Not well at the moment: miserable, very weak and on Pred etc

Hello Everyone,

I am unwell at the moment with a virus that sent my peak flow into a nosedive. I suddenly found that I was extremely weak - almost couldn't walk - so saw the gp. She said there isn't a chest infection, so that's good, but she gave me Predisnolone tabs and I'm still on them. Seventh day tomorow at 8 tabs a day but I will taper them now.

My peak flow is improved, but not a lot and I realised I am hyperventilating as well. Can't breath in properly, gasping air in etc.I also have been diagnosed with Chronic Hyperventilation Syndrome as well as asthma.It feels rubbish and I get very scared. I probably should be a lot braver than I am (I'm not young) but I'm not. I'm always trying to stay optimistic and believe in getting well again, but in these nasty illness times my mood spirals into anxiousness and life gets reduced to me, talking myself through in the wee small hours of the night, or the long unrelenting isolation of days stuck indoors, unable to move with anxiety growing more and more as more symptons/illness take over my life.

I don't know if anyone else gets this extreme weakness thing with nausea that I get. I also have crushing/ ironband feeling around my diaphragm and across my lower abdomen a lot too. It doesn't help.

I am sorry to introduce myself with a rather pathetic ramble but it's where I am right now. Life seems to shut down at these times as I get so utterly dependent. Honestly, I'm not like this all the time (I dont' think i am, anyway). Sandy

6 Replies

  • Awww! *hugs* i cant offer much practical advice, just a sympathetic 'im in a similar place right now' if that helps at all! have you been back to your GP to say that you're not feeling better? viruses are rubbish for lungs, especially at this time of year when its so cold out! hopefully in a week or so you'll be feeling much better. are you well controlled normally? if not it might be worth making an appt with your gp to step up your normal medication, especially with winter coming, you dont want to keep feeling like this!!!

    i have never heard of Chronic Hyperventilation Syndrome but i can imagine its something that does not go well with asthma, and can possibly make it a little harder when you need treatment. hope they can help you with that, is it something that needs counselling to deal with anxiety, or is it something that needs a repiratory physio to work on the way you breathe? sorry, i really dont know how it works, but make sure someone is looking into that as it obviously wont be helping your asthma much! *sending deep calm breaths your way!*

    i dont think i get the same kind of weakness and nausea as you describe, although i can feel sick like im choking during a bad attack, and often get waves of extreme tiredness and nausea as i'm coming out of an attack. it may be something that needs looking into but is it possible that its due to tension in your muscles as you work to breathe? i get a lot of shoulder and back pain, and stop being able to fully open my jaw after attacks, could it be a similar thing?

    we all need a bit of a moan sometimes, this is a great place to do it :) just take it easy, give yourself a well deserved break, plenty of fluids (hehehe - i sound like my mum) and watch some good films or read a good book. do whatever you need to make yourself feel happy to get you through this tough patch. write a list of proactive things you can do to make it feel a bit less overwhelming. and have a to-do list that you arent even allowed near until you are better so you dont need to stress! hope you feel a bit better soon, sophs x

  • Thank you, Sophs, that is kind and I feel happier to have got a nice reply. I am trying to watch tv quietly tonight and distract myself as much as I can. Maybe tomorow will be a more positive experience. I did go back to my gp this morning and she said my pulse was much better and the Pred were helping me so I need to wait it out a bit longer unless things get worse. Like you, she suggested going back to see the Respiratory Physio again for top-up treatment, as soon as I get better from the virus problems. Thanks again. Sandy

  • HI Sandy,

    How are you doing now? Sorry to hear you're not doing so well atm but looks like things had improved a little so hope things are still going that way.

    I don't know about the weakness/nausea thing - was going to suggest it was the pred but I see you had it before you were given pred! I do hope it goes soon as you don't need anything else to deal with; I agree it might be worth asking the GP about, even just for reassurance or suggestions for helping if it happens again.

    And if you're anything like me the pred won't be helping with any of it - I become very weird and emotional and little things really upset me (plus if it's the white ones they won't be helping your stomach at all). Even without pred, I remember having a period earlier this year when the whole asthma thing and poor control and everything just really got to me and I felt really low for a while, which is horrible. Hugs and I hope things improve.

    Glad you're seeing the resp physio again. I have the same issue where the asthma has messed my breathing up, which doesn't help but I also don't get most of the usual symptoms of it so I can be adding to the asthma issues without really noticing! Except in the last few days my asthma has been pretty good but for some reason the breathing issues were kicking off - no idea why, as when the asthma is worse they are not usually nearly so troublesome (I can now tell the difference) and I don't even notice unless someone else points it out - but it is pretty uncomfortable and can be hard to shift (I was doing breathing exercises, took my inhaler in case I was wrong and it was asthma being cunning but argghh!)

