More Moans - Is it Time of Year?

Can't possibly be asthma if you haven't got a wheeze. Can't be. Who says it can? Asthma UK? Chest hurt? Cannot possibly be anything to do with how much you have been coughing your damned guts out for the last 3 days, and what was your PF reading as you did so? Asthma at your age? Very unusual. Why would that start now? I don't think so. Mis-diagnosis.

Sound familiar? So said my non-regular GP this morning. My regular GP was not available for emergencies today so this is the rubbish I had to put up with. Now I really do know what some of you guys have gone through before.

I will be booking myself in with my normal GP, but will have to wait for few more days now. In the meantime? I think I will be getting used to being exhausted.

Sorry about more moaning. Just feeling a bit low. Thank goodness for support from good friends. It's probably just the time of year for moaning.

Alan

14 Replies

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  • Sorry you havin a rough time too. I am always worse in Feb/March which is weird coz its warmer here in Scotland now than it was in Dec/Jan. Must be just coincidence. Nothing worse than going to GP only to feel they don't understand. Hope things pick up soon.

  • Sorry you had such a time of it, but glad you have friends that can be counted on to be there for you in good times and bad.

    Alan... All I can say is that some docs think THEY know it all but I am sure your regular GP will put her right !!

    Please remember...just because you don't wheeze ... does not mean that your asthma is not real.

    And all that coughing is bound to make you sore and tired.

    Take care of yourself, rest, relax as much as possible and don't forget to give a big hug to your friends when you are up to it !

    Love, Hugs and Kisses from your friend in the Orkney Islands

    Susy

  • Hi Alan

    I can empathise. After posts here and speaking to the asthma advice line I saw a doc this afternoon, not either of my 2 usual ones only to be told he didn't think it was my asthma, he said my chest didn't sound too bad. However my peak flow was low, 200, so I did leave with a script for antibiotics and another short course of prednisolone.

    Can't say I'm happy at the lack of understanding. When will docs learn that we know our bodies and conditions. I'd been coughing my guts up since Saturday morning and have been full of gunk.

    I'm glad it's not just my doc that lacks knowledge.

    Hope you get help soon, because it is so tiring coughing like that.

    Jen x

  • Hi Alan,

    So sorry you're having a rough time - I know how the exhaustion and pain from coughing can grind you down. You are right, the time of year doesn't help either - the lack of sunlight makes everyone a bit down, I think, and all the bugs that are around don't help.

    The old chestnut 'if it doesn't wheeze, it's not asthma' seems to be rearing it's ugly head quite a lot these days. I'd love to know which medical school some of these doctors went to! There isn't a lot I can say constructively, except that you mustn't let them make you doubt yourself.

    Please don't let one bad experience put you off seeking help when you need it. If things get worse, do go back to your GP, the out of hours service or A&E. Please don't risk the consequences of not seeking help when you really need it.

    Don't apologise for moaning! This is a really difficult and unpleasant situation for you to be in. It's horrible when you feel that your doctors are doubting you, and horrible when you have these symptoms that wear you down and make you feel exhausted. I hope you manage to get to see your regular GP soon and that he/she provides you with some answers and some help.

    Take care

    Em H

  • Sorry to hear that you are feeling unwell and its never moaning when talking to people on this forum..is my understanding..if i can offer any support at this difficult time then please let me know...just so you know you are not alone, i have been expereincing a very similar situation.

    I was released from hospital a few days ago having been sent in by the GP...i was met with words like, well you are not wheezing just coughing and SOB, its not normal, you should be feeling this or that by now, not really sure whats happening and why you cannot breathe...

    I even experienced an asthma attack in front of nursing staff, could not speak to explain how i was feeling because coughing and breathless, but still they did not recognise that i needed help. It took a 3rd nurse to appear to give me a much needed neb...its driving me nuts being at home alone still feelibng rough, coughing, low peak flow (for me) breathless...when will people believe what i am saying...it just starts to make me feel that i am making a fuss and maybe things are not as bad as all that...i have even felt previously like i was going to pass out from not moving enough air..but without a wheeze, its seems to not register on peoples radars...

    Hope things improve for you and you get the support and reassurance from your regular GP soon

    Take Care xx

  • I'm with EmilyH on this one - I'm bemused as to where the mantra ""if it doesn't wheeze, it's not asthma"" comes from. It's certainly not one I've ever subscribed to. My mantra goes along the lines of ""All that wheezes is not necessarily asthma"" (for your happy wheezing kids) and ""All that is asthma does not necessarily wheeze"".

    Just this afternoon I have seen someone with what I felt was worsening asthma control - dry coughing spasms relieved by ventolin, feeling completely washed out, ever since having had a cold in December - yet they had been seen by another doctor some weeks ago and had been told it was viral and not an asthma-thing. But when you describe the symptoms as I just have....bemusement, really, utter bemusement. We'll see what some treatment does for this person, and if I remember to come back to this thread I'll update - not for my own diagnostic gratification, more to boost flagging morales. I'll even update if I was wrong!

  • Thank you all so very much.

    Nagging at me, since the doubt was put in my head this morning, was the thought that maybe she was right and I'd got it all out of proportion, but your support has re-inforced what I already really know.

    I am still coughing like a trojan on and off and am still very tired, but your support has made me more determined - I have to get it through to this doctor, and as many others as I possibly can, that , as we all know, there isn't the one size fits all for asthma. We are all different. I forgot earlier - PF was another thing - my PF was fantastic compared to some of you, but, if mine is 530-550 when I'm well, doesn't a drop to the 300s suggest a bit of an issue? A reduction to almost half seems a bit of a major change, even to a layman like me?

