Evening all, apologies as I have not been on here for longer than I can remember!
Just want to share a recent experience I had with my asthma.
I'm pretty rubbish at controlling it, tending to puff away on my blue inhaler at least 2-3 times a day and never managing to take my preventative twice daily (I have a purple disc).
Anyway, some of my triggers are having a cold, or being stressed or generally run down. I am rather susceptible to having colds which as probably like many of you guys goes straight to my chest. Well I though I was developing a cold during one day, groggy head, developed a cough that just would not go away which was getting worse, by the end of the day, felt really rough, cough was really quite nasty and apparently looked rougher than a bears behind. By the time I was going home I thought I was developing an attack but combined with what I thought was a cold I never did anything about it that is until I got home. By this time it took me ten minutes to cross a footbridge over a train station, made it home and couldn't string a sentence together.
My wife eventually called for an ambulance, paramedics arrived quite quickly, had a bit of a temperature, breathing brought under control a little bit, oxygen levels were very low, a little under 90% and peakflow, well I could hardly blow 60. Got taken to A & E on blues and twos, first time my Wife was seriously concerned, particularly when the paramedic said that ""he's really not a very well chap"". Had several nebs, oxygen levels were not coming back up so ended up with having ABG's (5 in total so I was told) which was hovering at around 80%. If you have never had one, trust me, you don't ever want to have one, I think they peeled me off the ceiling after the first one. The A & E Dr thought that I had pneumonia. all the things I was connected to kept on making alarm noises and had nurses running round like headless chickens. Eventually when I was stable enough, I was transferred to intensive care for I understand around 24hrs and then taken down to a ward.
One thing that was ""interesting"" and not experienced before was that I have always been given 40mg of pred after an attack and never experienced any side effects. This time it was upped to 50mg, this blew my socks off, I was awake all night, my eye lids needed matchsticks to keep them open but I was wide awake and physically buzzing! so now know what that feels like to any poor person that suffers these side effects with pred.
Anyway, up shot was, I ended up in hospital for a week, was given a gsk spacer (had a volumatic before which for me personally is a waste of time and so was sceptical about the spacer but this I found was spot on). I had seen the doctors and they said they were not going to give me any anti-biotics as they thought that I didn't have a cold. Initially I was not convinced about this as I genuinely thought I had a could because of the cough. However, as it turned out, they were dead right. I didn't actually have a cold, I had experienced a major asthma attack. In total, I had 2 weeks off work it really screwed me up. I have had attacks before, but nothing like this, previously it has been a case of monitoring in A & E for 4 hours and off I go with a hand full of pred. Some of this is from what I have been told and some from what I can remember, I can't remember most of it.
One thing you did ought to know is that I am a smoker, and it is this that has brought on Asthma. Above is a good example for why you should stop if you do smoke. I managed for 3 weeks after this attack to stop smoking, it smelt disgusting and physically made me sick if I stood next to someone who was or had had a smoke. However, I fell off the horse and have started again. I'll be trying to stop again in the very near future.
Have now had a spirograph test, hmmm, apparently have the lungs of a 69yr old, I'm 39. It also suggested that I have mild obstruction..... COPD as well as asthma. Have changed my preventative and now on symbicort which is a massive change as well as taking it every day, breathing is much easier. Combinded with no smoke, life's good.
Thanks for reading, just thought I would share my experience, I still have major difficulties in distinguishing between a cold and an attack though, a working progress.