and have been in tears many times because I feel like I’m getting nowhere. I don’t feel ill at all by the way..if anyone can understand my description of symptoms, maybe they have the same? Or offer any simple friendly advice or just listen to me (🤦‍♀️) I’d be so grateful. Oh also one of the Drs told me ‘it was unlikely to be asthma at my age’

Thank you x

15 Replies
Troilus profile image

You are certainly going through the mill right now and I’m afraid I have no answers for you. I would suggest that as your numerous consultations have led to nowhere I would ask your GP if he could do spirometry with reversibility testing or, if not, could he refer you to a respiratory clinic at your local hospital. It could be asthma; it could be something, some hangover from your covid infection, but respiratory testing should inform any diagnosis.Two things jumped out at me when I read your post.

1. You can develop asthma at any age. I was 63.

2. You certainly can use your blue inhaler more than two or three times a week. The blue inhaler is a rescue inhaler designed to offer relief when needed. When a person with asthma is using their blue inhaler more than two or three times a week this indicates that the asthma is not as controlled as it could be. Perhaps this is what your GP was thinking of.

I’m no medic, but if the blue inhaler allows you cough up some stubborn mucus this would suggest to me that this inhaler is widening the airway to let this happen, which in turn suggests there could be some narrowing there, which in turn suggests some inflammation. Could be from the covid infection, maybe asthma. However there are preventer inhalers available that would help help reduce the inflammation and open the airways for 12 hours. ( The blue inhaler you are using only lasts for about 4 hours)

Have you got a peak flow meter? If you have you could try taking your peak flow before you take your blue inhaler and about 20 minutes after and see if it makes any difference to the reading.

Sorry for such a long post. I didn’t intend it to be 😁

Danubio profile image
Danubio in reply to Troilus

Thank you for this, you’ve provided some useful information..I have yet another telephone consultation tomorrow afternoon, so I will enquire about the longer lasting inhaler. Apparently they aren’t doing the spirometry at the moment, I will enquire about the peak flow though. Thanks again

Troilus profile image
Troilus in reply to Danubio

Hope all goes well for you Danubio

Claire_ALUK profile image

Hi Danubio, would you like to give us a ring on ALUK helpline and chat it over ? 0300 2225800 option 3 for nurses. We are open M-F 0915-445 you might find this link helpful to read:

Danubio profile image
Danubio in reply to Claire_ALUK

Hi Claire, thank you I did ring and speak to a nurse. She was lovely and made me feel a lot better. She told me to make an appointment with my surgery’s asthma nurse. I’ve contacted the surgery to be told that there is no regular asthma nurse at the moment as things aren’t back to normal yet. They couldn’t tell me when there would be one!

Mandevilla profile image

I developed asthma symptoms following a very severe chest infection in December 2019 and have been advised since that something like that can bring on asthma. I only got diagnosed last December (kept being told it was 'stress due to Covid' before!) and my surgery has been hopeless. I'd really recommend you ring the Asthma UK helpline and talk to one of their nurses - they will be able to advise you, and they're also great at making you feel less alone and that you can actually cope with this and get it under control.

lakelover profile image

I was diagnosed when I was 62, nearly the same age as you. Discussing things with my asthma nurse, we decided I had probably been asthmatic as a girl, but because I didn't always show symptoms it was decided I was being naughty & attention seeking!

fraid profile image

Hi Danubio.You can develop allergies at any time of your life,anything that may have triggered it off apart from Covid? I’ve had asthma since 4 yo triggered by mould which seems to have set this bout off though house been demoulded.I only got an attack when I had an allergy or a chest infection but I can’t get rid of this one.🙄I know your frustration- coz you don’t know what caused it you don’t know how to deal with it. I had Prevent inhaler for first time,took couple of weeks ,weaned myself off it but now wheezing again,dithering whether to go back on it .I hate taking drugs so just using Salamol when it’s bad.Also lying down more makes it worse,especially cough,so half sat up to sleep helps.