    I do now have another appointment with my regular gp, but a few days away. I think I would rather wait, than be treated for heart disease, which is what is being suggested! What a terrible way to have to think though. In the meantime, the men in green have been here before; if I need to, I will invite them again.

    Thanks again for all your support. I'll let you know what happens in due course.

    Alan

    x

  • Hi Alan,

    Sorry to hear that you are not feeling so good.

    Know exactly where you are coming from. Often feel like i have a huge elephant sat on my chest and nobody else can see it !

    Take care of yourself and keep your chin up. Please dont let that elephant get too big.

    Best Wishes

    Cathy xxx

  • A drop in peak flow from 550 to the 300s is indeed highly significant, and, in my humble opinion, virtually diagnostic of asthma in the context of your symptoms. I know it's easy to have your confidence knocked when someone starts questioning things that you've taken for granted, but you are not getting things out of perspective and you are right to be frustrated and worried. It can be a good thing for doctors to go back to first principles and keep questioning the diagnosis - after all, mistakes are occasionally made, things change and symptoms develop, and people can always develop new conditions - but it can also be very challenging as a patient when things are questioned in this way.

    Hang in there; I'm glad that you are getting to see your regular doctor, who you obviously trust. I'm sure he or she will be able to unpick your symptoms and treat the asthma appropriately. Make sure you do call those green men, though, if things get worse or you are concerned!

    Take care and get better soon

    Em H

  • Finally, I got to see my regular GP today. I told him all that was said last week and he was very surprised. “We don’t need any other tests. We know it is asthma.” He will “speak to her”. X-ray was fine. Blood tests were fine, including cholesterol (actually lower than last check 4 years ago). ECG fine, apart from reflecting slightly high BP which has been monitored every month for a while now.

    As this is a multi-GP practice, I re-emphasised that issue that so many of encounter again and again about not being wheezers and I hope that the message will reach all of the doctors in this practice. I hope the result of all this is that there is at least one more GP that learns that not all asthma sufferers show the same symptoms, and wheezing is not compulsory.

    The bad news: my regular GP is retiring in October. I thought I would have to go through this all again, but we have already spoken about who I would see in his place. I do not have to worry – as of today, my “handover” is already starting and my new GP (another one in which I already do have trust) will know all about me well before he takes over my care permanently.

    What now? I am a man with a mission now. I need to get this message across to as many medical professionals as I possibly can. I had better get on and complete my AUK Volunteer application this weekend.

    Thanks again for the support from you all. It really did help me get through this.

    Alan

  • AlanJ

    So happy last weeks medical hassles and stresses are over... Upwards and onwards from now on !

    So glad you are feeling better and all the best on application for volunteering for AUK !

    Lots of love, hugs and kisses from your farthest most AUK friend

    Susy

    XXX

  • Hi, Alan!

    I'm happy you're in a better situation once again :)

    I came to think that maybe, as you're going to point out to docs that a person can possibly have asthma also wihtout wheezing, you could also inform them on following subjects:

    1. asthma is NOT always seen in really poor PEFs (mine's always 400) and you don't HAVE to have 'morning/night drop' in PEF to have asthma (as I said, my PEF practically never changes, not even if I had a hard night).

    2. an asthmatic may sense (smell etc) things that a healthy persons don't. Couple of my docs laughed at me when I tried to say there was tobaco smoke and (in other situation) perfumes in the room (which they didn't smell and react to, as they had gotten used to it and they didn't have asthma), and when I coughed and went breathless due to those triggers of mine, the docs said I was pretending... However, my present specialist is real good, and when she first met me she had no doubt I had asthma -and she was right :)

    Soo, if you now start sharing some info with the docs, you might as well add some this kind of information.. :)

  • Must be the time of year Alan,I have had a 5 week old cough that has been getting worse the longer it has gone on and, knowing I was heading up to Scotland for a few days break,I decided to see (not my usual) GP on Monday who prescribed me a 5 day course of pred tablets : 6- 5mgms per day. on return from bonnie Scotland and my cough worse than ever ,I made a new appointment with the same Doctor who listened to my chest,declared my chest clear and declared that because the pred hadnt worked then my coughing was ""obviously "" not caused by my asthma and (i,m not kidding here) suggested I should have a hot lemon and whisky toddy at night-For a cough that has had me doubled over and wheezing uncontrollably at times and has persisted 5 weeks!!!!?????.

    Ironically the pharmacist who was serving me with my bottle of cough nurse later said I should ""Get that cough seen to by a doctor""!!-oh how I laughed.

    Or am I just being a bit melodramatic?

  • Hi Alan I'm glad things are better since you've seen your regualr gp.

    Fancy a trip up here to Bonnie Scotland to sort out my gp? I've been coughing since Christmas, was told then I had an infection on my right lung after an A&E admission for an attack. Then was back at A&E last week for another attack and the doc showed me my x ray and showed me and my dad where the infection was on my right lung, told me to see my gp the next day and what to tell him. I did this and the gp was ok. I went back this week only to be told that the radiology report said my lungs were clear. I didn't want more antibiotics but when I asked for a review of my asthma meds I was told that the ones I am on are all good asthma therapies (beclametasone, salmeterol, and salbutamol). I felt like I wasn't being believed. I spoke to the asthma advice line and my dad called to speak to my gp, he eventually got a hold of him today and expressed his worry about how my asthma has been recently and how bad I was last week and how he was with me throughout so knows what the A&E doc said. It seems now that I might get more done but it shouldn't have taken my dad speaking to him to get it.

    My gp came out with a classic this week ""it's your asthma and there's no cure for asthma"". Like I didn't know that having been diagnosed for 21 years. I was fuming but didn't lose it there, I came home and was upset and moaned at my mum.

    Jen

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