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What to do?

Hi, I will return to the boards just to chat and help others again one day soon I hope but at the mo, life is just too busy. I'm probably doing too much again, a habit I easily fall into. But I'm having a dilemma at the mo. I'm working from home today as I had to come home from the office (I work in central London and it takes me almost 2 hours door-to-door each morning and evening) yesterday as I really wasn't well with asthma. I managed to avoid a trip to A&E but saw the asthma nurse at my GP's and am back on 40mg steroids. Problem is, I can't do anything at all - even walking the few paces from my bedroom (venturing downstairs is too much for me at the mo) to the bathroom is making me quite breathless. I'm not sure what else I can do as I'm not having an attack therefore can't warrant heading to hospital yet at the same time cannot keep going like this without improvement. Any ideas ? Also my consultant is away all week so I can't get to see him. I know I probably ought to head to the hospital just really don't want to and feel daft going there when I'm not in the full throws of an attack. Am I just being silly?

Thanks, Fi x

15 Replies

If you can't even manage a few steps then yes I think you should go in. Much better to be seen now and hopefully head off a full-blown attack then be rushed in at 2am with blue lights flashing.


You should be heading for A&E with symptoms like this.

Regardless of wether you are having an attack as such. You can be having a chronic exaccebation which needs monitoring just the same as an acute attack.

Take care

let us knw how you are getting on.



I need a huge rant! GP send me to A&E with a phone call and letter saying I would need probably aminophilline or something. Had already had 5 nebs got there, they gave me one more decided I was ok. put me on observation ward beforfe sending me home. Got much worse. had to fioght for nebs. 2 nebs laterf still not good. Dr comes, tells me I'm fine, it's all anxijety not going to give me any other treatment. So I'm home again. I do respond to nebs buit only for a short time, they're not lasting. Going to see how I do tonight, if needs be there;s another hosp similar distance in different direction so will head there. I judst can't believe they didn't take me seriously and thought after one neb I would be fine. I'm not impressed!


that is really crap, and I think a complaint is in order when you are better. It sounds like you have seen someone fairly junior who isn't sure what they are doing (it is August still!) but they should have asked for senior help if there was any question re you being fit for discharge.

Why did the GP send you to A+E not to the medical receiving team - is that how it is done in your local?

Hope you get sorted out soon

love n prayers



Hi Owl,

Supposedly I was sent to the medical team at A&E but somehow it didn't work out. I've made it through the night at home but am still not doing good. Although cons is away till next week, I'm going to call sec for advice, see if I can see anyone else in the team. Not sure what other options I have now. I don't seem to be improving much by resting at home and not happy nebbing so much so need something more I guess.

Thanks for replying, I need a bit of reassurance as I feel I must be going mad! (Hubby at least knows I'm only as mad as usual though!)





You are not going mad at all. I went to Mau a few weeks ago, sent in by gp and have a letter from my chest cons I carry with me. They were going to send me home even though it had taken numerous nebs over two hours to control my asthma. Its states what to do on my records from my chest cons but they chose to ignore it all. I ended up staying because they found I was severly anaemic and needed blood transfusions but decided to tell me I dont have asthma and my chest cons has got the diagnosis wrong as aneamia casues breathlessness. I know he wont be happy when I tell him. I tried politely to get cross and said I would only stay if I went on chest ward. I knew I would be ok there as they all know me and wouldnt dare go against chest cons. This is the second time it has happend to me and the reason I carry a letter is to prevent it. It is no fun when you feel so rough. May be worth talking to your cons see what he suggests but first you need to get some help to get through how you are now.


Oh boy - i have had several similar experieinces. Frenchfi - I would agree with owl and suggest that you put in a politely worded complaint about your treatment.

I refuse to go to MAU now and have a tendency to leave it too late and end up in resus - however on the plus side I don't get told that i am hyperventilating or that it is anxiety and I always get to see the on call resp cons. It is SO WRONG that it happens this way!!!

(BTW i certainly don't recommend anyone else leaves things too long - and I am working towards not doing so myself in the future.


I am so glad Im not the only one, at the mo I WONT go in.I hope to sort things out with cons but hes on hols till 4th. It is SO WRONG.

Do any of the medics know if there is a turn around in asthma treatment or anything going on like new guidelines.


don't think there are new guidelines coming out at the mo, should all be the same as the last wee while.

I had lots of experiences of being told it wasn't real as a student/junior doc, but now I go off so spectacularly I end up nearly in ITU most admissions. Though one trip to A+E lately, having not used my neb cos was out without it, they did do the 'calm down dear' thing - stopped pretty fast when my notes come down though!

