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That'll Teach Me! First Attack

Sorry to keep popping up, but it's such a relief to have somewhere to go to offload about all this.

I say this is my first attack, but I suspect I've had attacks in the past and just not realised it was asthma. In all honesty I would probably have said I was coming down with a chest infection and just ridden it out...

To cut a long story short, I had an intense exercise class Tuesday night - didn't take any salbutamol before or during, as I'd been advised to monitor my peak flows before and after exercise for suspected exercise-induced asthma / general asthma triggered by exercise. I did struggle during the class, but afterwards my peak-flow wasn't awful - 380 (my best is 450, although have had 460 rarely) - but I did have some chest tightness and coughing. To be honest, I was a teensy bit irritated that all I had to show for my ?exercise-induced asthma was a tiny drop... but I needn't have worried lol :(.

Wednesday I couldn't stop coughing in the early and late morning, peak-flow was still okay-ish (380-390) so I took salbutamol. Coughing went away eventually, but chest tightness continued to linger. By the afternoon it was really uncomfortable, and my peak-flow was 360.

By the evening my peak flow was 350 and I was intermittently wheezy (worse on lying down). By morning it my peak flow was 280 and I felt dreadful. I'd had about 3 hours sleep and my chest felt like it was only doing shallow expansions (if that makes sense). Doctors wouldn't give me an appointment (grr), but I went to the walk in centre where they started me on a short course of pred and gave me a preventer inhaler for when that runs out.

Weird thing is, my chest was clear, despite it's tightness. I'm sure my respiratory rate was increased as I felt very short of breath. I was tachycardic (110) and hypertensive - my BP was 153/92. The Doctor said ""Oh, I wasn't expecting that""!!!

I'm confused as to why I would be so hypertensive, and it wasn't explained to me despite her surprised reaction...

Also, I was told to keep monitoring my peak flows. I said ""fine, but no one's actually explained to me what variation I should consider ""normal"""". I didn't get an answer for that either :(. (Apart from in a separate thread from you wonderful people!)

Was supposed to see the asthma nurse Tuesday, but was told to cancel it because I'm now on steroids. She also said they'd want to do tests... but no details of said tests have been given.

No one has even said ""you've got asthma"" ... although I don't suppose it's likely to be anything else since my airway reverses with salbutamol and the pred has made an amazing difference, but still, I just feel as though this has come somewhat out of the blue. I guess I've suspected I might have asthma for a while, but that's totally different from ""knowing"" it.

Also, does anyone experience voice changes during an attack? I didn't feel unwell, no cold symptoms etc, but my voice was ""weak"" and different from usual. The pred seemed to fix it, but today I (stupidly) went shopping and as my shortness of breath increased my voice changed again.

Sorry for the essay - but it does feel good to get it all written down! Many thanks to anyone who had the staying power to read it all!

2 Replies

been there done that and guess what got the T shirt exactly like you but without the wheeze then the medical prof think your panaking they know nothing about asthma do they???

you can always get duty doctor appts you must say you have asthma and they they will treat it as urgent, well they do where i live

good luck let me know how you get on


Thanks Lola, I will be more insistent next time about getting an appointment. I really only had a ""classic"" intermittent wheeze at night - so same boat as you :(. I'm amazed they gave me pred to be honest, but I definitely needed it.

I'm off to another appointment in a few hours - just to straighten out what I'm actually meant to be doing with my brown inhaler!! Had my last dose of pred today and I feel back to normal :).


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