I have had asthma all my life, and to a certain extent became very complacent about it - it was just something in the background that I had to live with. Every winter, 3 or 4 courses of preds and anti-b's, but it just became part of life, I suppose. I went to respiratory clinics once or twice, but was always discharged from them quite quickly, as I was managing things ok. I have never developed an on-going relationship with an asthma nurse or GP asthma clinic.
However, things have become much worse in the last 4 or 5 years. I have had many hospital admissions, and frequent bouts of pneumonia. I was intubated in ITU three years ago, and my partner was told that I had a 50/50 chance of pulling through. I now have to use a nebuliser at home.
I am now 42 and I realise that the asthma is no longer something in the background that I just have to live with. I need to be much more pro-active. In the last year, my best peak flow has gone from being 410 to being 300 at a push. When I was in hospital at Christmas, the consultant told me that I had some scarring on my lungs as a result of the frequent pneumonias.
My only trigger is the common cold, which always turns into a major exacerbation for me.
There is a lot of things I don't know about - for instance, the 5 step protocol that people talk about on here, having an asthma ""care plan""etc.
My question is this, I am going to the respiratory clinic next week, and I want to develop a list of questions / requests for action before I go. I want to attend this clinic on a long-term basis. I am particularly interested in talking to the consultant about taking anti-biotics on a prophylactic basis, to see whether I can stop getting so many infections / admissions.
What questions do I need to ask? What (reasonable) ""demands"" do I need to make of this service?
All ideas / suggestions will be very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance,