Hiya, I was sent to hospital by my GP last week with a suspected blood clot but after countless tests (chest x ray, CT scan, blood tests and ECG) it all came back clear, thank goodness. However they think I may have asthma and I have a peak flow meter and blue inhaler and have to keep a log. I am getting readings some 50 to 100 litres higher after the inhaler, before they are around 350 to 400 and after around 420 up to 500.

I know very little about asthma but the symptoms I am getting are breathlessness during conversations and when I lie down at night, which is the horrible one! I am also coughing a lot and quite phlegmy, urgh!

I have to see my GP next week with 2 weeks' worth of readings, do the peak flow reading differences sound like asthma is going to be the diagnosis? I am also finding the last couple of days bad because it has turned very cold here and the cold air results in a runny nose, congestion and heavy breathing.

Thanks for any light you can shed on the above.


16 Replies

  • Nobody out there able to help me then?


  • Hello Alibabes,

    Sorry no one has answered your queries! When the boards are busy, posts do tend to slip down a bit and get missed - plus there are a few newbie posts!

    Anyway, Welcome to AUK

    I will have a go at answering some of your questions. There are some medically brainier peeps here who may help too.

    From what you tell us about your PFs being higher after you take your inhaler says that it is working and helping. All the logged info will help the GP decide if any other medication is needed especially if you are using a lot of the blue reliever inhaler - they may prescribe a regular preventer inhaler which is much better than taking the blue one all the time.

    At night try sleeping with a few pillows to prop you up - helps the breathing.

    If your PF drops by over a third - see your GP as soon as you can.

    Have a look at the main AUK web site - there is loads of very useful info there to down load - click on the purple logo at the top right of this page.

    If you are at all worried with your symptoms, eg unable to complete a sentence when talking, reliever not working, getting a lot worse. Don't be afraid to see your GP as an emergency, call NHS Direct or even 999. It is all new to you and it may take a bit of time to settle on the right medications.

    Please look after yourself & stay warm!!!

    Hope this helps a wee bit!


  • Thanks Kate Moss. I have to see my GP the middle of next week so hopefully I will have more idea of what is going on then. The inhaler is definitely helping, I am trying not to use it too much as it says only every 4 hours. I have had to use it at bedtime and whilst out in the cold air as well as the morning and evening ones to get the PF readings on occasions.

    It would be helpful to have a preventer one I think and to have more than one as I have to keep remembering to cart the one I have around with me!


  • Medically-minded bod ahoy!

    Um, basically - what Kate said!

    Plus - even if you *do* have a preventer inhaler and your asthma is well-controlled, you must *always* carry your blue reliever inhaler with you - you never know when you might need it. So I'm afraid you'll need to get used to it being shackled to your person; however there are quite a few attractive inhaler cases and covers that you can get nowadays to make it a bit less onerous.

    Good luck with your GP appointment.


  • Thanks Cath Bear. Oh well, not long before I go back to my GP so all will revealed mid week.


  • Hi, been to see my GP today and whilst I am not always having a morning dip I am having significantly higher results after using the inhaler. She has given me a Qvar 100 to take twice a day and then to continue using the peak flow meter and report back in a couple of weeks again to see how it is going.

    Be interesting to see if the preventer helps further.


  • Hello Alibabes, I used to be on Qvar, it is very good, it certainly helped when I was a ""normal"" asthmatic, and I am sorry to say that YOU will have to always carry your blue - Reliever inhaler at all times ( you can ask your doctor about the different ways of dispensing the VENTOLIN /SABUTAMOL, ie: Inhalers, Rotahalers, Accuhalers etc) so that you find the method that is easier / more practical / effective for you.

    Try to sleep propped up as this will help with your breathing at night and as well as keeping a record of your PF keep note of the number of times you use your Reliever

    as this will help the GP with his diagnosis.

    Good luck and keep well

    Hugs from a bitterly cold Orkney Islands


  • Brrrrr, Suzy I am shivering just thinking about the Orkneys, Somerset is cold enough tonight that's for sure and we must be about 1000 miles or so south of you lol!

    Thank you for your kind reply, I believe it takes about 2 weeks to notice any difference with this inhaler so I will watch with interest. I certainly notice a difference using the blue one, I can go up and down the stairs without being breathless now!

    Does being in such a cold, wet atmosphere affect you much? When the weather turned cold here I noticed quite a difference and when we went out for a walk in the evening I needed to use my inhaler as I immediately ended up with a streaming nose and shortness of breath. I could feel my chest tighten up.


  • Alibabes

    I’m a relatively newbie too having only been diagnosed with asthma this spring/summer. It had been coming for a while, but my diagnosis finally came after a trip to hospital to eliminate pneumonia when my breathing got so bad I could only manage one word to four or five breaths.

    Blue inhaler (reliever) came first. Next came the peak flow monitoring. For about 2-3 weeks, I was averaging about 350, then started using my orange preventer morning and night. Over another 2-3 weeks, the change was very noticeable, peak flow eventually steadying at about 520-530 – a significant difference. I;ve even managed to hit 580 a few times.

    I major in coughing. Apart from anything else, stress helps bring that on – the reliever normally is enough, but occasionally takes quite a bit to kick in. I’ve ended up in A&E onlyonce and was home again just a few hours later.

    In recent years. bad colds have made breathing difficult, but not as bad as others on this site. My regular preventer seems to be doing wonders in that I have an absolute stinker of a cold at the moment. Even with that, I have just counted my peak flow at 520. I’m taking great care to avoid this going to my chest and, like they say, keep the blue one with you at all times. It will become second nature.


