Asthma nurse moan!!!!!!!!!! >:(

Not expecting anyone to read this, just need a place to vent!

Today I went to see my asthma nurse. I didn't particularly want to see her since she is not in the least bit helpful, but I thought she would be better than nothing. I was wrong!

I was diagnosed officially in april, but have been using a preventer since March. When I saw the nurse in April my pf was still all over the place and I was using a reliever 2 or 3 times a week (I should explain that no one ever explained how to use a reliever and I've had one since I was six, I though it was only for when I couldn't cope and was desperate for help rather than whenever I was getting symptoms so the actual amount should have been 2 or 3 times a day.)I did ask at the time why I should take something which was having little effect, but was reassured that I just needed to give it time and that given my history it would take much longer to work than normal. She said wait 6 months. Things are still no better. I forgot to take my preventer for one day (results day so had a lot on my mind!) and suffered a lot the next day, as was pointed out in another thread, this shouldn't happen.

I saw her today and explained that some days I just don't want to get up I feel so bad and that it's stopped me from doing things I enjoy. I showed her my pf diary with no value above 390, and most below 360, despit my best being 450. I said I was using my reliever many times a day. She laughed at me and told me I hadn't waited long enough! I swear that woman has a way of making me feel about 3 inches tall! My pf there was 340 but apparently that's ok since I walked there! I'm 18 and fit and healthy and do lots of exercise when I can. No way should a 10 minute walk affect me like that! I told her I wanted her to do something, to mess with my inhalers or something and she refused, saying it wasn't necessary! Apparently it's ok that I still get symptoms because I've never had an attack! I did point out that this doesn't mean I won't ever have one but she didn't care!

GRRR so angry right now! I wasn't expecting much since I've had to use the internet to educate myself on asthma and how to use the inhalers, but I did not expect to be laughed at! I cannot wait to get to uni now just so that I have a chance of getting a decent nurse! On my way out I tried to make an appt with a doctor instead since I know all the docs there are good but I was told that the soonest appt they had is on the 17th september. I go to uni on the 15th (to be fair, the surgery does have issues with loads of old women making appts they don't need just so they can see a doc every week so it isn't entirely the surgery's fault!)

Anyway, I'll stop moaning now! Well done if you read all of this, just needed to get it all out and no one at home understands the frustration. I've made a complaint against the nurse so I'll have to wait and see what happens there!

It's good to have somewhere to moan!!!

26 Replies

  • Didn't want to read and run... I am angry for you hun! Roll on uni and a nice doctor fingers crossed xxx

  • ooh not good. Good thing you've made a complaint I think as it's really not a great attitude. If she were just a bit patronising but gave good advice I guess you'd have to put up with it but from my admittedly non-expert view she really hasn't given you good advice there as if all your PF readings are well into the yellow then you should definitely be doing something (not sure why she thinks that a PF 120 below your best because of a short walk is a reason for NOT doing anything...).

    And I know how annoying it is to feel awful, be restricted and have this dismissed as 'not life threatening' - worse to have both of course, but besides, as you say, it doesn't mean you won't have an attack. Perhaps you should take the Triple A test on here and see how you score for risk of an attack, in case the dr needs convincing.

    So rant away! No luck on urgent appts? They must have some slots before 17th Sept reserved for urgent appts; as I said in your other thread, I still think you'd be justified in asking for one with your symptoms and PF if they can't offer you a normal one for nearly a month - and you want to be doing better before you go to uni! Perhaps, if the Triple A test shows you are at risk of an attack, you could quote this at the receptionist if they're reluctant to give you an appt sooner? They must have some way of fitting in people who really need appts.

  • Thanks midgie and Philomela :)

    What do you mean by into the yellow? The receptionists don't speak great english so it can be difficult to get them to understand. I'm going to just keep going and hope tthat someone cancels their appt. The triple A test says I am at risk so I'll take them a screenshot of that and see if they can try to do something. I may just have to be rude and ask for the asthma nurse I've not seen since this one is useless.

    Could a nurse practitioner help? It's usually easy to get appts with her.


  • If you asked on your way out they might have refused the appointment since if the nurse thought it was urgent she would have told reception to get you an appointment. If it's the GP you want to see, give it a day or two, ring up and tell the receptionist that you're asthmatic and not feeling well, that you would like to see the GP as you're feeling anxious/uncomfortable/uncontrolled as appropriate. Any mention of asthma symptoms tends to get me an appointment with mine pretty quickly, and my asthma is pretty mild.

  • oops sorry, was forgetting, even given the subject of this post, that your asthma nurse wouldn't have told you about peak flow zones or a plan!

