I'm after a little advice from real life asthma sufferers as I am not too sure/confused about mine.
Firstly I will apologise for the length of the post, but it is necessary to get the details across so sorry...
I was diagnosed with asthma 9 months ago (aged 22), after having an 'asthma attack'. Never had symptoms before, but always suffered from what I believed to be hayfever.
It all started off with a bad cough, and after a week of this it got worse. I was eating a family meal, and started coughing badly and was unable to breathe properly and was gasping for air. I had pains in my chest and it hurt to breathe. My partner phoned an ambulance for me, and by the time they arrived (5 minutes) I was unable to move myself or my hands - they had clenched outwards and I had pins and needles in them.
Ambulance staff got me to calm down my breathing with oxygen, and took me to A&E. After being seen by a doctor they said they thought it was asthma caused by hayfever and gave me a ventolin inhaler to use - and told me to see my doctors.
The cough continued until I saw my doctor.
The asthma nurse did an asthma test, where I breathed into a device - had a nebuliser - then repeated the test again. I also did a peak flow before and after. He told me that the test he did, hadnt shown I had asthma, but the peak flow reading showed I probably did (400 - 500). I was given a brown inhaler (sorry cant remember the name) and told to take this twice x 2, and to come back in a month.
The nebuliser immediately relieved me of the persistent cough I had now had for 3 weeks, and the brown inhaler relieved the symptoms of asthma that I had being experiencing ever since the attack. However by the time by checkup was due a month later, I had experienced another attack caused by coughing. I was later discharged from A&E with antibiotics and told I had a chest infection.
At my next checkup (2 months after first attack) the inhaler wasnt really working, and I was told to increase the dose to twice daily x 3. This improved my symptoms again, but a couple of months later I was back to the same symptoms.
I saw the asthma nurse again and I was given serevent to take along with the brown inhaler. So i was now on 3 brown puffs twice a day, and 2 serevent puffs twice a day. This improved my symptoms, and at my next checkup I was asked to move down to 2 puffs of the brown inhaler. After a week of this I noticed the symptoms coming back, so went back to 3 as per advice. After a month or so, I started to have side affects from the servent of a excessively shaking right hand/arm, so was told to stop taking serevent.
However my asthma symptoms got worse again, and when I saw my nurse about this, I was given a pulmicort inhaler two puffs twice a day. This worked and improved my symptoms until I had an asthma attack again. After this the symptoms came back again and the inhaler no longer worked.
I am currently on, and have being for over 3 months, symbicort - which again worked fine but I am now starting to get the symptoms back- breathlessness just from climbing stairs, get tired easily from very slight excercise and have shortness of breath most of the time.
I was also recently prescribed allergy tablets as I have being experiencing sneezing fits, where I would sneeze 15 - 20 times one after the other - and this was causing me pain due to sore chest/throat. I am also on a monthly basis suffering from oral thrush - a side affect of the symbicort inhaler and am given nystatin to relieve this.
I was also given flucanzole - but after looking into this myself have found symibort and fluconazole are very dangerous when taken together - which makes me trust the doctors a LOT!
Since my first attack 9 months ago, I have had around 7-8 asthma attacks, and being taken to A&E by ambulance 5 times. In every attack, my ventolin does not relieve my symptoms at all, and when i try to take it the breathing really hurts sucking it in. I have also suffered from quite a few chest infections - although am always told there is no wheeze which they would normally expect.
I am also told every time that I have no wheeze, and o2 levels of 97% +, and never below. I usually have a high pulse which is probably understandable. Every attack has started with a coughing fit, sometimes this comes on gradually and I have said to my partner that I feel like I may have an attack - and sometimes it has just come on immediately - and this has never so far being due to excercise.
I have also had a very rude hospital (not my local thank god) who left me in a waiting room struggling for 45 minutes, and didnt help me at all. I collapsed in the corridor walking down myself to find a doctor, unable to walk properly.
I have had a chest X-ray as I went through a phase of having a persistent cough for 4 weeks - and everything was fine on the Xray.
One thing I have always noticed is that I always pass out once the attack has calmed down and I am in the ambulance/hospital bed. I dont know if this is normal?
I am now back to the same point and can feel the symptoms of the asthma despite being on the symbicort inhaler. I am going to book an appointment with the asthma nurse again to see what he says but thought I might benefit from asking some people who suffer if they have being through the same thing.
Thanks if you have read this, and thanks for hopefully taking the time to reply.