I feel a bit guilty with this question as is seems so trivial compared to what so many of you suffer on a daily basis but itâ€™s something that has puzzled me since being diagnosed in June.
I have a problem speaking. In everything Iâ€™ve read about asthma they say that if you cannot complete a sentence you should seek medical advice. I would say that I rarely have a full voice. The muggy weather seems to make it worse. Sometimes no sound at all comes out when I try to speak. Not even a whisper! It is worse outside, when I go indoors it returns after a while but stays very squeaky. I can honestly say that the only time I have a full voice is if I am sitting perfectly still indoors or in the car. If Iâ€™m going in and out of buildings it is very bad which makes shopping embarrassing because I canâ€™t hold a conversation with the assistants. Speaking on the telephone is a nightmare. People say they feel guilty phoning me because I sound as if Iâ€™m gasping for breath but I donâ€™t feel as if I am. One minute I can be absolutely fine and the next my voice can be very high and squeaky, crackly broken or non existent. It often just disappears in mid sentence.
I have mentioned this to my GP but she just smiles as if Iâ€™m imagining it and never comments. The trouble is this never happens in the surgery because Iâ€™ve usually been travelling in the car for 20mins then sitting in quietly in the cool waiting room for half an hour (Sheâ€™s always late!) My husband gets frustrated and tells me not to talk because he canâ€™t make out what Iâ€™m saying - he says just nod or shake your head!
My peak flow varies from day to day but is usually in the 320 -480 it is always over 400 when I visit the GP which she says is excellent even for anyone without asthma. At my last visit she doubled my dose of Clenil Modulite which seems to have stopped my cough and wheeze therefore making it easier to sleep, the Ventolin inhaler helps when I canâ€™t get my breath though sometimes it takes several attempts but it does nothing for the voice problem at all. My only other symptoms are tightness around the chest and lethargy. My husband suggested making a voice recording and taking it to the surgery but this seems a bit extreme and my friend suggested demanding a second opinion but either of these options could put me on the wrong side of the GP and sheâ€™s really very nice and kind.
Should I be concerned about my lack of voice or is it something all asthmatics have to put up with?
Thanks for reading this