Hello - New Member

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to introduce myself really and say hello. I was diagnosed with asthma a few years ago but after some initial trouble controlling it, it took a back seat and I havent really had many problems since up until the last few months. I have now worked out that everytime I get so much as a sniffle I end up coughing and wheezing for days/weeks afterwards. The set up of my doctors (dont get me started) makes it difficult to get an appointment unless it's an emerginency and so I havent really addressed this issue properly and just treat with lots of Salbutamol, which takes quite some time to settle back down again. Until this past ten days! I had a tiny viral infection (I mean I had the sniffles for about 6 hrs!!) and then started with the asthma again, tried to control it with ventolin and by Friday it was unbearable (ok left it too late but you have no idea how hard it is to get an appointment!). I called the surgery hoping for an appointment with any doctor, and all I could get was a phone call with the nurse. Told her i thought I needed another inhaler and she told me she thought I would be fine. I had already told her i was getting next to no relief from that, that I was tired, couldnt manage even small tasks and that my chest was sore and tight. Was coughing on the phone to her, too and tbh I just couldnt be bothered to argue I just didnt have the energy at all!!

I ended up self-medicating out of desperation and borrowed my daughter's steriod inhaler and had the max dose for a couple of days while I waited for the doctors to see me. Went in today, slightly better no thanks to them, and he said I was still wheezy all over my chest (?) and he gave me Beclometasone 100 telling me to have 4 puffs morning and then again at night. Told me to use the ventolin 10 mins before to open the airways too.

He said this was an asthma attack, which really took me aback because i thought it was just a flare up. Just hope it settles down soon, because I am still shattered, still coughing and my peak flow is only hovering around 300-320!

So sorry for the essay, but does anyone have any hints/tips/advice for coping with this. i realise I only have mild asthma, dont know how a lot of people manage!!

10 Replies

  • Well Mummy Jones, don't worry about the essay type post, many of us do it from time to time. Your Doctor's surgery appointments system is a problem that many people across the country experience. Now at my doctor's surgery, they have some future bookable appointments, look into your surgery and see if this is possible.

    I find your current status regarding your Asthma rather concerning, and sometimes we have to stand up for ourselves to get noticed, if you feel that the receptionists are not taking you seriously, usually a telephone call to the practice manager can produce the necessary results. No one likes to appear pushy, but Asthma needs to be taken very seriously, and I am sorry but a phone call from a practice nurse does not appear to be sufficient right now, and no one, not ever a doctor can diagnose safely over a phone, some physical tests and exams need to be done to set your mind at rest and get the best treatment possible to control your Asthma.

    Finally never use someone else's medication, a steriod inhaler isn't going to settle your attack immediately, and usually it takes 2 to 3 days before a patient who has been put on steriod based inhalers sees any effect. If you cannot get your GP to take you seriously, or it is out of hours just take yourself to A & E, they would rather see you when you are able to speak comfortably, and my belief and I am sure it is many others a live Asthmatic is far better than a dead one.

  • Welcome to AUK hope you find it friendly and helpful take care xx ps if it gets that bad again dont hesatate get an ambulance or someone to get you to the hospital dont want to scare you but and asthmatic dies every 7 hours and it in 99% of the time is from lack of understanding how bad asthma can be stay safe and look after yourself

  • Hi, Oh boy you sound so much like how I was!!!! Don't mess with, I did and spent a week in hospital. We are all a bit complacent, BUT it sounds like you are muddleing through much the same as I was!! Not necesarrily our fault. I got stressed with similar symptoms, luckily it was a Sunday night so it was our out of hours system that took my call, the covering GP's are located in our local hospital and I saw them within a half hour, my sats were through the floor and peak flow was non existant so no messing they admitted me. I went on oxygen, had regular nebulisers, a course of anti biotics and three weeks of steroid. I just felt so so guilty taking up such valuable bed space!!!!!

    In that week I came to understand my illness, how it works etc. the asthma nurse was fantastic help.

    The consultant took away my Beclasone (red) inhaler and my Sabutamol (blue) inhaler and put me on the ""smart regime"" SYMBICORT, so far so good!! Two inhalations in the morning and two at night.

    Even if you are feeling okay, make an appointment, don't wait till your down, and ask about seeing an asthma nurse, there is one there for you. Hope you get there, take care x

  • Thank you all for your kind words.

    To clarify my ramblings a little I was using ventolin almost continually before I added in the Beclamatasone (sp) but realised that while stopping me from tipping over the edge completely, it wasnt going to make any long term difference. I also knew that what the doctors would almost certainly do is what they did yesterday. I know it was wrong really but felt I had no choice. I honestly thought it wasnt an emergency unless you actually couldnt breathe whereas I could/can but it is difficult and laboured.

