Recently diagnosed after a chest infection

In July 2011 I had a really bad chest infection that left me struggling to breathe properly, I was wheezing and coughing and sounded terrible and really struggling for breath. I went to my GP got antibiotics, went away, chest never cleared up, went back. Got given Salbutamol (said I could not have Prednisolone cos am diabetic). Salbutamol did little or nothing. Got signed off work for 2 weeks. Was so puffed out all the time and knackered. Went back to Drs, was given Salmeterol - few days later, this was not helping either, was struggling more and more. Had peak flow done (was 175). A different Dr said this cannot go on and put me on a 5 day course of prednisolone which was FANTASTIC, I could breathe!!!! Was told to keep taking Salmeterol and Salbutamol. SOme weeks later and many many episodes of coughing and wheezing and this last 6 days no sleep from coughing at night - few days ago I was prescribed Clenil (peak flow measured 250). Just been told to keep taking Clenil (and salbutamol) and see how it goes? So is this how it should be, is this all that happens now, me just seeing how it goes and going back to GP now and then if I need to?

Sorry for longish post. By the way, I did have asthma as a child (spent 12 weeks in a chest hospital when I was 8, Llangwyffan North Wales) but the astham went when I was 9 and became diabetic. Can't remember much if anything about astham though.

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  • Because asthma is so variable I'm afraid it is often a matter of 'suck it and see' with meds initially. You could ask for a referral to a consultant if your asthma is uncontrolled but the GP will try to treat it first with preventer/reliever inhalers. The Clentil will take a while to build up in your system.

    Have you got a spacer? if not, ask for a prescription for one. Also, continue to monitor your peak flow (2 or 3 times a day) and write it down - you might see a pattern and it is useful to show the GP/consultant (if you get referred). I keep a record of my son's illnesses and what med he took (eg antibiotics/steroids) which the consultant finds useful.

    Good luck and I hope things improve for you. Feel free to PM me anytime.

  • hi there. first of all, a very warm welcome to the forums!

    the good news in your post is that youre already diagnosed. so i would advise you to take the time to browse round the articles in this site, especially the section ""new to asthma"" and ""just been diagnosed"". you can get all the info you need to see what youre up against, so to speak.

    second, im afraid to begin with it can be rather a trial, as you have to find what meds do or dont work for your asthma, and it takes a while for eachnew med to kick in before you can have a very good idea of this.

    try to find out what might be your triggers (it sounds like coughs and colds could be one...) the peak flow record several times a day can be gelpful for this. if and when this is done, you might have to consider some lifestyle changes to try and avoid your triggers as much as possible.

    if you have any questions, you could email the asthma nurse, or ring the asthma uk adviceline. theyre really marvellous! also feel free to message me, even if just for a chat or a rant!

    all the best!

    Rose

  • Hi, thank you for the replies. I don't have a spacer, not quite sure what one is? Am hoping to see the practise nurse in 5 weeks or so, though she did say just a phone call would do, Ah well, guess I just have to cope with it. (feeling a bit sorry for myself here!). On the whole (considering) I think I am fairly fit luckily, I work 4 days a week, have 2 kids and am type 1 diabetic with rheumatoid arthritis (on methotrexate) that's about it. Was not too happy about being told I now had asthma to the list!!!!!! But there are worse things and it appears to be not too bad. XCathy

  • Catsbd,

    Hello and welcome to Asthma UK which is a good source of support and information. The site is for all levels of asthma from mild to a disproportionate amount of severe with multiple admissions including intensive care which is rare.

    I think Prednisolone could be given to diabetics but may need more blood sugar monitoring? Glad it helped when you had it.

    As the others have said, it can take a while to get the right combination for you. Do go back earlier if the Clenil doesn't help soon.

    A spacer helps help to deliver asthma medication to your lungs, makes inhalers easier to use and reduces the risk of side effects. There is info available on here under 'All about Asthma' in the green bar at the top of the page. It would also be worth having your own peakflow (also on prescription) and keeping a diary of your readings.

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