I'm 39 and I've had asthma symptoms for just under a year. I was diagnosed in late spring/summer, although one of the asthma nurses in the practice didn't think I had asthma - apparently I don't fit the criteria. They started me on clenil, which worked really well but the regular dose still left me with a tickly feeling in my chest and as the pollen count was quite high this year my doctor doubled my dose and told me to go back down to a single dose in September. I felt great in July and August but when I switched to the single dose at the beginning of September I started having symptoms again. They weren't too bad and I waited about a month for them to settle, but they didn't. I went back to the GP and was put on seretide 125, as I preferred the idea of having, what my doctor called, 'a lower dose steroid' (later I found out this was actually a bit higher than the double dose of clenil as seretide is double the strength!) The seretide was making some difference but very very slowly, then I got a virus. While I had it I didn't feel great, but I was expecting that as I had a virus after all! But that was over a month ago and I never recovered. In fact I am now worse than I was when I had the virus.
Pretty much everything I do makes me either breathless or provokes a coughing fit (I have coughy, rather than wheezy asthma). I can't walk at my normal pace anymore and I avoid the stairs. Certain smells really get to me too and I had a very bad coughing fit at the weekend when I got in a cab with air freshener. Even reading my son a bedtime story or talking can make me breathless sometimes. I feel exhausted and irritable all the time and I'm constantly thinking of my symptoms because I can't escape them. Basically, it's having a huge impact in my life.
Last Tuesday I was put on symbicort 200/6 2 puffs 4 times a day and SMART regime as well as nasonex as I might have rhinitis. I know it's only a week and these things take time, but I'm hoping for some words of encouragement from others that have been in my shoes. I'm willing to try anything and will be sleeping with my mouth taped up tonight as recommended in the Buteyko book Close Your Mouth. Any other words of wisdom much appreciated.
Lastly, I have some questions, when they say viruses can be a trigger, do they mean you are more prone to attacks during the virus, or a more general worsening of the condition which can take some time to recover from? Does it sound like I have asthma, or could this be something else - just going back to me not fitting the criteria, according to the asthma nurse.
Thanks for reading and sorry about the rant...