Keeping a diary - feeling grumpy

Hi all,

Hope everyone's well. I've been for my weekly asthma review (seems I live there at the moment), and the doc suggested the return of my symptoms over the past few days is due to the weather turning. We're trying Serevent again, as I pointed out that I had had a short spell of dizziness quite a while after he took me off it, so he suggested the previous spell could have been unrelated to the Serevent.

I took my PF chart to show him - I tend to write brief notes as to what my triggers could be i.e., we had to have one of the cats put to sleep this week, and the emotion seemed toset off my chest tightness. I also write if I'm stressed and that sort of stuff. But I was thinking of keeping a more detailed diary, on the suggestion of my friend. Maybe write what I've eaten, what the weather's doing, mood, where I am in my cycle, etc. I know it'll take weeks but thought I might be able to see a pattern emerging, as at the moment, I don't have much of a clue what my triggers are.

Has anyone else tried this tack with any success? I'm at the end of my tether with trying to gain control. Seems to be a step forward, a step back, and I'm on the most medication I've ever been on right now.

7 Replies

  • yes, I write notes on the chart, but not to the extent you intend doing. I recorded which exercises like swimming, cycling, running and then if I had a cold, or it was cold weather. Helped me to get some idea of what affects me and learn how to find a work around. so I would certainly do it, you have nothing to loose, and you may learn something really useful. I'm sure some foods have an effect on me, but can't or haven't worked out which yet, all I know it's something in the dry fruit and nut mix from tescos, but it's not the nuts.

    I see that you have clenil to use with the serevent, I was on that combo for a while, and it did work for me, but found the use of a spacer made a huge improvement, and helped me not to have the sore throat that I had before using it. Taking 4 puffs twice a day, all that powder hits the back of the throat, and I had constant sore throats from it. Now use seretide, combo medication, but still use the spacer, it's more effective.

    good luck with the diary, and hope you get better and stay that way.


  • Thanks Chris. Yes, I'm using a spacer with my steroid inhaler, have been since it was increased to the Clenil 200. At one point I was taking 6 puffs a day, so definitely need a spacer with that. Fortunately, I didn't get a sore throat pre-spacer.

    I just came back from a practice, and my friend had a spare diary that he gave me, so will be starting it tomorrow. I'll keep everyone posted on any progress made with it.

    Stay well, everyone

    Tracey x

  • Keeping a diary is a good idea, Kitanda. Good prompt for asthma review.

    Have small week per page diary to record when taken preventer puffs each day, whether I wake during the night with a tight chest and how many Ventolin puffs I have in 24 hours.

    Still trying to find my triggers. So far, I've found Baxter's soup, Cadbury's chocolate and McVitie's digestive biscuits. All my favourite foods! 8(

  • Tracey, just checking to see how the diary is going. Have you noticed any patterns, or anything surprising?

    Hope you are feeling happier than you were.


  • Hi there Chris,

    Yes, still on with the diary. Asthma's mostly been behaving, but one or two things have come to light, which I will be discussing at my review on Tuesday. One thing I've noticed is that the weather, more specifically air pressure really does have an effect. When the pressure's low, with impending rain or thunder I do struggle.

    The other thing, which I wasn't sure about, was white bread. I don't eat it very often, unless I've made it myself, but recently I had a bun from the deli near work and within 20 minutes my chest was really tight. Then I had a toasted teacake at my local cafe, and again experienced tightness.

    As an experiment, I decided to try white bread one more time, at a folk festival we were playing at. I told my friend what I intended to do. Sure enough, withing 15 minutes, coughing and tightness ensued. The problem was, though, that after 4 puffs of Ventolin that didn't help, I realised my inhaler was empty. I asked another friend if I could use her inhaler, but she didn't have it, and that's when I panicked, and went into an attack. That was 50 minutes before going on stage to finish the night.

    Fortunately a friend grabbed my car keys, and drove me like a maniac to my house, where he got my spacer and a new Ventolin. After 10 puffs it settled down, and amazingly I got back to the festival in time for the finale. I was really shaky and weepy just before I went on, but it went OK, only had to stop singing once, but it was only harmony so was OK.

    Sorry, it's turned into an essay! But thanks for asking. I would recommend anyone trying to find triggers to keep an asthma diary.

  • glad you are finding it useful. Weather, specifically thunder is known to be a problem for some. Wonder what's in white bread to affect you, thats all I eat, might try brown and see what it does for me.

    Good to see you are feeling and keeping well, you sound like you are enjoying yourself more, and doing a few gigs. The empty ventolin is something thats easy to do, have you tried keeping a record in you diary of what you use, then just tot it up every week, you then get a rough idea how many puffs are left for future use.

  • I do mark on my PF chart when I've used Ventolin, and how much. Problem is, I have three Ventolin inhalers, so depending on where I am at the time, I could use any one of them. I'll need to keep a close eye on the levels in the future.

    With the white bread, I wondered if it was the bleached flour. I use unbleached when I make it in the bread maker, but any shop bought is often whitened. I mostly eat multigrain or wholemeal, so have really notoced the difference with white. Might be worth giving it a go, Chris, see how you get on.


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