Asthma UK community forum
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could do with some advice

Hi guys,

Im new here and am looking for some advice. Ive been diagnosed with asthma for 12 years, since the age of ten. it was always mild and exercise and cold/flu related but well controlled, until i went to uni and then it went a bit haywire. It has been described as brittle asthma although having looked it up i dont think i really fit either category of brittle asthma. Basically im normally perfectly fine and dont even need prevenotr inhalers until i get some sort of cold or a virus and then my asthma goes mental. I dont wheeze i just keep on coughing and coughing. I only usually get 2 or 3 episodes a year but most end up with me needing steroids, a few nebuliser treatments and antibiotics and it normally responds to this and im ok after a week or two.

However 3 1/2 weeks ago i cold a cold, cough started immediately and i ended up making several trips for nebuliser, being on steroids and starting antibiotics and was admitted for 24hours for regular nebs, iv steorids and had one Iv antibiotics before they decided it wasnt an infection and stopped all antibiotics. I seemed to get better after that and stepped down off the steroids. Then a few days later i seemed to get another cold and it all kicked off again. 2 more trips for nebs and a new course of steroids.Then i was given my own nebuliser on loan from the GP,to use to take 5mg of ventolin every 4 hours. This seemend to improve me over the first 24 hours but by day 2 i got worse. That was last night and although my cough isnt half as hacking as it was, its gone different in a nasty kind of way, like i cant stop once i trigger it.

Im fine so long as im sat still, im not short of breath and not coughing, but the moment i move im setting off the cough and really short of breath. last night it was really bad and i was getting terrible pain in my right lung, that i can only liken to the burning squeezing sensation you get if you sprint without breathing. the only other time ive had that kind of lung pain was when i had viral pericarditis 2 years ago and had a plueral effusion at the same time. I saw a duty gp at 5.30pm and she said if i got worse i needed to go to a and e because there was no more they could do for me at home, although she prescribed me some more steroids (at a lower dose) and 500mg strength antibiotics. I know now i should have gone to a and e with it, but my mom talked me out of it, told me to get some rest and let the antibiotics work.

Now im down to my last 5 nebuliser capsules, which wont last the weekend, im down to 20mg of steroids instead of 40mg like i was on before and im not getting better. Although im not horrendously sick the moment i try to do anything im coughing and really short of breath. I really dont know what to do anymore or who to go and see? Im considering going to a and e in the morning but worry they will turn me away because im not wheezing (i neverdo), my peak flow isnt too bad (350- my best is 450) and i seem fine when im sat still. Im really paranoid somethings not right because usually my asthma is way easier to control, and the pericarditis i had 2 years ago was missed lots of times and i didnt realise how very ill i was.

so far ive had 40mg pred for 8 days (+ unknown amount of IV steroids), 7 days of stepping down 35mg-5mg, 5 days of no steroids, 5 days of 40mg and i now have 3 days of 20mg left. im a bit concerned about yoyoing up and down and wether or not i should betapering them moreseeing as ive been on them almost constantly for 3 weeks now. Im taking 8 puffs of symbicort 200/6 a day too, plus some antibiotic ear drops and cetirizine and cimetidine for my dermographic urticaria.

You guys seem to be much more practised in the more serious side of asthma. I usually feel quite in control when i have flare ups as its a regular routine, but im now into unchartered waters and dont know who to contact next?! do i go to a and e and face been pushed away? try and see yet another out of hours gp? (i havent been ableto see my own gp at all in the last 3 weeks) i just feel like no-one is co-ordinating my treatment at all and its all very adhoc. The nebs are helping but not improving my situation... argh!!!!


1 Reply

There is only one answer to your problem you have to go to A&E now. If you are able to talk in sentances then get someone to take you do not try and get public transport (been there done that and it ain't pretty), if you are struggling to talk in sentances call 999, you are not wasting their time. You need seeing and you need seeing today sadly as it is a weekend you will be lucky to get a resp person see you but the medical lot should be able to help, you should not solider on afraid to bother someone. When you get to A&E don't get upset or panic explain as best you can what is going on tell them you are frightened and that you were very ill 2 years ago and you feel you have no control over your asthma.



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