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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