I've just joined this forum because I'm going through a period of readjustment in my attitude towards my asthma, so I apologise if this is a bit of a waffle.
I've had asthma since a young child, so can't remember ever not having daily inhalers etc. I would generally say my asthma was moderate, but controlled and so far I've never had any serious attacks as I've always responded well to the reliever inhaler and it's never really stopped me.
As I've got older (I'm now almost 40) it has changed slightly. I'm less allergic and don't wheeze like I used to. I may feel as bad (out of breath, irritable, and strangely enough an itchy chin) I just don't sound as bad. But what's bothering me now is my response to getting a cold. In the past this has always been a trigger, so I have always doubled my preventer inhaler dose. I would always get an annoying night cough for a few days-a couple of weeks and might need to use the reliever a bit more, but it was just one of those things. However this time (and a similar thing happened last year) its been worse. I'm out of breath through doing the smallest of things. I'm OK (apart form an itchy chest, neck and chin) if I sit down and do nothing (with no talking) but as soon as I get up and do something or chat to someone for any length of time I get increasingly out of breath to the point when I have to stop and take a breath 2 or 3 times a sentence, get lightheaded and get a sudden headache. I'm also very tired, irritable and lost my appetite. I've been taking my reliever 4-6 times a day, but it just doesn't seem to work like it used to. If I sit down gradually I feel better, but it all starts up as soon as I start moving again, whereas I used to be able to take the inhaler and within a few minutes get on with things again. I have been to the doctor who as I had a lower peak flow reading than he would expect (350 - no idea what is normal for me as I don't have one at home but think I've been well over 400 when I had it done a couple of years ago) has presribed me 40mg a day of prednisole for 5 days (for the first time in my life) and so far I've taken 2 doses. It hasn't had much effect so far, although I suppose its still early days.
The big thing for me at the moment is I feel i have lost confidence in my asthma. I suppose I always took it for granted that I would never have a serious attack, but now I'm not so sure. This loss of confidence is probably also down to the fact that my mum, who had asthma from childhood, has steadily got worse as she's got older and now has COPD as well and is on her 4th hospital stay this year and maybe I worry (probably with no good reason) that this change in my asthma is the beginning of it getting worse. I also realise that I really don't know what to do if I did get bad and wonder if I would recognise when i needed urgent help. This is probably complicated by the fact that I live on a small island and the nearest hospital is a 30 minute ferry (plus a variable wait for the next ferry) and a 30 minute drive away and if at night its either having the ferry crew called out for an emergency ambulance run or a helicopter.
I'm also a bit frustrated at how little I can do at the moment, especially as I have a 3 and a 6 year-old, a 19 year-old with asperger's and a disabled husband (arthritis, prolapsed disc, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, depression and PTSD). I suppose our household functions because I am usually well and whenever I'm not things start falling apart and I wonder how long it will take to be back to normal.
Of course I am aware I am probably being a a bit of a drama queen about it all (probably because I'm tired). I realise that I am nowhere near as bad as a lot of people and so I apologise for the moan.