I think it is always worth telling your consultant what happened and if you feel like writing a complaint, so long as it is polite, it is a sensible thing to do. No one likes being complained about but so long as it is in a 'for your info/development' kind of way, not a suing kind of way it is helpful.

How are you doing now Fi? I hope you are a bit better or have seen your GP or one of the team again?



You could move :) Seriously this is dreadful like some weird postcode lottery. I Sometimes have to fight for IV sal (well my nearest and dearest do) but thankfully I have never had the kind of treatment being described here. Can someone tell which costa's so I know not to visit that area although Speedy I will stuggle to avoid yours as it next big one to me:)

Frenchfi if you are anywhere close to Ealing they are fab if you are not close you could always visit Ealing the shopping is great and happen to splatt! They have a great resp team with an awsome resp nurse and I can vouch for their ITU team too, I have never been told to calm down by either Torbay, RBH or Ealing, the closest I get to that is ""you are doing great just keep doing it"" which is a little annoying when it is such hard work and you want them to help you.

Good luck



I agree Bex on this admission the casualty sho tried to say i didnt need iv mag and aminoph but luckly for me nurses know me better and ignorded her and got med reg and itu!!! and last nite when splatted big time new reg said carry on with back to back nebs!! nurse not happy, some big essays in my notes, my reg not happy this am and promtly gave me iv mag id been asking for all nite!!!!

Off to recoop

Am so tired



Bex,as long as you insist on going on respiratory ward you will be fine.

I did complain informally through Pals when I had a similar problem last year and the registrar on call in A+E who upset me did actually write and appologise and said he would reconsider his approach in the future which I thought was very good of him.

So lIke Owl says if you can deal with things fairly and calmly it can help you and others in the future and resolve problems.


Hi FiWas it Epsom u had probs with? If so r u going to head up to St Heliers, i know its not great but i have found them better than Epsom in the past when i have ended up in A and E after splatting inn Epsom Playhouse courtesy of a smoke machine!Hope u ok ,is Dr Cook or Varney away if not then demand for them to be informed as they both know u. I fu are in thenTxt me or get hubby to do it and i will come and visit i have pmd u with my no.Sending big hugs Kirsten


A couple of days and a 2nd hospital later, i've been looked after much better and am back home again, actually recovering now rather than jsut home and fighting. I ended up going back to GP's who was clearly not happy but was trying hard to be professional and not get annoyed. He sent me over to East Surrey hospital (Yes, it was Epsom I was at first, I've moved to Dorking though so am closer to East Surrey than St Helier now) who despite being absolutely over run by patients (every ounce of space was occupied by patients on trolleys and chairs with cubicles all doubled up!) were excellant and actually listened to me and what works for me. I thankfully improved quite a lot over night last night and so am back home now to rest over the long weekend, I didn't want to stay any longer than absolutely necessary, especially not sharing a ward with at least two people with chest infections ;-)

I'm seeing my cons again on wednesday so will obviously fill him in and see what arrangements can be made in future. It's crazy when you know full well that it's not anxiety but they won't listen to you jsut because of not reacting in a typical ""asthmatic"" way.

I'm finding at the mo that the way my asthma responds is changing - I can go down hill pretty fast without much warning now which is quite new to me. Have others found that changes like this can happen? I will be chatting with cons about it next week (had to ask to see him again as I've been seeing the asthma nurse there only recently).

I'm really tired at the mo though so will disappear now. Probably lots of thoughts and stuff in my mind after the past few days so sorry if I jstr splurt stuff out over the next day ot so. Although it's appauling I'm glad I'm not alone as I really was feeling liek I must have been going mad !


I have had similar problems. I now carry a protocol which has been signed by my consultant and tells the staff what he wants them to give me. This protocol also says that I should go to A&E and not the GP admissions unit. I was sent there once from my doctors as this is the new way of doing things apparently. I sat on a trolley for ages, SATS going down and down and nobody came to see me. They then came and started doing the whole breathe slowly thing (Aaaaah!). The turning point was when they did my blood gases. They they started to move much more quickly and I had about 15 people in the cubical. I went to HDU and was very sick by the time I got there. In A&E I get treated immediately. I feel better now I have this sheet of paper and when it is signed by your consultant it carries authority as the junior docs alll know who he is. I would advise getting one written up as soon as possible. If nothing else, it helps you psychologically when you know you will be taken seriously.


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