Newly diagnosed with Asthma in last three months


I am new to Asthma and this site. (am 43 yrs old)

I am currently on Qvar Easi-Breathe two puffs in morning and two puffs in evening. I also have a ventolin rescuer (thats another story).

History of events

December 2012 - I came down with an awful chest infection/bronchitis (first time in 20 odd years) - several trips to Dr explained had severe trouble breathing on ocassions, just given four lots of antibiotics over the following four weeks.

January 2013 - another chest infection/bronchitis - gave another load of antibiotics again and sent away ! Same breathing problems - total nightmare

Went back to Dr again in January - this time saw a 'nurse Practitioner' why ? because I asked for an appointment with a Dr ! She said your chest sounds clear and your oxygen levels are fine !!! She went to the next room to see the Dr and the Dr told her to say to me 'stop looking at the internet'

I demanded an xray - bang ! had pneumonia in the bottom pat of my left lung.

Back to Dr - complaining I still having moments where I get short of breathe......I had no idea this was asthma and guess what - my Dr did not mention it once and now did the Nurse Practitioner who I have just found out is an 'Asthma Nurse' !!!

I asked to be referred privately to see a chest specialise - thanks to him he ordered another xray and CT scan and both clearly showed up my bronchial tubes are inflamed = clearly asthma and that I had it all my life but mild and havign these bugs have caused it to flare up.

I was fuming beyond belief that my Dr's surgery did not take me seriously - I did not put a complaint in maybe I should because I am in a pretty bad way now thanks to them.

Last Friday I had a bad asthma attack - first time since being on the inhaler - omg so hard and I also care for my two year old twins during the day so it is taking alot out of me. I have had a few more asthma attacks since friday and I feel I can not breathe - I am 100% sure it is the pollen as very high in south east and our cars are covered in it. I am sitting here now struggling to breath. I can not breath deeply and sometimes cant yawn and I have a very very deep wheeze and feel like lots of catarah is stuck deep in my chest.

I am in the process of transfering to NHS from Private to see the consultant but his secretary said it could be two weeks before I am able to get an appointment with him as I des asperately need a review of my medication. I can't see the Asthma nurse at the Dr's because of above- when she told me my chest was clear and oxygen levels fine -clearly not as I had pneumonia ! I walked out of her room in complete frustration because I was not being listened to.

So have no idea what to do - my chest is so tight and finding daytime and night time really bad. Is it normal to be particularly bad on waking tooo ? as I feel terrible. Is the pollen affecting everyone this way ? I keep taking deep breathes and making it so much worse.

I have a huge problem, I am so scared to take the ventolin - when I took it a few months ago I got dizzy (which I can tolerate) but it sent my heart eveywhere and because I already have a heart condition my heart is ultra sensitive to it. Am I doing more damage by not taking it - I have it sitting here next to me and know I need to have it as I have been struggling for breathe every day.

My peak flow at the moment is about 300 or upto 350 sometimes. I have no idea what it normally is as I was never given one before nor a care plan - I had to research myself about Asthma.

Gosh so sorry this is so long this post - if you get to here you deserve a medal lol :)

Thanks for listening - trying to pluck up courage to take ventolin now - just did ( horrid)

Michelle xx

6 Replies

  • Hello Michelle,

    Welcome to the forum. What a nightmare you are in. Please do take the ventolin and it is a good idea to record when and symptoms as well as peak flow. The side effects do lessen over time. Can you see another GP at your practice? That is what I would do. Many of us have rung the Asthma UK nurses on here too, they are very good, number at the top of the page. How long have you been on the Qvar? Do you use a spacer with it and the ventolin? If not get one from the GP too.

    This website and the forum are both excellent sources of information and you are not alone.

    Hugs xx

  • Hi Michelle. Sorry you're having such a hard time but now that you've found us you'll get a lot of support - I've certainly learnt more about my asthma from this site than I ever did from my GP.

    The best advice I can give you is to call the helpline at the top of the page and talk to an asthma nurse and then go back to see your GP armed with information and the right questions to ask. You might also get some reassurance about using your ventolin, and suggestions for an effective anti-histamine to counteract the pollen.

    Good luck, and don't despair. We all have bad times but with a bit of support you can get through it and gain some control.

  • Hiya and welcome :-)

    Sorry to hear about the struggle you've been having and that you don't feel as though you have the support of the medical experts around you.

    With your concerns about Ventolin and the heart issues, I don't *think* it can do any damage, just be uncomfortable. But there are other reliever inhalers that you can try that don't contain salbutamol. Not medically trained, but I know there are others out there.

