Asthma UK community forum
9,892 members16,648 posts

Upgrade/ downgrade... whatever!

I have had a horrid five days or so. We put up Xmas decorations and that night I had a doozy of an attack - asthma, not burglars - Whatever I did, no good. Couldn't call an ambo because my poorly wife cannot be left alone and i put her first in all things.

Since then my PF went down and down, from 550+ to 360, So at that stage and still have gross problems I call the NHS emergency. Lovely lady doctor said I need hospital, I explained our situation. So she faxed Sainsbury's Pharmacy for me to collect steroid tabs, ventolin nebs (we have our own nebuliser for my wife) and amoxycillin standby in case I consider my self infected, which sputum being clear as glass says I am not. She also said that if I remain the same or worsen, call the ambo and be whisked away to destination unknown.

Oh, and doc said to get those chrissy decorations down and away at once. Called our wonderful son-in-law who came down immediately and took down while I wore a surgical mask to keep dust out of my airways.

As a result of this, I have re-classified my self as Severe, (update Tuesday night: Doc says I am MILD but common cold has made me worse for a few days, be ok soon) because I do not like the nasties. I have experienced how bad this asthma can be first hand. I have also decide on changes to home life:

(1) Firstly a simple matter to resolve. As there are only the two of us in the house, I have left pushing the cleaner around (no, a machine, not a lovely young thing in a blue pinny) every two or three days. From today, providing I am fit enough, I will push the thing every morning before May (the wonderful but poorly wifey) comes down. I will also dust every day - all this wearing a surgical mask.

(2) My daughter could take time off her work as an experienced qualified carer with Leonard Cheshire Homes and knows exactly how to care for May. This would be for daytime Bry Ambo occasions if needed in future. But, I ask anyone who knows, what could hospital do for me that I could not do here, taking into account the following: We have a nebuliser and supply of ventolin nebs. We have oxygen cylinders and masks and cannulas, as well as my regular meds. I don't need an oxymeter because unless one is prepared around £300 they are not too accurate, and if i know I am bad, I know I'm bad. I wouldn't use more that 2 litres a minute oxygen without medical advice anyway.

(3) All this is realising that house dust, at least, will provoke an allergic response, asthma and allergic rhinitis, as well as cold/hot air exchanges, laughing too much and who knows what, let's say, the world!

(4) No more seasonal decorations in the house - no, not ever again!

(5) Change cleaner filter frequently - it's a Miele Cat & Dog version, powerful, like it.

Apart from the above, a normal life, whatever that is, does anyone know...(Hahahahaa!)

I will be delighted with responses to this diatribe, especially if it helps anyone in analysing their own asthma life.

6 Replies

Hi Bry

I'm so sorry you've had such a bad time and I hope your health starts to improve soon. I'm lucky enough to have never been dragged into AnE because of my asthma so I can't help you with that, but I have jumped through all the hoops relating to the ever delightful housedust mite and I hope I can be a bit helpful there. When I was first told that I was allergic to housedust etc. I was advised to vacuum every day, including the bed, and, if possible to remove the carpet from the bedroom (I put cork tiles down, but you should have heard the wheezing and gasping while I was doing it!). I was also told to dust every day but I found that if I used polish the smell of it set off the asthma and if I didn't use polish the dust just floated off, got into my lungs and started the asthma off! In the end I started to vacuum EVERYTHING - TV, tables, light fittings, skirting boards, door frames, books, worktops - nothing escapes my Dyson and it's a very good way of making sure that I don't leave small objects lying about where they might get slurped up into the cleaner. When you start doing this it seems very onerous, but you'll find that the fact that you do it every day means that there is very little to do so it doesn't take too long.

From your post it seems that you and your wife have a wonderful relationship, definitely something to be cherished, but please find someone who would be able to stay with May at short notice if you need to go to hospital - it wouldn't help her at all if your health deteriorated drastically because you didn't get treatment when you need it.

Good luck to you.



Thanks for your reply, Annie. I'll use your suggestion of using the cleaner as a duster, I have a soft round brush for that. I forgot to say, not only our daughter but our son has said he will also take time off work. I tend to think of our daughter because of her experience.

With regard to my wife, we have been married 52 years, but only knew her 7 months before we married. We both worked in the sand and gravel industry running transport fleets. We spoke on the phone every day arranging return loads for the trucks, over several years. Her driver uncle told me, ""She's no Marylin Monroe but a very nice girl"". So one day I asked on the phone if we could meet and she said she never went on blind dates. But she did meet me near her house on a rainy evening and we spent a long time in a phone box talking about lorries.

We met on the 28th of April, On the 5th of May 1959 I asked her if she could boil an egg, she said of course, so I said when do we get married then and she said, as soon as possible. She deceived me though! She said she owned a lawn mower and had £20 in the bank. Turned out she owed £20 on the mower to the tally-man! But we married on the 5th of December 1959 anyway, and I forgave her and used the mower.

She is so poorly, on oxygen therapy all the time and so dreadfully short of breath. Asthma has given me a little insight to how she feels, but not like her, an everlasting condition.

When we married, we said we wanted to grow old together, and we are nearly there. She's such a lovely wonderful lady, my treasure... Woops, I've gone off topic!


Due to having coughing fits causing broncospasms, one after the other tonight, (scary!) Emergency doctor told me that I have MILD asthma and the common cold is causing present problems. The extra meds prescribed will bring me back to normal in several days. She said to take the blue twice every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day until I am better. So that's somewhat reassuring because I had feared I had developed severe asthma, and I was wrong.


So sorry you've been struggling Bry - so touched by the way you speak of the relationship you and your wife May have. Beautiful :)

As to the dust....damp dusting (i.e. using a cloth dampened with plain water) will trap the dust on the cloth and stop it floating around the room....prevents any issues with polishes or cleaning fluids.




Thank you for sharing your lovely story with us. It is proof for cynical divorcees like me that it really is possible for love to last a lifetime. Many hugs to you both, and good wishes for the New Year.




Thank you ladies. I have taken note of your cleaning tips and have already put them to use as I am now improving, thanks to extra meds.

It has also been reassuring to have confirmed from the doctor that I (only!) have mild asthma that the common cold made so awful. Just shows, another reason to avoid colds as best we can, but it brought to light that dust is a trigger as well. I was so fearful that the asthma had worsened, but of course it had not.

I had a lung-gunge coughing fit during last night and slept well afterwards. This morning I awoke and felt energetic and have done domestic stuff and been shopping.

My cough is not so bad now, so roll on tomorrow!


You may also like...