i though i was getting better but now... - Asthma UK communi...

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i though i was getting better but now i'm getting worse

after my medications were changd i thought my asthma was starting to get beter but i had a severe attack last week and i can't stop thikin about it. I was wheezy all day at work so was using my easi-breathe and my salbutamol wth my aerochamber. i thought if i kept doing that it would stay under control no problem. Then i felt myself getting worse so i decided to hea back to my office, one of the young lads offered to walk me down and before i got there my breathing was so bad i lost my balance. it took me about an hor and lots of salbutamol to sort my breathing out. i don't wan to go back to see the asthma nurse as she's changed my medications four times since Xmas wich i think is too much. The receptionist always says i don't need to see my GP as its the nurse who deals with asthma. all i want is someoe who properly can look at my asthma and how it is affecting me and to give me some poper help. looking back i wish i'd went to the hospital but i wa happy sitting at work rying to dal with it, maybe they would of one somehing. i'm a my wits end now and i'm scared of havig another attack.

13 Replies

if it happens again luaren just go straight to a and e. in the meantime i would be asking for a gp appt and telling them how you feel at te moment. are you seeing a consultant at all or just gp. if just gp ask if they can refer to to the hospital you are quite within your rights to ask for a second opinion. its not easy as admit if am stuggling i tend to stay put and cope with salbutamol and spacer but am leaning at mo than when pf drops to a cetain level i can't cope and need to go for further help. the 1 occasion i did go to a and e they were super so from me i would say ask for con referral and in meantime go to a and e if stuggling again.

1 like

Lauren a receptionist has no medical knowledge and right to tell you to seee the nurse over a doctor, she probably thinks its just follow up which would be ok, Every attack needs follow up by your GP aswell as any worsening symptoms, so tom am call your docs and ask for amn appt withyour GP you dont have to say what for, once there tell your GP all your symptoms and your concerns, it would be worth writing then down between now and then,

Good luck

Andrea xxx

PS welcome to the rollercoster of ups and downs that is asthma


i'm getting too scared to go back to the doctors, my medication seems to work most of the time but part of the time i just fel like there is no end in site! I would like to go just a week without my asthma causing trouble for me rather than most days. Due to health and safety law i'm not allowed to sit on my own during an attack at work and whenever a first aid person is tannoyed they now know its me. i think the fact i fell over as well as made me think something ain't right at all, maybe i should of went up to the hospital but i thought i was dealing with it. i don't know if i should just phone and join a different GP surgery as last time i saw my GP about asthma she told me it was the nurse who should be dealing with it. Its so difficult as my asthma didn't used to cause so much bother. it was always there and i always had my inhalors etc on me but i wasn't constantly scared of it. now i feel it has taking over and i'm kind of lost with it all.


Dear Laurenjayne,

You do not sound happy. Do you have a peak flow meter? If your medication has been changed 4 times recently it sounds as though your asthma is not in control,

and that the asthma nurse knows that too.

I would try and keep a peak flow diary for a couple of weeks, that will give you an indication of what is going on. Also use the peak flow meter if you start to feel ill, so you have a record of where it went to.

I have seen a lot of gps and asthma nurses, and they vary enormously in how much they know about asthma. You should go back to your gp again. YOU DEFINITELY DON'T HAVE TO TELL THE RECEPTIONIST WHY YOU WANT TO SEE THE GP. But do do keep a peak flow diary, it is much help when dealing with any doctor or nurse, they seem to take it much more seriously than just telling them.

If you do not have a peak flow meter, then you can ask your gp to prescribe one for you, or your asthma nurse.

If your gp does nothing and you have another attack, go straight to A&E, then your gp loses rating points.

This is probably no help,

but I do know how you feel.




hi laurenjayne

I think it is disgraceful that the receptionists in your surgery are ""gate-keeping"" your GP's like that. Just phone up and make an appointment with your GP - the receptionist doesn't need to know what you are making the appointment for. Since your asthma is so unstable and giving you a lot of problems, I think you need to be asking your GP to refer you to a respiratory consultant, someone who DOES have expertise in the field of this disease and - hopefully - will help you find the correct treatment for your asthma. Just to be constantly passed back to your asthma nurse is not on, absolutely not.

Good luck, and I hope you feel much better soon,




Thank you Ri and Maz for your messages.

