Problem diagnosis? or problem GPs?

A brief history of how I became asthmatic might be the best introduction to this.

I contracted what was eventually diagnosed as pneumonia in December 2002. After 10 weeks, eight courses of six antiobiotics and two courses of steroids I returned to work (teaching) still far from hale and hearty. A series of respiratory issues arose, and I was eventually told I had developed late-onset asthma, probably as a result of the pneumonia. I was put on an inhaler (budesonide: eventually, 1600mmg daily). Some input from chest con. No desperate problems again, but no real progress, and a sense that I was being 'managed' in a slightly desultory manner, until...

Last December: severe chest infection, four weeks off work. Most of the session; general unwellness/lethargy and lack of energy which I feel was related to asthma issues. This month: throat infection which I was told had cleared, then was told had gone into my chest. Steroids, antibiotics, change of inhaler to Symbicort 200/4.5, and (eventually) issue of nebuliser with doses of Ventolin (2.5). As always, never consecutive meetings with the same GP. Signed off for what will be five weeks in total. Suggestion from work, accepted positively, of input from occupational health, and that I should stay off until I am 'better'. Fairly abrupt meeting with GP who, aprised of this, organised nebuliser, chest con input and absence from work, then announced that ""all the boxes had been ticked"" and waddled off.

Through all of this my peak flow readings have stabiilised at 550 + (from around 400-450 two years ago); this I suspect has been used as 'reassurance' that my case wasn't that bad. However, in my view this year has seen a marked deterioration in my health which has resulted in substantial absence from work and lessening of 'quality of life'.

But still I have this thought; am I being a hypochondriac? After 40-odd years of good health, am I over-reacting to my first brush with some reasonably serious health issues? Or is this doubt simply the result of some stroppiness from my GPs being taken too much to heart?

Reassurance, please!

2 Replies

  • problem diagnosis

    Hi Ian

    I haven't posted here for a while but your 'post' rang a few bells - not sure how i can put it all down but you are welcome to email me for more info.

    my story starts in a very simialr way to you - good health up until recently - then chest infection / pneumonia which I never really recovered from and then a gp diagnosed me with 'late onset atshma' increased medication at a fast rate, several inhalers / tablets / steroids / nebulisers hospiatl; admissions - intailly a few hours then a few weeks..... you know the story on a recurring 5 week cyclye of chest infection - get a bit better then down again trying to get to work.

    After several CT scans, x-rays ect I was refered to the Royal Brompton (RBH) london and after 6 week, load and loads of tests I have been diagnosed with a rare lung condition called 'diffuse panbronchioltius' and bronchiectasis.

    If you do a seacrh on the web it will tell you more about it or email me about it.

    The treatment is long term 'macrolide' antibiotics - which is VERY successful - I'm now off all steroids & nebulisers and only occasionally use a blue inhaler - I also stick to a very rigid physio routine to keep my lungs clear.

    The anitibiotic regeim is very interesting and I believe is being used for asthma patients - these particular antibs have anti inflamatory properties which help our inflammed lungs.

    perhaps not alot of help but worth thinking about the following-

    refereal to consultant

    CT Scan

    referal to speacilist hospital (RBH) if at all poss

    discusss macrolide treatment with GP

    enquire about chest physio to help- your lungs

    if I can be of any other help just ask

    I have spent 6 months off work having never had a day off! and now Im getting my life back.

    Good luck

  • Parys, I am really pleased you are still doing well. It is lovely to hear that a different diagnosis is not something that is always bad.

    Good luck Ian


You may also like...