  • Hi Alan, you seem to be getting a grip on it all, well done, it is a bit daunting to begin with eh! Well I have started using the brown one so will be interesting to see what effect it has over the coming fortnight. I cough a lot too and this cold air isn't helping much lol!

    Hope you are soon feeling better, seems to be a whole host of bugs doing the rounds right now.


  • Hi Alibabes, Glad the the Ventolin is doing it's thing. re: cold never used to affect me too much but I have been having a really rotten time on and off for the past month or so, I think it prob has more to do with BA than weather ..had manged to weaned myself off the Pred over the past 2 weeks but after just after 2 days back on them again, it seems that I am stuck with them over the whole of the Christmas and New year season !! less than happy about it, but what can you do. I will not let it get me down !!!. This morning I passed out as I switched one of my NEBs on, when I came to...(don't know how long I was out for) the NEB chamber was dry - to make things worse my doors were locked and no one could get in to check up on I have had lots of very worried neighbours coming over when they saw me open the curtains and door! Going to the see my GP tomorrow, hope to be better by then. (thankfully am always supplied with ""emergency"" steroids)

    Love seeing all the friends and visitors that come calling at this time of the year (having a birthday tomorrow, so even more than usual) but the problems is that they bring some of the triggers in with catch 22, either I am alone or risk my BA having a wee tantrum !!! No happy medium. Think I will continue to risk it !!

    I hope you keep well over the Hols and take care of yourself .

    Love and hugs from still very cold/frosty Orkney


  • Hi Suzy, sorry to hear you had a rough morning, I hope things improve for you especially tomorrow for your Birthday. Many happy returns, 21 again then eh lol?

    It is freezing again here today, still white where the sun hasn't reached the garden to thaw it, and the car said minus 3. I took mum into town with her new electric scooter (I'm self employed so get to skive sometimes) and we had a whale of a time as she got on well with it despite it being busy.

    Good luck with the docs and have a lovely day tomorrow, tell your guests no pet hairs/strong aftershaves and perfumes and I am sure you will be fine.


  • Hi Ali

    PFs wobbling a but, but I think my cold is getting better, thanks, but I have discovered a new trigger. Unlike Suzy's visitors bringing the triggers in with them, non-arrival started to set me off this evening. We did all of our Christmas food shopping this morning and it was supposed to have been delivered this afternoon, including the turkey and other stuff for our guests this coming week. When they phoned up to say they had lost iall eight bags of it.....! I don't suffer from cold air - we don't allow Orkney-type temperatures here in Kensington - the residents got together to ban it. I don't suffer from next doors cat - he pops in most days to say hello. I sure started coughing after this phone call, though. I guess it's not a common trigger. Good luck with your new inhaler and don't forget that the blue one still needs to be surgically attached to you. :)


  • hello Alibabes and AlanJ, by the way AlanJ really envious of the fact that you can have a Kitty visit you and that your ""neighbourhood"" does not allow cold weather there, and YES such phone calls can bring on the darling A word !!! for my part I do not think there are enough of us here to manage to convince the bitter cold to stay away..and any way Orkney would not be Orkney if we did not have a little breeze of 80 miles per hour or below zero temps every other week !!!. Alibabes hope you are doing OK and that it is not too cold down there!!

    I ended up back at the docs and after a 2 day break from Max Preds I am back on 8 a day....Well it could be worst ...I could have lost .....

    People keep telling me that now am older I will begin to loose my memory and good looks!!!

    I do not think that will happen, still have all my faculties and I never loose my train of

    By the way , I spent a whole day and night looking for my Medical alarm , the house was turn over twice by friends and husband it could not be found, I then put my hand in my pocket and would you believe it... is now tied around my neck, But I do not think is anything to do with loosing my what you ma call it !!!

    Memory..that's it isn't it

    Keep well and Lots of Hugs from a slightly milder Orkney

    Have a wonderful Christmas and AlanJ if you do not get your Turkey are welcomed to come to us.

    Merry Christmas

    Love Susy

  • Oh no! Alan I would not be happy if they had lost my shopping that's for sure. So what happens now? Is it all replaced or have you got to go shopping for all the bits and pieces?

    It is not quite so cold here now Suzy, about 1 - 3 degrees most of today. We have been to Cheddar Gorge and in one of the caves just to get out and about a bit.

    Well, Happy Christmas everybody, for those of you feeling poorly I hope you soon feel a bit better.


  • Stress levels down. Chest feeling somewhat less tight than during a trip back to the supermarket yesterday. They resent the stuff yesterday morning, but got half if it wrong. They were also late and the supposed compensation turned out to be somewhat less than suggested.

    We now have 2 turkeys (one now redirected), every bit of the shopping replaced, at least one credit processed for the original bill (we think they may have procesed the refund twice, but cannot check until the bill comes in). All the new shopping was free. The compensation went up to the original figure, and then accidentally got doubled again. We think that means we have (so far) been paid about £200 to do our Christmas shopping with them. That may reach £350 if there actually are 2 credits.

    I have to say, though, that this realy was a test of stress a trigger. I also though that I did not suffer from the cold air, but that got disproven waiting, with the second half of our shopping, in the fog (we didn't manage to get that banned) for a non-existent bus. I sure was a bit flaky yesterday evening.

    Thank you so much Susy (spelled it right this time - sorry about before) for that offer. That brought a little tear to my eye. If you are ever able to get down to ""most bad things banned"" Kensington, it would be a pleasure to make up for that lovely offer.

    Merry Christmas Alibabes, Susy and everyone else.

    PS: What's memory?

    Alan x

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