Yes i do have a peak flow, i should be at 400 but not getting above 250 at the moment which isn't awful but obviously it could be a lot better.

i've booked an appointment to see my GP on friday, i couldn't get one before that. they asked if it was an emergency and i explained it was due to asthma probems and its not seen as an emergency.

my asthma is still all over the place, my work ave agreed i can take a weeks holiday so just lazing about the house till then. i'm actually scared at what the doctor could say, what if i'm seen as a time waster or something?

Last week i was really bad at my work, my managers are really used to be taking attacks but last week suggested calling an ambulance, though i said it wasn't needed as i do't want to take resources away from someone who needs them.

i feel fine for a bit and then i just go tight in the chest, wheze, cough like crazy and genuinely can not breathe which surely isn't normal? i know i panic as well which makes it worse for myself but trying to explain to someone who has never had an attack or experienced asthma why i struggle and panic so much but it is the scariest experience. not being able to breathe is scary.

i was also asking the advice line nurse about how to sit in an attack as i like to lean forward where people always tell me to lean back. the nurse agrees that its instnct to lean forward and nothing is wrong with it, how does everyone else sit in an attack?

sorry for the big long messge

laurenjayne xx


Hi Laurenjayne,

Maybe you could take someone who is supportive with you to your appointment with the Doctor to make you feel more confident.

As regards useing resources that others may need - YOU too are entitled to use resources if you are having problems that you feel need attention. I know it is difficult to be insistent when you don't feel well, but it is worth it, as the sooner you get sorted with your medication the better you will feel. I think it is also important to have confidence in your Nurse/Gp/Consultant treating you, which dosn't seem to be the case at the moment.

P.S. I too lean forward if having difficulty breathing. I think it is probably an instinctive response to make breathing easier, providing you are not doubled over constricting your breathing of course.

Good Luck



thanks for that. i decided not to go to my doctor as i do think its a waste of time, she'l just tell to to go to the nurse who'll change me to yet another inhalor and then we'll be back to the start again - its never ending!

I think what worries people when i lean forward is i kind of rest my head on my hands and i seem to constrict the air flow and maybe i sould be leaning forward but kind of upright? does that make sense? one of the guys i work with one got me to sit the opposite way on the chair so the bac was at the fornt and i was leaning against it which i found worked? has anyone else tried this?



Hi Laurenjayne.

Don’t think we’ve ‘met’ but welcome to AUK.

Re your comment about back to front chairs. That is exactly the sort of ‘chair’ I was put in for some pampering and massage last year when on holiday in St Lucia. To say this was the most comfortable ‘breathing’ position I’ve ever experienced would be an understatement.

I think it was a combination of the ‘support’ i.e. ‘back of chair’ against the chest, combined with a more upright position of the upper body that helped most.

When I’m having breathing problems the temptation is to lean forward, which helps a lot – maybe because you don’t have to ‘fight’ gravity as much? Not sure. However when I’ve been really bad I’ve noticed that I automatically - with support from hands – sit in a far more upright position, but never leaning backwards.

Maybe we should all use our chairs the opposite way round when experiencing breathing probs!



When i had my last chest physio i was told when i get breathless i should lean forward either against a table or wall as it encourages you to breath using your diaphragm not your chest muscles.

Also when i had pericarditis virus of the heart the only comfortable breathing position was sitting forward leaning over a stack of pillows or the hospital table i spent 3 weeks in ccu like this.


i'll admit when i was told to sit like that i thought he was having a laugh but my collegue encouraged me to sit like that and as much as i felt slightly sill it was comfy and it did help. i might say to my collegues and friends to tell me to sit like that next time i'm being slightly irrational during an attack. is it normal to completely freak out durig attacks? no matter how often they hapen i always freak out completely and get scared of hospitals, of 999 calls, of it being the most serious attack i have ever had and it does make me worse but i can't help it. does anyone else have any tips of what they do during atacks i can take on board and pass on to others who are around when i have attacks? i do carry an asthma attack card on me which is great if it is someone who has never seen an asthma attack before as when i'm panicing i can seem a bit crazy but i use a spacer etc as well which obviously gets people asking questions and i know its just during concern but its also quite annoying.


i've been off work for a week now and i go ack tomorrow for a few hours before starting back properly on monday and i'm dreading it. i find attacks at work the most difficult as its such a fast paced environemt. i know its sill being scared incase i take one but thats the way i am but i have suddenly got quite nervios and anxious about going back, stupid really.


Hi , I certainly wound see your doctor or as you said go to hospital as there are lots if different types of medication , I am on unyphilione and other tablets as well as inhalers , sometimes it takes ages to get the right combination for each individual , I am lucky i have a good gp and consultant at the hospital . you just have to be firm with you doctor .


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