Newly Diagnosed

Hi Everyone

I gave up smoking after 30 years on 1st August this year and within three weeks of being smoke-free, I had my first asthma attack :-(

I have Atrovent at night and also have a Salbutamol Reliever during the day if I need it. Which I've needed quite regularly recently after a big attack. I have been on four separate doses of Prednisolone for when I'm really bad. Unfortunately, this time, the Pred did very little to help. It took at least three days to kick in. I'm exhausted due to being unable to sleep for longer than three hours at a time and I'm getting a lot of severe chest pain and back pain and when I asked my GP, he said that I could take Ibuprofen for the pain and that it was just the fact that I will have pulled some muscles from all the coughing. I have read a lot of info and I know that Ibuprofen is not normally recommended if you're on an inhaler but the doc says as I've been able to take it before being diagnosed, then I should be OK with it now which I am.

I am due back for a spirometry this Friday and have a lot of questions. Far from improving, the asthma appears to be getting worse :-( I don't want to become reliant on the Salbutamol either. The GP says that the asthma may only be temporary but I haven't read anything anywhere that says that asthma is temporary!

I'm getting quite down about it now and just wish they would get it under control :-(

Is there anything else I can do to help myself? I've been told that an air purifier may help at home??

Many thanks

5 Replies

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  • Welcome to the forum

    As its a recent diagnoses it will take a bit of time to get your meds right. Keep bugging the GP to change things or try something else. Some drugs will work well while others of a similar make up will not work at all. For helping yourself its a case of finding out your triggers and avoiding them as best you can. Hope things get sorted for you soon. Amanda

  • Hi Mrs Stringy

    So sorry you're having such a bad time and I hope it settles down soon.

    I wouldn't suggest that you rush out and get an air purifier yet (they're not cheap), as your doctor has suggested that your asthma may be only temporary. If you find that your asthma doesn't improve you could then ask for a skin test to find out what your triggers are and then make a decision based on the results.

    Having said that, dust is one of my biggest triggers so I bought an air purifier at the beginning of the year when my asthma was giving me a very hard time and I found it very helpful at the time, although now my lungs are behaving better I almost never turn it on.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you luck with it.

  • Mrs Stringy,

    Welcome to the forum xxx

    when out in the cold try a scarf round your mouth to warm the air before goes in your lungs.

    You will get lots of tips and make friends on here.

    Does take time to get meds right so keep going see your doc if no better .

    love glynis xxx

  • Welcome to the forum. The green band along the top 'All about Asthma' has a lot of useful information.

    Unfortunately asthma is variable so everyone is different. Colds are my main trigger, but I'm also affected by a range of other things - dust, smoke (people smoking, bonfire smoke), even laughing loudly can trigger my asthma..

    I take extra vit C to help my immune system - also try to keep warm when I go out in cold/damp weather. Wrapping a scarf round your neck and mouth is a good idea (as Glynis has suggested). Also a hot water bottle for back/chest pain helps. I try to pace myself in all things (dont always succeed). You will find your own triggers in time, also what medicines help. Good luck and I hope things improve for you.

  • Thanks for your replies. Lots of info to take in. I've had a good read of the green bands at the top of here too.

    Sorry it's taken a while to reply but I found it difficult replying when I couldn't see what I was replying to!

    I'm not entirely sure yet what my triggers are but suspect the dog (!) and perfumes/cleaning products/aerosols and funnily enough, passive smoking! I can't believe I've just typed that as a hardened smoker! My sense of smell and taste seems to be so acute too, I feel like I'm eating the smells and choking on them. I can't seem to breathe properly in any rooms which are warm and don't seem to have any ventilation. That's really quite scary as I have to get out ASAP. I feel quite claustrophobic, start to panic and then set my asthma off!

    I managed to sleep six hours solid last night which is quite good as I am still on the Pred. I decided to leave the window open in my bedroom as most nights, I have to get up in the middle of the night and open it as I don't seem to be able to get any air. It worked a treat last night!

    I won't dash out and the get the purifier yet, I'll see how it goes. I have made a list of questions for the asthma nurse and am going to try and get her or my GP to refer me to a specialist. The sooner I can get this under control and know what triggers it, the better.

    One saving grace in my favour is that I am a brass player. You can't beat playing a brass instrument to help anyone with asthma! Although if I don't get this under control soon, I'm going to really struggle.

    I had a chest X ray a few weeks ago which showed that my lungs were enlarged but my heart was OK. I know that there will be some damage to them. You can't smoke for 30 years and expect to get off scott free.

    I'm definitely going to start taking Vit C in big doses. It was a cold that set my asthma off this time round. Thanks for the advice Angie, I will definitely be wrapping a scarf round my mouth and face.

    I am definitely going to ask for a trigger test. The sooner I know what causes it to get worse, the better. At least then I can avoid the triggers if at all possible.

    I also have fibromyalgia but normally the pain is in my lower torso. The chest and back pain I'm getting lately is very similar to the fibro and I have wondered whether it just may be that the fibro has travelled upwards into my top half and not just my muscles attempting to mend from all the coughing?

    The Ibuprofen did work slightly for the chest and back pain. I still got the pain, it was just dulled a little. So I'll keep taking the IP for now I think. Well certainly until I see how I am when I finish the Pred. I've taken 6 x 5mg tabs every day for 5 days and then tapered off each day from 5, then 4 (today's dose), 3, 2 then 1 so I will finish them entirely on Wednesday.

    I really can't wait to see the asthma nurse for my spirometry on Friday. I just hope that I don't get really bad again when I finish the Pred. Usual scenario is finish Pred then about three days later, asthma attack and start all over again. I am so exhausted with it all and finding it difficult at work due to not getting enough sleep :-(

    I'll keep this updated so you (and I) can see how it goes.

    Many thanks for all your help :o)

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