    Like others have said, is there another GP that you could see and talk through the issues with? I always request to see the same GP, but have another I don't mind seeing either, any of the others, I won't go to see. I feel that it is important to have a good relationship with your GP, though it might take time to find one you trust and then, build a good relationship with them. Otherwise is there another practice that you could join? For asthmatics, its so important to have a gp you can go to when struggling as you clearly are!

    If you continue to feel bad and the Ventolin isn't working/making you feel too bad/concerned I would advise to try going to a walk in centre of OOH doctor, or if things really become unbearable A&E.

    My asthma plays up something rotten due to the pollen, but that's a very long and complicated story. I think there are a lot of us on here struggling due to the pollen on here!

    Take care!


  • Hi Michelle,

    Sorry to hear about all the trouble you have been having. Like the others had said I would have a good look through this site and ring the advice line. I am not new to asthma (have had it over 25 years) but only recently found this and they are excellent. When I recently had problems getting the doctors to take me seriously (I would have terrible symptoms,take a lot of reliever to get to the doctors and then be fine there) the nurses on the advice line gave me some really good ideas for what to say. Are there any other doctors or nurses at the practice you could try? I say this because my practice is a large one over three city centre sites and over time I have found two really good GPs there. I still have a few issues with the asthma nurse but of she is given advice from my consultant or GPs then she is usually ok (she doesn't really think I'm asthmatic even though there are several indicators that I am and have been diagnosed for most of my life, I just don't wheeze that often). The other week I was told to trust my instincts and stick with it (I ended up seeing 4 GPs, 3 nurses and 1 cons in about two weeks but am getting there).

    I am also finding the hayfever seasons pretty awful this year (and there are a few threads about this too)I also find that my asthma is particularly bad first thing in the morning (my pf dramatically increases throughout the day) which I am told is an indication of asthma. If you are having troubles with Ventolin, I would speak to one of your asthma team. I have a low tolerance of Ventolin (I am naturally tachycardic and Ventolin can get my pulse to nearly 200 bmp and this makes me shaky, anxious, light headed etc). I have found that I am better on Bricanyl (a different reliever) and only have Ventolin for when I can't breathe in hard enough to take the turbohaler (in which case I don't have time to consider the effects of taking it).

    I hope this helps in someway and you manage to get it sorted soon.

    Take care

  • Hi Michelle,

    I was diagnosed with ""small airways disease""/""a type of asthma"" nearly six months ago and am on Qvar 100 two puffs twice a day. My GP was quite concerned because a chest x-ray showed hyperinflated lung firelds but the respiratory consultant initially thought I had ""silent acid reflux"" which I didn't - it wasn't until he looked at a CT scan that he saw there was a problem and then I got the Qvar. I'm having a follow up CT in a couple of weeks to see whether the Qvar has helped, becasue although the cough is better it turns out that I've had this for several years before I ever had a cough ! Your post remined me of that when you said you'd had it all your life without that's a similar situation. The consultant says we can't know if the Qvar has made a difference until he sees the CT. I too have a heart conditon so I would be hesitant to take something else. I'm slightly hesitant about the Qvar becasue I have osteoporosis and it can affect calcium levels and bone density, but I know that it's safer than oral steroids.

    all the best,


  • Hello

    I just wanted to say a thank you to each and everyone of you who kindly responded to my post (I will keep this briefer lol).

    I took your advice and telephoned the Asthma nurses on this website, your advice was spot on thank you and they helped me considerably understnad our condition and provided some further advice to go back to the Dr with.

    I have been given an appointment with my consultant on the 5 July (on holiday then lol).

    I had a few more asthma attacks since my last post - a bad one indeed a few days back where I was in the middle of an asthma attack and I took the ventolin - and it seemed to close my airways more, that was so frightening. The asthma nurse said it maybe that I react to the ingredient or something and to get a powdered spray. Ventolin also slows my hear rate - very odd I know as should do the opposite.

    I can not wait to get this under control as am suffering a bit with no one to see at the moment.

    Can I ask another question, so sorry and hope one day I am able to offer some support/advice to all of you once I am more knowledgable. For the past four days my windpipe has been hurting alot - a feeling like cold ice cream down it, and also had the same pains in my head (very bad headache making me feel sick) = is this normal with asthma ?

    Thanks again for your individual advice and sharing your own experiences :) Helps see light at the end of the tunnel. Hope your asthma becomes more manageable, in time, not looking forward to having a heatwave in the south this week with tropical thunderstorms ;)

    Michelle x

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