Joining the night cough party - Asthma UK communi...

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Joining the night cough party


Been dealing with a flare-up since Boxing Day - I don't deserve any sympathy because I didn't take my steroid inhaler from 19th-24th while I was at my Mum's (after filling in the AsthmaUK survey saying the #1 asthma trigger for me over the Christmas period is not taking my meds properly, poop!)

I've maxed my steroid inhaler dose as of yesterday and taking my blue inhaler several times in the evening and as I go to bed, but I'm still coughing a lot. It's nothing like as bad as the flare-up I had in January, which didn't go away till I begged pred out of my GP, and I can weather this out as it is if it doesn't get much better, but man, I'm kicking myself for not taking my steroid inhaler for five days DX

So yeah, if you're dealing with a night cough right now, my sympathies, you are not alone!!

Edit: Actually getting worse :( Max inhaler dose and I'm only getting an hour of sleep at a time. I'm not even anywhere near my home GP either. Sigh.

6 Replies

Go to A and E ..... You require prednisilone and prob to be nebulised every 4hrs to get you stable.

madmazda86 in reply to Mack2

I'm pretty bad at just putting up with things when they're actually terrible :( I have the cough type asthma and I'm not actually sick or anything so worried they're just going to send me away with paracetamol which is what happened during my flare-up last year when I went to out of hours GP at 5am. It was only the AsthmaUK nurses who gave me the confidence to go to the GP and fight my corner after I phoned them up at my wits end. I'm down south and far away from my GP in Glasgow who actually listened to me and vaguely knew what my asthma was about.

You're right though, I should probably at least try and phone my Glasgow GP to see if they might be able to arrange something with a GP down here, or just go to A&E. I'm worried A&E will actually send me away though and I'll have waited hours to be seen for nothing :(

madmazda86 in reply to Mack2

I went to the walk in centre and usual thing, SATS good, chest clear, peak flow around 400, they didn't want to give me anything. They should have seen me at 4.30am this morning!! I'm so tired of always having to fight to make my asthma understood :( They at least gave me a GP appointment for 5pm so I can try and reason with yet another health professional. What's the point in having an asthma action plan if nobody will listen to me? :( Spoken to my GP in Glasgow and they've said I can give their number if the GP down here won't prescribe me anything. So that's something at least.

I have steroids now :)

MaggieHP in reply to madmazda86

I went through a very similar experience to the one you describe above about seven years ago. In my case I ended up calling the 'out of hours emergency number' given out by my local surgery - this happened at the weekend - and spoke to a triage nurse. She correctly identified that I needed to see a doctor and told me where to go. Did I see a doctor? No, I got foisted off on to a practitioner nurse who was completely useless! Like you I walked out of there with nothing.

I eventually got to see my own GP a couple of days later. She confirmed that my chest was clear but given the mass of other symptoms (by this time my oxygen sats were down, my peak flow was dropping, my temperature was rocketing, and this was 10 am in the morning when it should have been low) she put me straight on antibiotics and oral steroids. I rather got the impression that had it not been two days before Christmas she would have sent me straight to the nearest hospital. She told me when I next saw her that I had been 'very, very unwell'; not something she often says.

I learnt from that. Next time this happens at a weekend (though I fervently hope there won't be a next time), I'm getting my hubby to take me to A&E. I'm not risking a delay like that again!

madmazda86 in reply to MaggieHP

Yeah, the first time this happened I put up with it for over a week. I was making horrible noises in my sleep trying to breathe. Cough variant asthma is really poorly understood, that's the experience I had. The out of hours GP that first time sent me away with paracetamol because my chest was clear and my peak flow was acceptable. I didn't even have a spacer or peak flow at that time, my asthma had been well controlled outside of respiratory infections. I didn't know what was happening to me. I didn't have an asthma plan or even knew that I could increase my steroid inhaler dose. The asthma nurse I saw decided I was taking my inhalers wrong (I've been under asthma review as an adult for four years and demonstrated my inhaler technique countless times with no issues). She was the first person to tell me to increase my brown inhaler dose. But it was too late by then, my lungs were so inflamed that it didn't make a difference.

I will be forever grateful to the AsthmaUK helpline for listening to me, understanding what I was going through and explaining what was happening to me and what I needed to do. It makes me cry just thinking about how awful a time I had with that first asthma flare-up, and it was a direct consequence of the lack of information I had about my own condition and the lack of knowledge about it on part of the medical professionals I'd had contact with. When I finally went to my own GP I burst into tears in front of him and begged for steroids. I think it was about 6 nights straight with no sleep at that point. Thank goodness things got better after that. I know now that I should have gone to A&E but even then I'm not entirely sure they would have taken me seriously.

But now, thanks to AsthmaUK, I'm able to take charge of my condition and have the confidence to tell doctors what is happening to me and what it is that I need from them. This time, I argued with the nurse and told her what I needed. I went to the GP this time and told him exactly what I had, that all my vitals and peak flow would be normal, what happened last time and what I needed from him. He understood. But like you, I've learned from that - if this happens again I will tell the triage nurse exactly what happened when I went to the nurse practitioner and ask to see a GP direct. Either that or go to A&E! I hope you never have to go through that experience again either - not one of us deserves that.

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