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scared and feeling down

I posted the other day saying inbetween flare ups I barely get symptoms, but a simple cold sends my pf down and my symptoms up. Well yest I saw the nurse who got the doc to check me coz she was concerned on how I was struggling. I've never been as bad as I was then, doc said I had wheeze and crackles and gave me (my first) nebuliser, antibiotics and pred. Today I still feel terrible, I have a temp, shivers and my chest hurts from coughing and struggling to breathe plus I'm shaking so much from all the Ventolin. I just feel so rubbish and so emotional, but everytime I cry my chest closes up. Is it normal to feel like this when feeling bad? I'm just so scared as this is all new to me and I'm outside my comfort zone! Sorry

21 Replies

Hey butterfly,

Awww its horrible when you feel like this, it is scary and confusing and the pred (steroids) also make you very emotional so that really doesn't help either (plus you get very tired after an attack).

Can i suggest you give the lovely asthma uk nurses a call on the freephone number for a chat?

They are lovely and are very good at explaining things and just helping you understand a bit of what is going on, what to look out for and whats 'normal' after an attack (no such thing as normal by the way, just whats normal for you really as we all react differently).

When my flare up started in January i was really anxious and worried about the future, i rang the nurses and they were able to give me some good advice and guidance.

I've actually rung them a couple of times since to clarify things that my respiratory team have told me.

I will say hang in there it will get better!

Get lots of rest (known as sofa surfing on here!), take your meds, seek help if things get out of hand with your asthma and give yourself time top recover.

Virtual hugs xxx


Hi Butterfly.

Many of us have felt the way you do now and it's not a bit nice. I went for years not realising that I wasn't alone in this, until I found my way to the forum here. Angelica has given you some very good advice, which I hope will help you, and I'm sure that you'll find a lot of support from other members.

I hope things look up for you soon.



Thank you both for your replies, I didn't know the steroids could make you feel emotional, probably explains the crying outbursts!!

I will be ringing the asthma nurses, thank you for the suggestion. I have rung them in the past for advice about inhalers when I was first diagnosed but didn't think of ringing them for more emotional support. Yes I guess I'm concerned about what the future holds, here's me thinking I'd be able to reduce my meds but here I am now, relying on them to keep me alive!!

I'm sorry for complaining on here, but no-one I know has asthma so no-one can help me, and apart from when I'm wheezing (which has only happened this time), they think I'm just making it up!


Butterfly, don't apologize, lots of us have been where you are now as annista said.

I know for me it was the one place where I could be honest about how I was feeling amd peole would understand.



Angelica, that's exactly how I feel, with my friends/family I feel they think I@m making things up or just complaining, but I know on here people have been there so understand.

I rang the asthma nurses earlier, they really helped me understand what was happening and made me feel more positive about the future, they also suggested I saw the doctor today rather than waiting until tomorrow seen as I wasn't feeling any better. Unfortunately after the call, I had another asthma attack because I'd been crying again! It helped me get an emergency appointment with the GP though! When I got there I had another nebuliser treatment. He said I had reduced air flow, and crackles across both lungs still but said he thought it sounded better than earlier in the week. I have to go back again tomorrow too as he wants to check I've improved with it being a long weekend. In addition, he thinks I have an upper respiratory infection too, how is this different to a normal chest infection?

Thanks again for all of your support xxx


Hi, I have severe COPD secondary to chronic asthma at the first sign of a cold I take First Defence made by vicks, this year one cold which I thought was hayfiver, last year the same.


I'm glad the asthma uk nurses helped butterfly but it sounds like you really are having a rough time! :-(

Its good your gp is keeping q close eye on you, that's got to be reassuring.

Qn upper respiratory tract infection is just an infection higher up in your wind pipe so your throat probably feels a bit tight at the moment I should imagine.

Keep taking it easy, it really does help no matter how boring it is :-)



Thanks Robhill, I have seen that stuff for sale but thought it was probably a gimmick, I'll give it a try if its worked for you though, what actually is it? Ie how do you use it?

Angelica - Yes the nurses really are good, the doctors and asthma nurse at the surgery just don't have the time to spend to chat about things, whereas the ones on here can spend more time discussing the actual ins and outs of the condition. Yes my GP has been great, although its a bit worrying when you can actually see they're worried about you if you know what I mean!! Yes i feel as though all of my airways are closing up and are sore from coughing up multicoloured gunk, I assumed a chest infection kind of meant an infection anyway from your mouth to your lungs, clearly not and typical I've got the whole lot!! Yes I am taking your advice, alternating from sofa surfing to going back to bed, daytime telly has never been so inviting PLUS I'm catching up on my Kindle!

Thank you all again for your kind words and advice xxx


Hi, at the 1st sign of a cold take it. Do not go to pharmacy £7 something go to Wilkinson about £3.50. You may get runny nose or sneezing just take it, you will not get a full cold.


