I am currently 23 weeks pregnant with my first child. I have had chronic brittle atopic asthma with a extremely high IgE level and very low tolerance to histamine since I was 1 (so 25 years!). I also have a degree in anatomy and physiology. I have been well controlled since 2001 with ceterizine, montelukast, bambuterol, qvar daily plus nebs, pred and antibiotics when needed. When I got pregnant I saw my GP within a week of discovering, during which time I was compliant with all my medications and was in A&E with a bad attack. The GP explained that my asthma was far too severe for any of my meds to be removed and the most important thing was for me to be compliant throughout the pregnancy as uncontrolled asthma was worse for me and the baby. He also explained that at present we do not have enough data on the effect of bambuterol or montelukast during pregnancy. Hence I have been religious (even more than usual) about making sure I take my meds. Even when I was being really bad with morning sickness, the GP gave me injections to make sure I could take my medications.
Early in September, I had a chest infection for which I needed regular nebs, was admitted to hospital for several hours and a ten day course of antibiotics. As the infection began to ease I found that my inhaler was able to releive some of the wheeze, hence I used my inhaler rather than the neb. My General Manager saw me taking my inhaler at work and said ""what is that?"" I replied ""My inhaler, I am wheezy"" He then said as he walked out of the room ""You shouldn't be taking that, you are pregnant. I thought you were intelligent, some mother you are going to be!""
Not long after that, I started experiencing palpitations and tachycardia, which I thought was initially stress. When it had lasted a few days, I went to the midwife unit to ask if it was just a normal pregnancy thing or should I see the GP. They advised I was to see the GP that afternoon so I went along to the appointment with the duty doctor. In the meantime I thought it might be the bambuterol as I had had similar symptoms when I first went on it. She agreed that it could be as there was a note in the BNF about it. She recommended seeing if we could stop it for Fri, Sat and Sun then I would see her on Monday to see if I had managed. After a discussion over the extra monitoring I should do and a check over, we decided to go through with it.
On the Friday, before I was due to take the medication, I went to see my immediate manager at work as I was due to work sat and sun. I explained that we needed to see if the drug was causing this and the only way was to stop it. They have never seen me get really bad as my regime keeps me well so I explained everything to her and then we called the General Manager through to explain it to him. I explained, I may need to stop and rest when walking around. I would get very bad but he must follow my instructions. He said, you won't get that bad. I said, yes I will and if I tell you to call an ambulance you must. I also explained that I would have my nebuliser with me and everything I needed. He said well lets put you off and you can stay at home then. I said that was no good as we needed to see how removal of the drug would impact my daily life and sitting in bed was not my normal routine. Then he started saying you shouldn't be taking drugs, I tried to explain that I have no choice, either I take the drugs and both me and the baby will be ok or I don't and we both die. Then he started moaning that why were they being so stupid as to put me on a new drug when pregnant, they were using me as a guinea pig. I re-iterated that I have been on it three years now. In the end he seemed to understand, or so I thought. I asked he pass this all on to the ops manager but I wanted it kept confidential. The ops manager said the next morning at work why are you taking drugs? My daughter was only allowed paracetamol when pregnant. I explained it would be like taking a diabetic or schizophrenic off their meds. She did understand but I knew the Gm doesn't.
I had three days of hell and was put back on the bambuterol by the GP at half dose, which was increased to the full dose again after four days as I was still not completely well. I have since seen the resp specialist in Inverness who agrees that substituting bambuterol for nebs is stupid so stay on the bambuterol as it is the lesser of two evils. At least I will be controlled and minimising the risk of low sats.
Since then the GM has continued to make little remarks about me taking my pills, which is beginning to really upset me. I feel like a terrible mother already as I am taking these meds which we don't know enough about, I might pass on the asthma to the little one, I can't breastfeed because of the meds, basically I feel that my body isn't giving the baby the best start and this person is making me feel a million times worse. My wonderful husband is being really supportive and I manage to deal with everything, then the GM starts and I'm back feeling like crap instead of being able to enjoy the pregnancy. I've spoken to the personnel manager informally but wondered if anyone has any other suggestions as I know he is just joking but it is too close to home at the moment.
Sorry for the long post