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Recovery time?

Hello. This is my first post and I just wanted to ask some advice. I was diagnosed with asthma nearly 25 years ago, when I first started at universty, and throughout my 20's it was pretty uncontrolled, but largely I think due to lifestyle and not taking meds serioulsy enough. I had pneumonia twice and pleuricy, plus countless chest infections. I moved out of London 12 years ago and since then have been much better, and, with the agreement of the GP, have not needed to take any meds for about 3 years. 3 weeks ago I ended up admitted to hospital with the most sever and near fatal attack I have ever had, and have been pretty much bed bound ever since.

The attack scared me, as it is the first time it was that out of control and unresponsive, and for the first time I have faced the potential severity of what it means to be asthmatic. Also the attack seemed to come on out of nowhere: I was in good health, just a mild sorethroat a couple of days before, I developed a cough and stayed home in bed thinking that I would rest it away, and feeling quite proud that, probably for the first time, I was taking it seriously.

I am now on a variety of inhalers and tablets but the asthma is still not controlled and I am still exhausted and off work. I am also feeling isolated and a wide range of emotions, mostly negative, and I feel completely at sea. I don't know what to do to get better, but when I do start to improve I then deteriorate again, almost as though worrying about having a setback causes one to happen.

I think I have spent most of my asthmatic life in denial, and now that I am trying to do things carefully and properly I have no idea what to do. I read the post about peoples perception of "its only asthma" and I think this is a view that I have had about myself all these years. I have never allowed enough time to fully revover from illness and infections before and 3 weeks is feeling like an age. However, I am feeling guilty and sneaky about being off work, and yet I am also terrified of returning to work / returning to life and getting sick again. Does it take this long to recover from a bad attack and should I continue to rest, or could my fear be contributing to my not getting better?

I realise that everyone's experiences will be different, but any thoughts or ideas would be much appreciated.

Many thanks!

10 Replies

Wow you have had it tough. I think we all feel that we are not that I'll but you cannot mess with asthma. Someone will be along soon who will be able to help you more than I can till then be very kind to yourself ♥♥♥

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I've been asthmatic for 40 years since childhood and have also had bad attacks in the past. I was hospitalised for a fortnight once so don't think 3 weeks is a long recovery. It took a couple of months to get my asthma totally under control. As it was such a bad attack i would expect you to be off work. You need to get back 100% before you return or it may be a short return. This attack has obviously shocked and scared you and you cannot under estimate the effect it will have on your body which is very run down. This will obviously make you more emotional.

I would wrap up, do whatever you can to boost your system - whether it's eating well, supplements or whatever else floats your boat - and take it easy. Everything else can wait.

If this is the first attack in 12 years then hopefully it will be years before you have any more probs.

Take care xx


I had a severe attack when I was 21 - am now over 50 and have had asthma since I was 2. This attack lasted for 6 weeks. I was ill at home for 3 weeks and eventually was hospitalised for another 3 weeks. We all take good health for granted and life has a way of slapping us in the face now and again to wake us up lol. You should talk to your GP And I think should also see if you can see a respiratory consultant. I would also advise you to contact the British Lung Foundation and either talk to one of their nurses on line or by telephone - they are available during normal office hours. They will talk through all your problems with you and give you good advice. We have to remember that as we get older - even if we are only in our 30's or 40's it takes longer for us to get over things.

If you can I would advise you to try doing some yoga breathing and even to try yoga it is good exercise without being too much when you are poorly. My (soon to be) stepson and his girlfriend teach yoga and have advised me to look on line to practice sun salutations - I think that is the correct term. We live out in the sticks and the beginners yoga class at out nearest fitness centre seems to have folded so must get around to doing that. There are different types of yoga and some can be very physical so don't be tempted by those! The yoga will teach you good posture and breathing which will help you keep in control.

Take care and let us know how you get on.

Love and hugs




Thank you all for your replies and thoughts. Really great advice, and lovely to talk with people who have first hand understanding.




I nearly died and had to be resuscitated several times when I had pneumonia a couple of years ago and I was off work for 7 months, and even then I was weak- there were thousands of times I beat myself up about not being able to work and pick my children up from school, do the washing up and endless other normal tasks but unless you give yourself time, and I've learnt this since, after countless huge attacks ( I have severe uncontrolled asthma ) you will get poorly again over and over - it's your body telling you to stop , it's not ready for you to do more.

Try to stop worrying about getting back to normal and listen to your body, it needs much longer than 3 weeks given time and rest , things will improve.

Take care x

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I am going through exactly the same thing as you im on week 4 and im still triggering. Yesterday was awful back on nebs and had to take emergency steroids. Sending u lots of love xz


Hi! So sorry you are also having a really rough time. It's really hideous isn't it!! How are you doing now? Any progress?

It took about 5 or 6 weeks for my asthma to settle, and exhaustion is still a real problem, but it does finally feel like there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Hang in there, I really hope your lungs begins to settle and that you are soon feeling brighter.



I completely sympathise with you. My asthma really does get me down at times esp when I've got to rest up. I feel like I'm watching everyone else live life and I'm a bystander! It's so frustrating! Ive been similar to you where I've not needed medication for long periods and go about life carefree to being struck down suddenly which is so scary! Defs take it easy and don't beat yourself up about the recovery times - it's not your fault. Also, you are not alone... Xx


Thank you!! It has been a long hard journey, and time for lots of thinking and changing perspectives. Yesterday I was signed off further, until the end of term (I am a teacher) and for the first time since it all happened I felt less guilty and more accepting of health and family priorities rather than whether colleagues think I am skiving, so I guess that's progress in a way?

I really like your definition of feeling that you have to watch life as a bystander - that's exactly how it feels!



Ah Rosie it's probably for the best as you need to rest and Christmas will take a lot of energy too. Yeah I so feel like I'm watching everyone at the Christmas markets/ trafford centre/ parties etc and I'm watching TV argh...! Every year!!

Omg you're so not skiving but I so know what you mean - I'm at home with a little one & I feel so bad for 'palming him off' on my partner but I just need a little bit of rest or it makes matters worse! Have you had doxycycline before Rosie? Xx


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