Hi butterfly!

How are you doing today?



Hey Angelica, things seem to be looking up a bit today, thanks for asking. I'm still using 10puffs ventolin via spacer every 4 hours and I'm just about managing 3 hours (if I sit and do nothing)without having to top up AND my PF has reached the dizzy heights of 350-380, just another 200 to go!!

I went back to the docs this afternoon, he's happy that there seems to be an improvement again since yesterday, but he did warn it looks like it's gonna be a slow road to recovery. He's given me more antiobiotics to last over the bank holiday and wants me to stay on the pred for longer, so along with more Flixotide and 2 more ventolin inhalers, off I went with a big long prescription! He has also given me the number of the out of hours doctor and given me strict guidelines for when I should seek help bless him. He's also arranged an appointment first thing wed morning for an update!

So I feel much more positive now, I still get teary at times but don't allow myself to get upset enough to trigger an attack. Thanks again, I really do appreciate your support through this xxx


Hi butterfly, I'm glad things are starting to get better for you. don't worry about getting teary there is nothing wrong with it. We have all been there you seem to have a great doctor as well. You will get through this and come out the other side. rememeber you are not alone with what you are feeling and what you're going through we have all been there at one stage or another and we will be here for you.


Hi Butterfly.

It sounds as if your GP is a bit of a star on the quiet. You're all set for the long weekend and armed with the OOH number so you can feel a bit more confident about how you're going to manage.

Don't worry about getting teary - I'd bet that most of us have done that from time to time, and I'm told that chocolate is a good cure for it!

I'm sure you'll do fine over the weekend, just don't push yourself too hard. There's nothing that needs to be done that can't wait until you're feeling a bit better and there will be plenty of stuff to watch on TV while you're sofa surfing.

Take care.


Coming a bit late to this but just wanted to say hope you feel better soon and all the drugs kick in! Must be pretty scary if things are usually more stable, so feel free to moan/rant/whatever on here as much as you like - this is at least partly what the forum is for!

Think of it as an excuse to catch up on all the reading/TV etc that you maybe don't have time for. And if you can maybe get someone to buy you some chocolate and a trashy magazine. I'm also convinced that ice cream has medicinal properties - I swear my asthma's better when I have it lol (should I be telling the NHS about this magic cure? ;))

Oh and agree with Annista that your GP sounds amazing which is always a help - and it's great that he's told you exactly when to call OOH as I always struggle with that. I hope you don't need it but if you do it's good to know when.


I'm liking these suggestions of chocolate, will give the ice-cream a miss though because it can set my grumpy lungs off!

Yes my GP has been amazing, I've never seen this one in the practice before but will be sticking with him, I really feel like he has the time for you and actually cares about you when you leave his office. I feel so much more in control now knowing that if x happens I have to do y, without 'uming and ahing'

Philomela - Yes I have found it very scary, I had reduced my inhaled steroids and was barely experiencing symptoms but I just got floored by this chest & throat infection. Whenever I get a cold I get bad, but never like this before, it has put into perspective how volatile asthma can be!


Ah shame about the ice cream lol - but I'm sure chocolate will be a good remedy!

It's great when you find a good GP isn't it? I have a fantastic one who really supports me, comes up with solutions and doesn't think it's all in my head and I'm a hypochondriac as some have implied (he even gave me his email address so I can email him if I just want to ask something without needing to come into the surgery!) Hope this one helps you get over all this as soon as possible.

I know what you mean about volatile as I recently had a really minor cold which nonetheless managed to really screw my lungs up! My Symbicort was starting to work until then but now I'm really struggling to get back to where I was before the cold, and now even travelling on a plane seems to have messed with the stupid lungs. Really hope you can get back to where you were before.


Sounds like you have a very good and understanding GP. Just what you need when feeling so poorly and scared. I hope you continue to improve. Rest up and take it easy for a while and don't rush back into trying to do normal things, build up slowly or the lungs will complain. Take care xx


Managed a few hours at the seaside today to blow the cobwebs off, thinkthe salty air has helped my lungs, feeling a lot less congested and pf up to 450-


Hi Butterfly,

So pleased that the sea air seems to have helped you, hope you had a lovely day at the seaside.


Thanks asthmagirl, yeah had a lovely day, although didn't realise how strong the sun/wind was and have a very red face, owch!!

didn't think the effects of the sea air would finish so quickly though, struggling again and only been home a few hours ;-( I will have to keep an eye on things otherwise I'm heading off to A&E as my GP instructed me, and to think I'd been doing so well, grrr this is driving me crazy


Glad you had a good day at the seaside! I find that helps me as well which I find a little weird as it generally seems to be more humid there which is normally an issue for me, but not at the seaside! Bizarre, but maybe it's the salt water. My asthmatic grandad apparently got much worse at the seaside which must have been horrible.

Crossing fingers that you can stay out of A&E.


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