    How often have you seen the physio? Because I saw about 3 different ones before getting anywhere: partly they were just telling me how to breathe correctly when I actually do know in theory and do it right some of the time, I just don't or can't do it properly all the time (was given exercises to do lying down, but I'm fine lying down!), and partly I only saw them for one or two sessions. They were in general lovely and seemed pretty good and efficient, but my current physio and the consultant/registrar have said physio for this sort of thing is not usually effective if you just see someone for one or two sessions, you need to keep going back and have them adjust treatment/exercises as needed and it takes a lot longer than a session or two to really sort it.

    oops ramble, I always do this but I really hope you feel better soon! xx

  • Hi Sandy,

    I just wanted to say that anxiety can be overwhelming, I suffered after my son was born a few years ago and I'm always glad I asked.for help.with it.

    If you have been feeling like this for mire than a few weeks it may be worth asking your gp to refer you to talk to someone such qs a.respiratory counselor? It may help.

    Appart from that I send sympathetic hugs, I too am at homr most days unable to do things as I once did, my life has changed completely and I'm trying to adjust to it while.keeping positive that at some point I'll get my old life back but its not easy to keep positive.

    Keep going, take each day as it comes and look after yourself.


  • Thank you for responding Philomela, I really appreciate the kind thoughts, people have sent my way. I haven't been on computer much lately, as I have been feeling so poorly, but at least I can get myself up and downstairs alright now, which means there must have been some improvement. I find I cannot think straight at the moment - it could be the Pred, I suppose. I believe that they have given me some whopping mood swings, in fact I have got quite down,fragile, very weepy and unable to make proper decisions but I don't seem to be getting worse in that way now so perhaps I can hold my own in that department. I did have Pred once before, last year and had some different problems with them then, which caught me by surprise: I actually became ravernously hungry and put on a lot of weight because I couldn't resist eating too much, even though I was full-up after meals. It took me a long time to lose the weight again but I have now, so I was ready for that problem this time, and haven't overeaten, even though it is still an urge. I also find I don't sleep properly and have a peculiar headache in the evenings while I'm on them. That last time, I didn't feel really low, like this. In fact, it was almost the opposite. I found it frustrating that my body was incapable of carrying out all the creative things I wanted to do, despite being aware of the nasty chest infection I had. Very strange.

    But on the plus side, I think they save lives and get us better, so what's the alternative really? With regard to stomach problems with the tablets, I take them with breakfast and swallow 1-2 tablets with every couple of spoonfuls of food, taking a few minutes between mouthfuls. To get the 8 tablets down that I am prescribed takes me about 10-15 minutes this way, but it helps me do it. Afterwards, I get a bit shaky for half an hour or so, but that's nothing to worry about.

    My peak flow is improving now, which reassures me (less anxiety now) but I have still got lots of horrible mucus pouring down the back of my throat making me clear it constantly.

    And I'm still a lot weaker than usual, but less nauseous now, at least, and I have some of my strength returned. Tried to put up some xmas decorations today; only lay them around the room, but couldn't do more than a handful before sinking into a chair really breathless again. Maybe when I finish the tablets I will be feeling more recovered and my mood will get sorted out. Forced myself to stop doing so many peak flows today and yesterday and that was a good idea. I can get so hung up on the results. Thanks for replying. Sandy

  • Hi Angelica,

    Thank you for your sympathetic words. I struggle to maintain hope of getting better after a couple of weeks of nasty illness. I really don't seem to be able to hang on and believe in recovery when it goes on a long time even though I try every strategy I can think of. I get a bit panicky at that point. I suppose these things can stem from past experiences and other factors, but what ever causes them, they really are difficult to handle. In fact, it's all flipping difficult to handle really: All the asthma thing. Most of the time I have got to grips with it, but when I get a virus that triggers the peak flow plunge and nighttime symptons, it runs away with me. I'm sorry to hear you have some anxiety as well. I wish I could take it away, but I can't. I suffered a lot with postnatal illness after each child was born(I had three)but I can truthfully say, that one will get better in the end if you keep trying to get out and about and don't stay home and isolated. Of course, you have no choice if you've got a bad bout of asthma going on, I know.

    I intend to ring up for more respiratory physio now when I am strong enough again. Maybe you are right: I need to keep returning for top-ups every few months or something. The chronic hyperventilating is so subtle, I can't tell it's happening at all at first. Also, the upper tummy area tends to get full and bloated with air and that stops me being able to see my breathing going up and down. The thing is, I find the whole process a bit embarrassing. I think I should have learnt how to do it by now, and I end up doing it all perfectly well with the lady, and then not being able to do it at all when I have a virus and asthma symptons. Basically, I often get myself in a mess like this: Anxious and desperate but still trying to act as if I can handle it. I think in some perverse way I am trying to stop them from worrying about me. How stupid, they probably aren't that interested. Nevertheless, I am always trying to look after everyone in my own particular way when actually, it's probably me that needs the looking after. Or maybe not. Or is it? This is the indecisiveness of my messed up mind at the moment. Very sorry. Sandy

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