Out of hospital after asthma attack feeling terrible

I was taken to hospital last Thursday morning by ambulance with a serious asthma attack after being ok for years my oxygen level was 70 and heart rate 165 peak floe 90-110 Was admitted put on nebulisers 2 lots of antibiotic steroids was discharged Sunday afternoon been on bed rest since I'm so breathless and wheezy taken constant ventolin 2x 4 a day but can take more in between which I have been doing seritde inhaler 2 puffs twice a day i went back to doctors today put on more steroids 8 a day for 5 days then reduce every 5 days more antibiotics my peak flow is 150-200 when it's normally 550-600. They had me on oral morphine 2x 5-10ml 6 hourly which finished today after 4 days I'm just so down I keep getting the shakes constantly or my body twitches from everything any advice would be welcome,

13 Replies

  • Oh Kerrijayne, I'm so sorry to hear that you have had such an awful time.

    I'm also sorry that I have no advice to offer as I was only been diagnosed at the end of October last year with asthma and haven't much experience to speak of relating to how poorly you've been, apart from a bit of a bumpy ride over Christmas when I had a really bad chest infection requiring two lots of antibiotics etc, but I know you're in the right place to receive the help and advice from others who have been there...

    I hope you managed to sleep last night despite feeling so wretched and that you know there's people out here, who although strangers, still care.

    Continue to rest up,

    Thinking of you xox

  • Hi Kerry,Jayne, it must be scary and miserable being so unwell. Your doing everything you can to get better, and rest is vital. Best wishes Asha

  • Asthma exasperation can take a while to clear up I am currently having the same problem I have been asmatic for 30 years however over the last four years it always leaves me breathless for weeks and reducing steroids slowly saying that if your symptoms are not improving you may still have tigers record your peak flo readings pre and post inhaler use do you use a spacer I find that helps a lot if it is not improving see the Gp again but it can take a while to recover.

  • You poor thing, that sounds awful! The only advice I can give is to keep in touch with your gp or asthma nurse and let them know if you're not improving. You might need to be readmitted.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  • Poor you! I know the feeling. Often it takes several days or weeks even for things to settle back to normal. It's so frustrating because you want a quick recovery but it's not happening. I have had asthma since I was 2 and with the modern medicines I am usually okay. But every now and then, out of the blue, I end up with a bad attack. It is frustrating because I just want the steroids to kick in so I can get on with my life raising two kids. Unfortunately for my husband, sometimes it takes several days before I take a turn for the better. I usually notice when it happens as well. It's like a clamp has been released from my chest and I can finally breath again. I still suffer for a few days after that but I know I am finally getting better. I don't think GP's fully understand asthma because they usually don't know what to do. That's why I am glad I can ring my asthma nurse or the asthma uk helpline for advice to keep me going. Hope this helps and hope you are better soon. x

  • Hello Kerrijayne..you need to rest first of all, and take all the time you need to recover. I recommend you contact the Asthma UK helpline as soon as they open on Monday they will give you good advice.

    A few tips as long as you feel you can manage at home if not you go back to A&E..sometimes we have to go a couple of times unfortunately to get settled and there's nothing wrong with that you do what your body tells you to do.

    Regarding steroids if you say 8 a day that's 40mg first thing in the morning with breakfast? Now Asthma Uk recommends that you continue your steroids until your flare up is totally over. Here is the link: asthma.org.uk/advice/inhale...

    My consultant has told me in the past GPs tend to stop the steroids too early. You can easily take that dosage for 10 days and then drop by 5mg every 2 days if you feel comfortable with that but if you have lowered it and feel uncomfortable what they call reach a landing then you continue and talk to the GP or the nurse..

    for example I tapered from 40mg to 30mg but there was no point in going any lower because it didn't have any effect whatsoever under 30mg.

    So check that steroids dosage carefully. I don't know about you but I found that usually mornings were fine after I had taken the steroids but by lunchtime the effect had worn off so by night time I was breathless again..which is why you need to keep up the dosage until your peak flow is up again.

    Regarding you vento and seretide..I am on those as well, seretide 250 and the Consultant had advised first of all I could increase to 3x2 puffs a day when unwell. Use your aerochamber to get the benefits.

    Also when breathless but not reaching emergency level I first take 2 puffs of vento then I give it 5mn and then my two puffs of seretide. Always with the aerochamber, nice and slow that makes a big difference I find. You can leave the inhaler in there and breathe in and out several times out of the same puff because only 15% go down our lungs.

    Always measure your peak flow before inhaling and about 15 minutes after to see if you have got that peak flow up.

    All these recommendations are suggestions that work for me and as long as you don't feel that you have an attack coming on and you feel comfortable handling the situation from home.

