Recently diagnosed, and feeling low

Hi all,

Have recently been diagnosed with mild to moderate asthma, about 6 weeks ago. Since then, I can't seem to get it under control. I've been seeing my GP, who has prescribed Salbutamol, and I'm being monitered. Having spirometry tests next week, and may have to have a steroid inhaler too.

This is all new to me though, and I'm feeling a bit low at the moment. From leading a pretty normal life about 6 months ago, the asthma seems to be in control at the moment. I had a bad attack yesterday, with lots of coughing, and it took 4 puffs of Ventolin and almost 3 hours before I felt anything like normal. I had to take the day off work, and am still off today. The asthma is pretty OK today, but it's the aftermath. The sore ribs from coughing that make it that I can't get a decent lungful of air because it hurts.

Is all this stuff normal? Should I be seeing the doctor today after my attack yesterday? I don't want to waste valuable surgery time if I don't need to see the doc, but at the same time, I'm not having the spiro tests until next week, and my follow up GP appt is not until the week after. Am I going to be able to get back to near normal?

I'm very fortunate in having a very understanding boss, who is asthmatic, so knows the problems, but I don't want to keep having to miss work. I guess I'm looking for some advice and reassurance.

Thank you in advance


4 Replies

  • Hi Tracey

    Sorry to hear you've just been diagnosed, but first and foremost please don't think that all asthma is how you read about it on here: the majority of asthmatics on this board are severe and/all brittle, and don't generally represent the asthmatic population as a whole!

    In answer to one of your questions, it is generally a very good idea to go and see your GP after having an attack, especially if it is your first one. Please be assured that you cannot overdose on Ventolin (you may feel shakey, this is normal) however, if you do feel rough and the Ventolin isn't helping, you should not hesitate in going to A & E or contacting your doctor as soon as possible. However, from what you said, needing 4 puffs isn't that bad, and if you can handle your attack on that then a follow-up appoinment should be sufficient, but if you are worried then seek help.

    Please be reassured though, you will be able to return to normal, and the pain will subside. Just take it easy, put your feet up, and have a cup of tea! Perhaps some pain killers will help with the sore ribs, but it's generally advised that asthmatics avoid any aspirin-based analgesia.

    Hope this helps you a little, everything you have experienced seems to be normal, but if you are worried then see your doctor. DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING I HAVE SAID AS GOSPEL! Feel free to message me if you need any further clarification, or even just someone to talk to who has been where you have.

    Take care

    Emz xx

  • Thanks for the support and reassurance. I rang the Asthma UK helpline and had a long chat with someone. As a result, I managed to get in to see my GP today, who did a few more tests and then prescribed a brown inhaler, which I'll be on for 6 months, after which I'll have a review. My doc talked about being on certain rungs of the asthma ladder, and it seems I've moved up a rung. He also said that once it's under control, it's possible to move down a rung too.

    Everyone's been so lovely today, and I feel much better. Thank you.

  • I was only diagnosed about 18 months ago (well really 6 as the doctor didn't want to say for definite until I'd seen the consultant). It's very scary at first as you've no idea what to expect and don't recognise a reaction to a trigger or the early signs of an attack. My advice is to keep going back to the doctor when anything changes (or even if you don't improve). It can take a while to find the right treatment for you.

  • An Update

    I got prescribed Clenil Modulite by my GP, and have been taking it since Tuesday. I had another bad episode on Wednesday evening which took nearly half hour to get under control (well, bad for me - probably nothing to what some of you must experience on a regular basis) which really scared me. Thursday was not wonderful, chest tightness most of the day, and had to use Ventolin a couple of times.

    However, Friday, although I had sore ribs, I wasn't so bad, no need for Ventolin at all, and in the afternoon when it felt that an attack was starting, I followed the advice I'd got from here and from my friend, and tried to control it. I breathed slowly through my nose, and managed not to have to use my inhaler.

    This morning, I feel great. No tightness whatsoever, and feels like someone breathed menthol into my airways (is that feeling familiar with anyone?). I can't remember feeling like this for a long time. Long may it continue.

    Just wanted to say, the advice I've had from Asthma UK, and from you guys on here has been invaluable. I know my asthma isn't as severe as some of you have, but being newly diagnosed it was a big deal for me, and I was scared. That sounds so dramatic. I now feel though, that I'm in control.

    Thank you everyone, you're all stars.

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