    Not that I have a plan but I know my zones: basically 80-100% (for you, given what you've said above, 360-450) is green, 50-80% (for you 225-360) is yellow, where you should be looking to see your dr or (useful) asthma nurse and possibly up medication, and red is below 50% where you should be getting urgent help (though don't go by PF alone: if you're getting symptoms that put you into the yellow (as you are now) or specifically the red zone (that would be extreme shortness of breath, inability to complete sentences, turning blue etc) don't wait for your PF to drop, call the surgery/doctor/nurse/OOH (for yellow - but not for an appt in a month!) or an ambulance (for red).

    Sounds like the nurse practitioner, or asking for the other nurse (maybe just say you want a second opinion?) are the way forward if no drs available. At least - hopefully - you'll get to see someone who understands all this isn't good, and if the nurse can't help you might get a fast in with the doctor! I think if they feel they can't deal with you themselves they would ask the dr for help, possibly get them to come to you/pop into their room while you're there.

    EDIT - or what Stokes said, but you might need to emphasise the asthma symptoms! I'm feeling lucky - I have booked an urgent appt with my surgery a couple of times but they've never said 'are you sure you need it, what's it for?' I get the feeling this is a bit unusual though...

  • I would avoid that nurse now at all costs and push for an appt with the GP. It is well known that some people can have a fatal asthma attack after having untreated mild symptoms. Her advice in my opinion is very dangerous! Good luck with your next appt.

  • (to be fair, the surgery does have issues with loads of old women making appts they don't need just so they can see a doc every week so it isn't entirely the surgery's fault!) ""


  • Thanks everyone for your replies :)

    haha nope she told me nothing about how pf can be used to judge how bad symptoms are or if my asthma is controlled. It would have been useful to know the green, red, yellow stuff though! Most of the diary I showed to her during the appt where she diagnosed me was in the yellow bit, which is interesting that she has ignored it twice.

    I'll have a walk on in the morning. At least the receptionists are really sympathetic and friendly if you're nice to them so maybe if I look sad they'll find me an appt. Failing that I'll ask them to contact me if someone cancels their appt. I'll try and go before the 30th so I get free prescriptions :)

    Fancy coming and telling her that JF?! Maybe she'd listen if enough people told her!

    Thanks for the sympathy Joan, it seems wrong that they let them do it!

    Thanks again everyone :)

  • I doubt busy doctors would allow lots of old ladies waste their time

  • I do believe in the power of avoiding nurses and GPs with bad practice! My registered GP can be a right hard b***h! I stopped going to her just over 6 years ago when I had been off sick with severe back pain and was on max dose of paracetamol, ibuprofen and codeine. When I went to see her for more help (I had been off sick from work for 6 weeks for it as I then worked with children and teenagers with challenging behaviour and couldn't risk being pushed etc.)

    When I went to see her, I was at the end of the road coping with it and needed something else, she just said, 'Well what do you think everyone else does in this situation? They just get on with it!' I walked out vowing never to see her again. I have only seen her once in that time when I was desperate for some oral steroids a couple of years ago, she was so sheepish and wary with me!! Lol. I now see a lovely GP in the same team as her but she has to sign for my prescriptions every 4 weeks!!

  • hi,

    sorry you are not getting very far,

    surly the aim of asthma management should be little or no symptoms at all, so if this isnt the case a review is needed and treatment stepping up!!!

    you are obviously having symptoms and your asthma isnt controlled when clearly it could and should be expected to be,

    good luck getting a dr appointment and someone who will listen and sort you out,

    g xx

  • Got a slightly sooner appt, 11th Sept which isn't that far away. Still not great but better than before! I'm just going to give up getting anything sooner!

    Thanks for listening to my rant guys, hopefully this nurse will be better.

  • Have you tried speaking to the asthma uk nurses? They are very helpful. It might also be worth ordering some of the free info, there is an action plan based on peak flow which might be helpful. Failing all of that the medics at uni are often quite good. Best of Luck.

  • Hi Its good to vent lol!!! I have just done the same :-( hopefully new nuse at Uni will help, know mine was good when I was at Uni... Good Luck xx

  • Firstly, vent awa, its justified!!! Grrrrrrr

    Secondly, i think your asthma nurse must be working off some very old asthma practices as the thinking before was to just treat the symptoms with reliever but in recent years this has changed considerably and its all about prevention.

    Maybe she needs to go on a refresher?! ;)

    I would definately do what Stokes suggests and call them to arrange an appointment with the doctor for the same day (i can call ,my surgery early in the morning to do this). As Stokes says at the 1st mention of asthma symptoms they're normally pretty good.

    Good luck!


  • Hey Rachel, just thought i would fly be any see how your were doing!?


  • Thanks charlie_warlie :)Not too bad atm but then I've had quite a few duvet days recently lol (nothing to do with asthma, I just fancied being lazy!) I think I've got back into the habit of ignoring symptoms, which isn't that great since I just got out of it!Then again my pf seems to be stuck solidly at 375 for now so things are improving! Hating this weather though!

    How are you doing?

