Newbie saying hello and looking for some advice

Hello I have just joined and I thought I'd say hello. Last January I was told that I had pneumonia, I was coughing all the time and it was really persistent. I had lots of antibiotics and steroids and had to go into hospital to finally start to feel better. Then just as I was feeling better I got it again. This time it was double pneumonia, it was harder to shift this time but it finally went after several hospital stays. I finally was okay to go back to work but one month later I was diagnosed with pneumonia again. This time the doctors were all over it with stronger antibiotics steroids. I was left with a wheeze and breathlessness, when I saw the consultant he said that this was all normal and that he wasn't sure if it was COPD or late onset Asthma and prescribed Fostair, which has now been changed to a higher dose 2 puffs twice a day of 200/6mch twice a day, and a blue rescue inhaler and omeprazole 20mg. I have now been given Montelukast 10mg which seams like a lot of meds to me. I still get out of breath easily when walking and especially if there is an incline. Does anyone know what I can do to improve this. Thanks for taking the time to read this I'm so confused by it all and struggling to know what to do to improve so all ideas are very welcome.

7 Replies

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  • Hi and welcomexxx

  • A very warm welcome, you have been to hell and back last year and it is early days, you must give yourself more time for your body to adjust. Someone will be along who will be able to give you more in depth help but until then be kind to yourself ;-)

  • Hi Tay, welcome to the forum:-).

    Sorry to hear you've been having a bad time of it. The main advice I would give you is to take it easy. Your lungs have had quite a rough time of it and they will need time to get over that. At this time of year it's cold and damp, and that won't be helping.

    Have you been given a peak flow metre (hereafter PFM)? If not, ask your GP if you can have one (they are available on prescription) and make sure either your GP or your pharmacist explains to you how to use it. A PFM will help you to understand how your condition is, and once you know what is a normal reading for you, give you advance warning that things might be on the downward slide.

    Given the amount of medication you are currently on, and if you don't qualify for free prescriptions, it might worth investing in a pre payment certificate. This can be purchased online and is available on a quarterly or an annual basis.

    Reliever inhalers (the blue rescue inhaler you mentioned) are just that, relievers. If your asthma is properly controlled you should hardly ever need to use one. If you are needing to use yours on a regular basis (three or four days in a given week) go back to your GP. That is an indication that your condition is slipping out of control.

    Keep warm, and do take things carefully.

  • Thank you for your advice, I have just applied for a pre paid card and that will make a huge difference. I was prescribed a PFM yesterday, and this morning the best one I blew if that's the right term was 250. I wasn't sure if I should be doing before or after my medicine so I did it about an hour after taking it, I hope this was right. I am using my reliver between 2 and 4 times a week at the moment. I hadn't realised that the cold weather could literally take my breath away so I am wrapping up well now.

  • You need to use your PFM just before you use your preventer inhaler (the Fostair), that way you can see what the 'natural state' of your asthma is. If you use the PFM after you have taken your inhaler your condition will have received a boost from the medication and so give an elevated result (which might well make you think it is better than it actually is). You do need to keep a running record for a few weeks before you will be able to work out what is normal for you; that will also give the medication a chance to really kick in. The usual recommendation is that you use your PFM three times a day at first: when you get up, at midday, and before you go to bed and that you record the results. That way you can see if your condition improves over time. I've always been told to do three attempts each time I use my PFM and record the best of the three.

    Needing to use your reliever four times a week is quite a lot. You might want to get some advice on that. Are you still under consultant led care? If so, what did the consultant tell you to do if you were still having problems?

  • Thank you for your advice about the PFM it makes perfect sense now. I am still under my consultant but not due to see again for a few months. He did send a letter to my GP about my medication and that's why it has changed again. My GP want to run some blood tests to look for some markers that may indicate that my heart isn't pushing the blood around as fast as usual. Is this something that is checked for most people with Asthma. I don't know if I should be worried or not. Once again thanks for the advice I really appreciate it.

  • I've not had those blood tests (well, not that I can remember) but then I've had asthma for many years and it is now well controlled. You could post that as a separate question. There are others on this forum who may be able to help you with that one.

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