    I have just called the surgery for a phonecall back from the GP as I am concerned that after 3 days max dose brown inhaler Peak flow was 290 this morning and I am still struggling. Have had to use the blue one lots already and I just need to know at what point I need to worry/have a different treatment plan. Will make an appointment for the asthma nurse as soon as I am over this, dont worry! I have sooooo learnt my lesson the hard way!

    Thanks again for taking the time to read this x

  • Morning Mummy Jones

    Glad you have got in touch with your surgery this morning, sounds like your medication still needs some adjustment. Hope your telephone appointment goes well and you get better soon. But out of hours if things really do become a struggle and using your blue inhaler alot is a sign that things are not good please get yourself to A & E.

  • Confused now, but feeling a lot better nonetheless

    Doctor called me this afternoon, I explained how I was feeling and he told me to come down to the surgery late afternoon. I had been coughing (my main symptom) so much my eyes were watering while I was waiting for my appointment so took some ventolin, which actually worked better than it has throughout this whole episode. About 30 mins later I went in to GP and he checked my chest and peak flow (390!!! Loads better) and said he didnt know where the tight chest was coming from as there was only a slight wheeze on my chest now. Another of my symptoms is that I sometimes experience a feeling as if my throat is closing and when I mentioned this he told me that the coughing spasms were unrelated to the asthma and that this would give me a sore chest but wouldnt be helped by Ventolin.

    Anyway, I came away confused, felt more than a little foolish but I was happy nonetheless because I was feeling loads better by this point anyway. (?) FF 3 hours, putting the girls to bed, 5 mins of tightening chest, lots of coughing , starting to wheeze, took 3 puffs ventolin and hey presto No more symptoms.

    Not sure what's going on tbh, I am very happy because whatever the reason, I no longer feel like the living dead, which I had done for almost all the day (and the previous ten!), and happy because I dont feel like I have a huge person sitting on my chest. Please, does anyone know what is actually happening?

  • Hello mummyJones and welcome to auk:-)

    I think I would be confused, too. One day your gp gives you an inhaler the next day he says it wouldn't help anyway?

    From what you said about your symptoms I'm the same. Throat closing, tight chest, coughing and only recently started wheezing. Coughing fits until in tears, very familiar.

    If the reliefer helps take it I'm just confused about what your gp said. Did he just think you had ""a cough""?

    Your symptoms sound like mine and I've had asthma for over 10years. What did he tell you to do about the inhalers before you left?

    Love Lydia x

  • Hi Lydia

    The GP said that I have asthma but that the continuing cough isnt as by the time I went in, my chest had eased and my peak flow had increased. For the record I think he is wrong. He said it was tracheitis but I had used my inhaler just before i went in for my appointment and it had actually worked which I think is why I was a lot better by then. Other reason I think he is wrong is that I now feel almost normal again, reliever inhaler has worked really well since whenever I have had to use it and then I slept almost the whole night last night. I think he was confused as to why I had gone in in the first place, and didnt really register that I had said I had just used the reliever.

    Just feel like he thinks I was putting it on, or dont understand my own symptoms. Still cringing now tbh but so pleased to feel like a person. My OH said this morning that I LOOK so different and he could instantly tell I was a lot better thanks to the inhalers!! Doctor did say to keep taking the inhalers.

  • Hi mummyjones,

    got a clearer picture now;-) it's awful when docs think you're putting it on. You know your body best and you know when you're bad so you've done the right thing. I'm glad the inhaler is giving you the relieve! As a none wheezer it's hard for people, docs etc to believe it's asthma. I experienced it a few times:-( I wish sometimes I would wheeze to be heard.

    I'm glad you're feeling better and just keep on going back to your gp if you're bad. Don't you have an asthma nurse at your surgery? I find mine brill. She listenes, does tests and takes her time. You might have a good one at your surgery who can help you better?

    Take care

    love Lydia x

  • Hi Lydia,

    I do have a wheeze sometimes but my main symptom is a cough plus tight chest and breathlessness (obv doc cant hear/feel/see the tightness or breathlessness) I think it was really because I had used the reliever and (thank God) at last got some relief from it! Ah well never mind.

    I am going to make an appointment to see the asthma nurse, doctor told me to make sure I see her every 6 months to keep on top of things. I am going to try to make sure we fill in the action plan this time, and I am keeping a peak flow chart too :-) I know from previous times that my average when well is around 450-475, whereas at the moment when feeling reasonable I am around 390-400 so not too far off. Thank you so much for your support, it has really helped me.

    Lynnette xxx

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