Hope you get to the bottom of it soon,have you tried Cetirizine anti allergy pills,one a day,which would at least rule out allergic asthma?🤔

Good luck.🤞

Danubio profile image
Danubio in reply to fraid

Thank you fraid. I am on cetrizine because I do have a few minor allergies, but I have now been prescribed the brown inhaler, which seems to be helping. I hate putting all these drugs into my body, but last night was the first night I slept through without waking up at 4am coughing and spluttering, so I’m going to carry on! X

Invisible_0189 profile image

Hi, I hope you are feeling better since joining the community. To be honest, I'm relieved to come across your post. In dec 2019 I had a cold and when I had recovered I was left with a cough. I thought it was the cold. But then it got worse, to the point I strained my rib muscles. I phoned a walk in and was told that I could have asthma based on my family history. They prescribed me a blue inhaler and told me to talk to my gp. I told my gp doctor and she prescribed a peakflow. I took readings that were consistently low. I even had a chest x-ray which showed nothing. But my cough worsened. I began to wheeze, then have stuttering breaths, constant mucus in my chest that I began vomiting. I was confused and wasn't getting anywhere with my gp. All my symptoms worsened. I had to cancel shifts, and even leave my shifts halfway through. I got a chest infection last August. It was so bad I could barely go down the stairs. The ambulance came and checked my observations. They said I could have covid or a chest infection. I called the walk in again because my gp was closed and asked for antibiotics. They worked. I asked for more and a doctor asked to see me. He asked my history and listened to my chest and breathing. Then told me I had badly inflamed lungs and had asthma. I then started the preventer inhaler which relieved my symptoms. I told my gp and they set me up with the asthma nurse. I stayed on the inhaler for a month and a half then weened off. In December my symptoms slowly returned. It was so bad in February I was using the blue inhaler everyday. I told the asthma nurse who practically dismissed me saying she didn't think I had asthma as I was only taking one puff a day. And that if my inhaler ran out I wouldn't be able to get anymore as they couldn't prescribe me any. Since then. My symptoms worsened. To the point that the blue inhaler had to be used almost every four hours (two puffs). I've put myself back on the steriod inhaler. All my symptoms have settled. But I'm angry because I'm playing doctor with my own body and I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. Seeing your post and the others reassures me that I'm not alone in this. I'm hoping to have an assessment soon but at the rate my gp moves, I'll probably end up going private. I sincerely hope you manage to receive the proper treatment soon. And I'm sure this community will be a good source for many of the questions you have.

Danubio profile image
Danubio in reply to Invisible_0189

Hi! Goodness you’ve been through it too haven't you? I hope you also get sorted. I finally got a call from a GP who had read all my notes, was totally understanding and listened to everything I said. I started the brown inhaler on Friday, and I’m relieved to say that it seems to be working (I don’t want to speak too soon!) I’ve got to be on it for 6 weeks, then start seeing the asthma nurse. After over 2 months of being given all sorts of advice and it not getting any better, I started thinking it must be something more sinister..keep pestering that’s all you can do, or go private, but that’s a dear do ☹️ xx

Invisible_0189 profile image
Invisible_0189 in reply to Danubio

I'm happy to know you're receiving better treatment now. Hopefully the steriod inhaler will bring you as much relief as it brought me. I was on it for almost two months then I went about 4 months without it. I think my gp is tired of me at this point 😅. I am planning to go private next month as it's gone on long enough now and I do need to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Hopefully it will be sorted quicker this way.

fraid profile image

I have had to go back on Prevent inhaler too,plus Salamol every night.Annoying coz it had all settled down.Then discovered X has black mould in his room again so explains my asthma.Cannot persuade him to open window or door so I do as soon as he goes out.😁At least I know why it’s flared up again.🙄I too hate taking drugs but I need to breathe!

Good luck,hope it settles down again.X

EDreams1 profile image

The issue it seems is that a number of people here are being given a preventer jnhaler but then you are weaning yourself off it ad soon as you are feeling a little better. I hate taking tablets or chemicals but if we have asthma then WE MUST and we must continue to use our preventer as prescribed and not come off it. It could save your life. These things and asthma are serious and the consequences of not taking your medication every single day as prescribed could be fatal. Please stick with your presenters and then use your blue inhalers on top of it if needed. Good luck.

Invisible_0189 profile image
Invisible_0189 in reply to EDreams1

Hi. I can't speak for everyone else but I was told to wean off my inhaler. Then after about 2 months my symptoms started to come back. Then it got really bad at end of February so I put myself back on the preventer. My asthma nurse told me I wouldn't be able to get another inhaler because I have not been diagnosed with asthma. So until I do get the tests and the diagnosis my options are limited. 😔

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