    Take care my dear and let us know how you are getting on. Xx


  • Great advice from poppylondon. A professional could'nt have explained it better for you. Keep in touch with your GP though and keep getting advice from the astgma nurse or GP if not feeling well. Hope you start feeling better soon but it does take time. I was8 weeks after I came out of hospital before I felt tight so don't rush things.

    Done anyone know anything about FOSTAIR inhalers?. I have just been changed from my 250 Seretide to this Fostair. It is a steroid but with very fine paricles. It seems to be helping my chest better thsn Seretide but my mouth is really sore and that's after only 3 times of usage. I also take Ventolin when I ave an infection plus Spiriva every day. I must admit that I am very wary of my asthma nurse changing my inhalers as the twice she has done so before I have had to goback on Seretide. I would like some input please!

  • Hi 6725

    as I was saying to Flossie, the NHS has changed the seretide to a cheaper generic up and down the country so we have to have the Spiriva..My consultant had given me the seretide 250 but they still changed it. I think Mylan the generic firm doesn't do the 125 version if I understood correctly so they probably substituted your usual for another make..anyway I may be wrong..the generic version is a poor substitute so I have put my GP under pressure to issue me with the Seretide 250 because I need it to fit in my aerochamber but he got his hand smacked I think so here I am with this generic evohaler..who knows how and where it is made..even the GPs are fed up to use cheap generics all patients are complaining of problems with excipients, coloring etc..

    I had fostair but was taking much more to get the same effect I was in the Mart programme so you used it as a reliever and could take up the 8 puffs a day. I found I had more chest infections with it. Fostair is £10 cheaper than seretide so we all went on fostair and now we are going on that cheap generic..great..short term thinking..

    Ask for a referral, get a proper check up and explain to the specialist all your different problems and doubts.

    Best of luck


  • Thanks for the info about changing the inhalers. Cheapness is all the NHS is concerned about and yet they spend millions on other things and can't or won't get the money back that they are owed. It makes me angry that people with long term conditions need the medications that make life better for us and not the cheap alteratives if they don't work. (Seretide costs sbout £14 apparently so if Fostair is £10 cheaper now wonder it is rubbish) It is false economy as we are always having to visit GPs.or consultants if they are not working so we are costing more in a way. We don't take these meds because we want to, it's because we have to so why not give us the ones we really need. I don't know if this Fostair will work as it makes my mouth really sore so it may be another visit to the GP!

    i have been on the same inhalers for almost twenty years starting with Seretide and Ventolin then later Spiriva was introduced, I have never been sent to a Consultant apart from when I was hospitalized 8 years ago so I don't think I have cost the NHS too much money over the years! I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour on my kidney not long ago but unable to have an operation because I keep having chest infections and am unable to have anaesthetic at those times. I am now hoping to have the tumour burned with RFA because I only have to have a local anaesthetic. Hope it works!

    Keep well.

  • Oh Dear 6725 wish you the best of luck with your op.

    Take care xx

  • I think you might benefit from thinking differently about your illness. There is a degree of panic in the way you describe your experience which is absolutely understandable, but it doesn't help. The drugs will help you, if you find a way to relax. I know this is easy to say and sounds impossible to do. I suffered a good deal as a child, and I found the only way was to wait. I knew if I waited long enough, I would get better, and I did. As an adult, this becomes relaxing into the illness, not fighting, not panicking, but taking the time and the effort to breathe properly when taking inhalers, long and slow and deep, and sleeping as much as possible. Of course you feel down; asthma is a lousy card you've been dealt in life, but you can live with it. You will get better - just give it time. You've probably got the shakes from over using the ventolin - if you are gasping at it, it just sits on the back of your throat and goes down into your tum, not your lungs, so you have to concentrate on inhaling it properly.

    Perhaps you can find someone who will help you relax. My mum would tell me stories and my dad would stroke my forehead or my back to help me calm down. The stories took my mind off how awful I felt. For you it might be music, or a film, or anything you like, though I wouldn't recommend comedy, as laughing can make you worse! You can manage ok on a PF of 150 - 200, believe it or not. Lots of us do.

    You control your asthma - don't let it control you.

  • I have never experienced anything like you are experiencing now but hope you get better soon. Don't suffer in silence and if you think you are getting worse get to your GP, out of hours doc or A&E.

  • Poor you, I really feel for you. You are going to have to be patient I'm afraid, it sometimes can take weeks to get back on top of yourself. You have to take things easy and let yourself recover.

    I have just got home from hospital on Thursday after a week stay ,four days of which in intensive care, due to exacerbation of asthma bc of pneumonia, I'm trying to get on with my life again but I'm finding it really hard and can see from your post that I'm not the only one, but been through this before and it needs patients.

    Feel better quick!

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