Doc visit after attack?

I feel like a bit of a plonker asking this, but maybe I just need reassuring?

Yesterday evening I had an asthma attack, not major - managed to get it under control with Salbutamol after four or five whacks. No big deal, although absolutely no clue what triggered it. Was just getting ready for bed. Then this morning I had been up for a few hours, been for a half hour run and then had another similar attack which again came under control after five or six double puffs. Alarmed my partner somewhat, and I was a bit thrown by it too.

I take Flixotide, Montelukast and Intal (all medications had been correctly taken, including an extra puff of Intal prior to the run, and a dose of Salbutamol too as the air was slightly cold). Normally this would be fine.

Because of my concern I followed the general advice given that I should visit the doctor and was fortunate enough to be offered an appointment today.

When I got there, doc checked my peak flow, oxygen saturation, pulse and listened to my breathing. All ok. He then was unable to work out what medication I took and so I told him and he said I should be fine with those. I reminded him that the reason I was visiting was because of the two attacks within 12 hours and he insisted that we should ""see how it goes"".

I'm now confused as to why I am advised to see the doctor if that is all they are going to say. Is it just so he can check I'm not dead, or that the attack has passed?

I have actually already requested an appointment with the GP who normally manages my asthma as I'm not comfortable with this response, but am I being a wuss? Should I just wait for another attack, and then go back. I'm not sure if I am making a fuss or not and would appreciate someone else's view on this.

Thanks

12 Replies

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  • Hi Dragonbreath,

    I've been in this situation as well - where you have an appt that doesn't seem that useful and then start thinking 'hmm am I being a hypochondriac if I go again?' I think sometimes what you're told by AUK doesn't always trickle down to some doctors/nurses etc - I once got told on the phone by an OOH dr that I didn't need to do anything at all when I rang SOB after lots of reliever (and NHS Direct who are admittedly overcautious had said I sounded SOB). AUK 'official' advice was to call for an ambulance after that much Ventolin! Didn't think I really needed that but something was clearly needed and I wasn't impressed with 'well you're fine' over the phone.

    So I don't think you're making a fuss. You could perhaps ring the AUK adviceline on Monday if you're worried and talk it through with them - I've found they're always good with that. But tbh I'd have said if you've suddenly had 2 attacks like that, even if they're not big ones, then you'd want to be talking it over with a GP who listens so you can work out what's going on. I think the general aim of good asthma management is supposed to be to avoid attacks - you don't want to wait for another one which turns out to be a lot bigger!

    Hope this helps, sorry for rambling on a bit.

  • Thanks, I will keep the appointment with my own doctor. :)

  • not all doctors are well up on asthma

    as suggested, ring the experts, asthma uk, they helped me to the point that I had to ask my doctor for what I needed

  • Try the auk people they were realy helpful,

    as my gp dosn't listen

    hope things improve soon

  • I spoke to my gp today after having to spoke to AUK nurse and the gp said I don't need to see you because you can talk there is nothing wrong with you. He advocated that asthmatics should not be medicated and that most asthmatics should never be given prednisolone or antibiotics.

    I did my peak flow before calling him and it was half my best yet apparently that's also normal too.

    I have to say this has put me off ever speaking to the GPS ever again about my asthma. There is a six week wait to see my gp and the others tell me to see my own gp.

  • He advocated that asthmatics should not be medicated and that most asthmatics should never be given prednisolone or antibiotics. .

    When I was first diagnosed I was given prednisolone and antibiotics and a reliever inhaler,

    the pred made me more ill than I was before taking it and antibiotics are for infections, asthma is not an infection, so I can understand what he means

    I then spoke to the Auk asthma nurse, what I should have been given was both a reliever and preventer inhaler so I went back to the doctor and he said that I only need a reliever inhaler.

    I then saw my surgery nurse and asked for the preventer inhaler, that is when I started to get better

  • miranda, does your surgery have a nurse attached to it? I found my nurse much more helpful than my GP

  • Mirandathebat, what the hell is up with your GP - that is ridiculous advice! Normally I'd say see another GP in the practice but sounds like that's not much use either... Have you considered changing surgery? I've not done it myself within the same area (only when I've moved) but believe you can just go to the new surgery and register and don't have to explain to your current one why you're leaving (someone who's done it may be able to help).

    May seem extreme but I don't think you're going to get anywhere with that GP and a 6-week wait is ridiculous so I would consider it.

    Dragonbreath, have you seen your own GP yet? If so how was it?

  • Please consider complaining about your GP, both to the practice manager and the GMC (General Medical Council). This is completely inappropriate behaviour from a GP! Like Philomela said, I would think about a change in practice if thats an option where you live, most places are covered by more than one practice.

    Lynda :)

  • Link to GMC info about how to make a complaint if concerns about treatment:

    gmc-uk.org/concerns/making_...

  • Sadly we can't change GPs unless I go back to practice we left. The reason we left was due to a gp doing something which he shouldn't have. I'd rather not say more but I do know from discussions with other docs this shouldn't have happened. So we are stuck.

    Anyway I know the gp I spoke to is generally anti medication and has the view that most doctors just dish things out like sweets. However whenever there has been a serious problem he's always sorted it out. he actual made some valid points about the fact it is useful to see the same doctor all the time as in an emergency doctors just react to the situation at that moment in time and do not look at the bigger picture.

    The asthma nurse is nice but not very helpful with medication doses. I should add I am on an unusual combination that the Auk nurses had never heard of.

  • ah that's a shame.

    It is true that it's good to see the same GP if you can and I do find it easier, and some doctors may overmedicate but from what you say he's taking the anti-medication thing rather too far and you said it's put you off going to see the GP about your asthma which is not at all good! Yes prednisolone should be avoided where possible but sometimes it's necessary and definitely better than an attack, and it's also better to be on preventer medication than just taking reliever all the time. OK, I'm not a doctor or anything but my consultant has said this and so has all the advice I've ever seen or heard about asthma! 50% of your best PF is not at all good; according to the charts I've seen that is just about red zone and I've been told by the AUK nurses if mine ever drops to half I should get help right away.

    If you can't change surgery, you are supposed to be able to see any GP in the surgery - at least that's how mine works and I thought it was like that everywhere (was same where I lived before as well). So perhaps start seeing another one and if they try to tell you to see 'your own GP' tell them you have the right to see any GP and you'd prefer to see them for the moment.

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