  • Duvet days are great...i have then every day, minus the duvet more often than not thougj, so i guess you can call these just plain lazy days ;-)

    When i seem to just balance out on my pf (but still not at my best) i think to my self ""could be worse, could be going backwards again"" so im happy with a stable pf if that makes sense.

    Try not to ignor ur symtpoms though, as that time you ignor them could be the biggest mistake ever, and things could go terribly wrong.

    I know its a pain in the rear constantly being symptomatic, but try to acknowledge them even if its for a milli second lol.

    Agreed, this weather is not helping at all, i very much hate the hot then cold constantly.

    Im doing ok, have my moment still, but been out of hospital for 5 weeks now so im mega happy!! Knowing my luck, now that ive posted this, my asthma will bite me on the bum and make me eat my words!! Ah well!!


  • Haha, lazy days are the best! My pf has decided to drop again to 350 which is odd since I feel better than before!

    I've always had asthmatic symptoms but since my parents were never bothered by then kind of got to thinking that it was nothing to worry about so should just ignore them. It's only since I was diagnosed that I realised I should make make an effort to recognise them, but old habits die hard!

    Woo :) Glad things are better for the moment for you! Just don't tell your lungs you wrote that and then they'll be nice I'm sure ;)

  • Having hit the reply button I've forgotten the name of the original poster. Sorry. Whoever you are, and where ever your practice is, they will have a practice manager you can contact and make clear the treatment and attitude you have to deal with when you see this nurse. I'm sure you could probably do so anonymously if you preferred. The last thing you need when you are ill is a nurse with an attitude. Kick some butt;~) It's the only way anything ever changes.

  • Oh Rachel , you don't know how pleased I am to read your post.

    Aged 63 after having continuous severe chest infections for a few years and a bug which 'normal healthy' people apparently don't get it was thought I might have late onset asthma . So a few months ago I was referred to the GPs asthma nurse for tests. (There is only one in the practice).

    In order to determine that I had asthma the nurse did a number of tests, nothing was explained to me not what or why or the results. She just said 'you have asthma'.

    If I asked a question she made me feel stupid or gave a flippant reply , I was left confused scared and wondering if I really did have asthma or was I receiving medication (a preventer inhaler) for a condition I do not have.

    I spent a day on the internet and I found lots of information and a little trick which demonstrates how it feels to have asthma on a bad day, this and a few other things confirmed in my mind that I really do have asthma.

    So you are not alone in your moan :-) you have my commiserations

    The problem is I now have to see this unhelpful person regularly. I won't complain, that won't help our future relationship.

  • One week to go! This nurse better be better, I'm fed up of struggling!

    Thanks everyone for all of your support :)

  • I hope your appointment goes OK next week.

  • Hi, just realised it's been ages since I last came on here! Far too busy packing for uni :)

    So my appt yesturday wasn't amazing, but at least this nurse was nice and listened to me. She agreed that my inhalers need changing but said that she can't do it because I move to uni on saturday so she couldn't follow me up. I now have to wait until monday when I can register with the uni health centre and then make an appt for a review there. I'm going to go into the health centre and see if I can make the appt there and then. Hopefully I won't end up waiting weeks and weeks! I reckon I have about a fortnights worth of preventer left since the nurse told me to double my puffs to 8 a day so I want an appt in that time! No way am I paying for an inhaler I'll only use a few times!

    The only irritating thing is that the nurse told me that if the appt had been a few weeks ago, when I first went and was ignored, she could have altered my inhalers! Even worse, my prescriptions would still have been free! Can't have everything though I suppose!

    Thanks for all your replies btw :) Nice to know there are people out there who will listen :) I love this site!

  • Very annoying! But crossed fingers you can get an appt asap - tell them you're running out of inhaler perhaps? As you'll be a new patient to them it's not as though you can get them on repeat. When I went to uni - and I know they probably all do things differently - we had to register on the second day of Freshers' Week.

    V exciting packing for uni - am quite envious, remember when that was me! (ok, now I feel old). Buying stationery is always fun too.

    btw have you seen this?

    It suggests you might still get free prescriptions - see HC1 form link. And might be generally useful.

    Good luck, let us know how uni goes!

  • We can register whenever but only in the students union at the weekend so I'm going to go in on monday and talk to them in person. Hoping for nice staff!

    I'm past excited just plain nervous now! I've already spoken to two flatmates though and they seem nice :) Even better, they don't drink alcohol (like me), like early nights and can't stand mess! Got to hope the other three are like that now! I have to admit I did love all of the shopping :)

    That page is quite useful, thanks for the link :) I'll see if I can come up with any more tips. If my room is mouldy or dusty there'll be trouble! The hall only opened last year!

    I usually can't get any financial help due to parental income, but I'll apply anyway! Thanks, I didn't know it even existed! If not I'll try and get a prepay thing every other month. It would be useful though, the nurse thinks I could do with a cream for eczema and some antihistamines. I've tried otc versions but they aren't strong enough so some help with costs would be appreciated! I'll do some more research!

    Thanks :)

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