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Don't be stupid - Don’t do as I did, do as I tell you

I am a moderate asthma sufferer. Most of the time, I am really good, and have even got my best PF up to 680 and repeated that on a number of occasions. That’s almost off the chart (and that’s without the rowing machine, Twizzle). When I wobble, though, I wobble far. The biggest wobbles are often, but not always, triggered by colds, viruses etc. I also suffer from sudden coughing fits that mash me in minutes (sometimes related to the colds etc, often not).

For the last couple of months, I have been going from infection to infection – all the usual winter stuff. I last saw my GP a couple of weeks ago when I got yet another scrip for anti-biotics, and also changed preventer because of side effects.

A week later, my PF was dropping fast, particularly from the beginning of the week. I do not know whether chest infection, my cold or change in drugs, or even all of them caused it, but I finally hit the floor on Wednesday morning. PF went down to 230, you could hear my wheezing 2 rooms away (and I am not generally a wheezing asthmatic). I could not breathe. I took gallons and gallons of Ventolin and only after about 30 minutes did it seem to ease a bit. I do not have a nebuliser – I do not get major issues very often and so is not necessary. I kept on and persuaded myself that I am only a moderate sufferer, I already had a doctor’s appointment booked for the following week, and I did not need any help. I forced myself to go to work (not far away), struggling. Why? Maybe it was something to do with being on a training course and having an exam to take that afternoon.

Please don’t ask me how (or how much Ventolin I got through), as I do not know, but I got through it, absolutely exhausted. I took the exam, managed another day in the same state and have managed to get past the worst. I am still coughing and wheezing, but nowhere nearly as much, and my morning PF has finally got back over 300 just today.

Last night I read the British Thoracic Society British Guideline on the Management of Asthma and I shocked myself. I refer particularly to “Table 10: Levels of severity of acute asthma exacerbations”.

“PEF <33% best or predicted” is listed under “Life threatening asthma”; “PEF 33-50% best or predicted” is listed under “Acute severe asthma”. Bearing in mind my repeated best PF of 680, 230 is 33.8% of that.

How stupid was I not to seek help on Wednesday? I got away with it this time, but I now properly realise now what a dangerous thing my action was.

The point of me telling you this? I just want anyone else out there that gets into the same situation to realise just how important seeking help is AT THE TIME. Please do not be as stupid as I was. Please do not do as I did - do as you know you really need to.

I see my doc early the day after tomorrow when we can go through all that has happened. And the exam? Somehow I don’t think I was concentrating enough. I’ll find out in a couple of weeks, but I do not hold out much hope.


1 Reply

WOW Alan your very lucky arnt you it could of been one of those ITU admissions thank the lord your ok hunny you take care luv and hugs KA xxxxx


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