Can anyone help?

Hi, I'm a 35 year old woman with no history of chest problems but asthma is in my family. In October last year I developed a cough which was still around in November, while at the drs for a problem with my skin I mentioned the cough and was sent for a chest X-ray as it had been ongoing for more than 6 weeks. This came back fine, I continued to cough until the end of January when I decided I needed to see a Dr again. Saw my gp on Jan 26th explained everything to her, she asked when I cough, I explained at nighttime when I try to sleep, first thing in the morning, during exercise and when encountering changes in air temperature. She asked if anyone in the family had chest problems, I explained my aunty and my son and also mentioned that my husband has asthma too. She said she thinks I have asthma and I need to do a spirometery test. I went to reception and the first appointment was for Monday the 15th February. In the past 2 and half weeks since seeing the Dr I feel like I've got worse, I'm exhausted constantly, I literally have no energy, I've started waking at night for a good couple of hours unable to breathe and the smallest thing is leaving me breathless. Is this normal? Should my symptoms have got so much worse in such a short space of time or could it be something else that is similar to asthma. I feel really down and tearful and I'm just wondering if this is normal with someone with untreated asthma? Thanks for reading this essay!

10 Replies

  • Hi Ibance

    It sounds about right, you seem to have the usual symptoms. If left untreated it does wear you out. There's no right age unfortunately. This is known as adult onset asthma.

    It is added stress so maybe because you are worrying you are feeling a little worse. You will know more on the 15th. Most of us with the right med can live normal lives.

    Strange the GP didn't give you salbutamol to help you with your early symptoms.

    Try relaxation techniques and herbal calming teas until the 15th you have 4 days to wait and see. But should you feel unwell, over breathless call the NHS emergency line.

    I wish you well and let us know how you got on.

  • Hello Ibance of course you feel depressed and tearful, quite normal, perhaps a call to the docs as they will not know that you are feeling worse and hopefully they will be able able to put your mind at rest ♥♥♥

  • Thank you both for replying. I and many other people have found it strange that they haven't given me salbutamol for the time being, but this is obviously the way they do do things. I will definitely try and relax, unfortunately I am a worrier and feeling out of breath really doesn't help that 😞. I may phone the drs tomorrow and see if I can get an appointment or a call back just to see if there's anything they could help with, maybe even some salbutamol!

    I will post again on Monday when I know more, I'm presuming the asthma nurse will tell me there and then, or will I need to go back and see a Dr?

    Thanks again. ❤

  • Yes you can first go back to your GP before the wkend and say you feel to breathless you need salbutamol or even at the A&E if you can stand the wait because they will monitor your blood oxygen level with that finger clip, the GP can take your peak flow easily.

    Regarding the Asthma UK nurse she will ask you the right questions and give you advice on how to go sbout things, because she can't examine you if you understand my meaning.

    She usually says to me go back to your GP and tell him so and so or ask for a referral again things like that.

    She gives me confidence to do the things I don't always dare to do for myself, she knows the system, she knows asthma and how we can get the best of care within that system.

  • I'm surprised they haven't given you a peak flow chart and salbutamol. A quick and easy way to diagnose is to do a trial of treatment along with peak flow monitoring. If your symptoms and peak flies improve therein lies the answer. I have adult onset and I was fortunate to have a good gp, but it took a visit to ED to get my condition properly investigated.

  • I'm surprised too as this is how they diagnosed my son last summer and we are at the same gp, but she said I needed to do this spirometery test instead. I'm just hoping that when I do the test with the nurse at the drs on Monday she will be able to give me some answers and not just tell me I need to come back and see the gp, it's not the easiest getting appointments at my drs so I could end up waiting a couple of weeks and considering how much worse it's got in these 2 weeks the idea of that scares me! I will definitely be pushing her for an answer and explaining just how unwell I've been feeling and if she still insists I see a gp I will have to try and get an emergency appointment.

    Thanks again everyone for all your advice, it's really reassuring me that I'm not going mad! X

  • Yes sometimes you have to be pushy and it's not easy. Did you try the Asthma UK helpline you still have time before they close up for the wkend.

    Take care Ibance :)))

  • I need to learn to be pushy! I shall ask my mum for lessons, she has no problems finding out information, I seem to have inherited my dad's more timid nature lol. I haven't spoken to the asthma UK helpline yet but once I have seen the asthma nurse on Monday it is something I will definitely do. Thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful weekend 😊

  • Great weekend and take care :)))

  • I had the spirometry test on Monday, which was horrendous! The nurse said that the Ventolin made no changes to my results even though I felt an improvement in my chest when she had given me the Ventolin. She said it doesn't mean it's not asthma and that I needed to speak to the gp about my symptoms and that they will probably trial me on some medication to give a more definitive answer. Couldn't get an appointment until the 29th! But have luckily manged to get a cancellation on Tuesday afternoon so not long to wait now. Still feel terrible all the time, struggling to sleep and have now started to wake in the night gasping for air, feeling breathless constantly and pretty fed up. I still have no medication, but my husband has been giving me some of his Ventolin when things are really bad and I literally cannot stop coughing. Fingers crossed the gp does something on Tuesday, but I'm not leaving until something is done, whether that be some inhalers or another kind of treatment as its really affecting my day to day life now.

    I will update on Tuesday, have a good weekend x

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