Just saying hi

My GP has just prescribed me Prednisolone and Salmeterol to get me over a bout of severe symptoms; I was diagnosed with asthma many years ago but hadn't bothered keeping up with inhalers as it was so mild and I didn't want to get dependent. Tomorrow is the last day on the Prednisolone, and it looks like I'll be needing to be stricter with myself in future to keep episodes like this at bay.

Seems my symptoms have come on because of a combination of stress and pregnancy, so there's no saying how they will develop over the next few months and I have no very clear idea what my actual triggers are ...

I've had a week off work because I've been too breathless to travel or function, waking up 2 or 3 times a night coughing and crying, taking Ventolin every couple of hours ... So next week I hope to be back at my desk to get some things finished before my maternity leave, but also I'm thinking i should get to see my GP again and see how I control this long term.

Am I being too optimistic? I feel like a real fraud sitting on my backside all week, and I want to get back to work, but reading everyone's posts here I think maybe I shouldn't be trying to prove anything just now and should take it easy until it's properly under control.

Does anyone have any thoughts? Anyone else been through similar situation? All advice gratefully received :)

4 Replies

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  • Hi! sorry to hear you're going through a rough time at the moment. i think a few people can have trouble during pregnancy (not something i have any experience with myself but i believe others have mentioned it on here) getting back on track with your meds will probably help a lot, most of us have times during our asthma management when things slip a bit, but there is no reason you cant get this back under control. are you on a steroid inhaler as well as the salmeterol? you deffo should be, long acting relievers shouldnt be used on their own (unless there is some special circumstances i dont know about). i think going back to your GP is probably a good idea, especially as it sounds like you're still strugglnig with your breathing, taking ventolin every couple of hours means that your asthma is not well controlled (im not saying not to take it - just that preventer treatments need to be increased until you don't need the ventolin) were you given a peak flow diary to do? it might be worth asking about getting a peak flow meter to use at home as it will help you see what your lungs are doing, and also when you are getting better. hopefully it'll also help you to work out your triggers, keep a note of what you were doing when you got triggered, and if you have a look in the 'about asthma' section on here it lists the kind of things that CAN trigger asthma that you can look to see if they affect you!

    dont feel like a fraud. its really hard to function when you can't breathe, anyone who criticises you for it has clearly not experienced anything like it. when my breathing's bad i turn into a complete baby and can barely look after myself (i'm a student - feeling ill on top of standard student laziness is a recipe for disaster!) there are lots of asthma treatments that are really effective for most asthmatics, on here there are a lot of uncontrolled people, but thats not the case for most people, and chances are once youve got back into the routine of regular inhalers etc you'll be feeling much better! until then - take it as easy as you can!! and dont forget to get into the habit of making sure your ventolin is on you when you go out, when you've had a long period of being well it's easy to just pop to the shop and forget it, but the earlier you take it the less rubbish you'll feel

    also the asthma uk nurses (number at the top) are really good, and have a lot of advice - any worries you can always give them a ring.

    not got a lot of advice, just a welcome, and dont worry, you're not on your own, and hope you feel better soon!

  • Welcome!

    That doesn't sound like fun. I also have a tough time believing that something as little as a bit more effort breathing could make me into a lump on a log, but it just seems to be true. Definitely rest. You'll recover quicker than if you keep pushing yourself. (Not that I'm all that good at listening to my own advice :-) )

    From what I understand, pregnancy is a special case, so I wouldn't assume that the level of asthma you have right now is going to be with you forever. According to the British Thoractic Society 2009 guidelines (http://www.brit-thoracic.org.uk/Portals/0/Guidelines/AsthmaGuidelines/sign101%20revised%20June%2009.pdf, p.71 ), when pregnancy exacerbates asthma the worst symptoms are in weeks 24-36 with a peak in the sixth month. Symptoms decrease significantly in the final four weeks and it is very rare for asthma to be a problem during labour.

    But as in all things - consult your doctor.

    I agree with what soph said about there being a lot of people on this forum who are having difficulty getting their asthma under control and that not being the norm in the ""world out there"". Most times even daily very intrusive asthma symptoms can be controlled with a proper combination of standard medicines.

  • Hi

    While I was pregnant with my son my asthma was the worst it's ever been. I was in hospital 3x on nebulisers, the only times I have ever been to hospital for my asthma was while I was pregnant with him. My GP put me on seretide after this and i wasnt as badly affected once that started working. Since I have had him the asthma has gone back to being minor and am hardly bothered by it.

    Strangely my asthma didn't affect me at all while I was pregnant with my daughter infact was the best it's ever been.

    Jenny x

  • Thanks everyone - so great to hear from you all and talk to people who know what it's like. I'm feeling much better today, slept well and hardly any wheezing or coughing so far today, but I'll get to my GP first thing tomorrow to talk about getting a preventer inhaler and see whether he wants me to do peak flow readings.

    Re the pregnancy trigger, I'm at 32 weeks and it has been getting gradually worse for the last month or two ... I didn't make the connection with asthma though, just put it down to my commute, tiredness, stress etc. guess that'll teach me to pay more attention! I'm very glad to hear it usually settles down after birth, so I really appreciate the reassurance. I'm planning a home birth so would hate to have this complicating things for the labour plan.

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