I've lost faith in my Nurse Consultant - Asthma UK communi...

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I've lost faith in my Nurse Consultant

On Friday I visited my Nurse Consultant who told me that I don't have a chest infection and that I needed to control my asthma; she re-prescribed a Fostair inhaler and put it on my repeats list. She didn't even test my peak flow during this appointment.

I explained to her that I'd had a chest infection since 21st December, that it was not shifting and seemed to be getting worse. I struggled over the weekend and seemed to be even worse yesterday.

I saw a Doctor at the out of hours at my local hospital. He said that I do have a chest infection and prescribed a double-strength antibiotic but said that I need to continue taking my Salbutamol inhaler to keep my airways open. If no better by Friday, he advised me to book in an appointment with my GP.

I'm not going to see a Nurse Consultant next time I have a chest infection. I do know when I have a chest infection as they are a regular occurrence for me, like many asthmatics. How on earth could I control my asthma symptoms when I have a chest infection?!

12 Replies

Hi there at my yearly asthma review last week I struggled to be open & honest with the asthma nurse. Since moving house 5years ago & changing health centres I have really struggled with the nurse & docs especially when I know I have a chest infection or sinus infection. My previous asthma nurse was so friendly & helpful & by just talking on the phone to her when my asthma was bad she would have given me antibiotics or steroids cos she knew me. Now I dont feel I get support just like you say told my asthma is not under control.

in reply to Barbs80

Sorry for the late reply, I've been in bed without my laptop or phone.

What a pity! I have a choice of Nurse Consultants and both hold asthma clinics. I will see the other asthma nurse in future. I will definitely not see a nurse consultant for any infections again. The other nurse is rather brusque and starts going on about weight gain - a problem since I've had Meniere's disease.

Our surgery always fobs us off with having to see nurse consultants for infections. After this experience, I shall see GPs for chest infections!

Hi Mrs M I have been taking probiotic (14 billion) capsules 2 per day for over 2 years and have not had any chest infections during that time. Before that 4?5 chest infections per year. I also take proteolytic (serrapeptase) capsules as a protection. No infections No Asthma ( 45 year history of adult onset asthma) Never give up!

in reply to su-mo

Sorry for the late reply, I've been in bed without my laptop or phone.

I will be trying probiotics, thank you for your helpful tip!

I have some sympathy with your medical practitioners as it is sometimes quite difficult to prove that you have a chest infection and whether it's viral or bacterial (you'd have to culture the mucous, and that takes some time, and most of us would prefer some immediate treatment!). I was diagnosed with asthma last year following years of incessant winter colds, so I get the impression that the theory is that, if you can control the asthma, you wil get fewer respiratory infections. Unfortunately, my main problem is with fixed small airways obstruction and corticosteroid inhalers don't seem to agree with me, so I'll probably have to contend with winter colds for the foreseeable future!

in reply to Superzob

My history is that I have only had seasonal (hayfever) asthma for 20 years.

The last time I had antibiotics for a chest infection was summer 2010 (hayfever season) and I was signed off for a month.

I do hope you do not think I am one of those people who pesters for antibiotics; I would rather not have to take antibiotics.

I had tried to fight off the infection since December (19th general infection and 21st chest infection). It was not until 13th January that I saw the nurse. So, I had suffered with the infection for over 3 weeks and the symptoms were worsening.

I am confident that a GP would be able to tell the difference between asthma and a deep seated chest infection. Therefore, I will definitely be seeing the GP with any future suspected chest infections!

in reply to Superzob

I've only just been diagnosed with winter season asthma, previously having only had asthma during hayfever season.

Yes, now I know that I have winter asthma, I'm going to ensure that it's controlled. I certainly don't want another experience like this.

Thankfully, I do OK with my steroid inhaler but its benefit is yet to be felt.

I hope you have escaped chest infections this winter and that you can control your asthma symptoms. Do you have to take steroid tablets instead?

All the best x

Superzob profile image
Superzob in reply to

Certainly sounds like a bacterial chest infection from your later posts - hope your GP finds a suitable antibiotic for you. I'm not on tablets yet as I still have one more corticosteroid inhaler to try (without any propellant, in case that's the problem), but having just recovered from the cold of the century, shingles, tooth abscess and my first ever bout of flu (despite having had the vaccination!), I thought it best to give it a few days before starting it!

in reply to Superzob

OMG, poor you!

Yes, it's wiser to try the alternative as steroids cause thinning of the bones. When my daughter was still at home and took steroids for asthma, her mood was horrendous whenever she took them too.

Thankfully I was only 'snotty' for a few days. Yes, I'd describe this infection as one of the worst I've experienced. I was bed-ridden for days with aching bones and muscles for days.

Shingles? I had that in 2010 and it is so painful. I'm thankful it's ancient history. My poor hubby has a compromised immunity and has regular bouts of shingles and is on Aciclovir daily for that so that attacks are less painful nowadays.

A tooth abscess as well? Good grief, I know that pain too. Ouch!

Flu? Good Lord, has someone somewhere got a voodoo doll?!

You take care of yourself and please provide an update once you try your new inhaler :)

See an Alexander Teacher and learn about the fine control of your muscles. When you have a chest infection you need to cough up the stuff in the lungs. This is a muscular action. When you have extra production of nasal fluid due to a cold some fluid gets into the top of the lung wind pipe. You need to cough to clear this.

Playing with semantics. Some of the coughs that are going around are due to a virus. Not sure if this is a chest infection. So you are coughing and think you have a chest infection when in reality you have a cough caused by a virus, hence no chest infection.

Hope this gives some food for thought.

in reply to johnsmith

I haven't had a cold since 24th December (only a few days of that). Since then I have coughed up lots of disgusting mucus and this is ongoing. Currently my lungs feel raw from coughing up mucus.

Thanks, I'll research 'Alexander teacher' but feel sure this is a chest infection as that's what a qualified doctor has prescribed.

in reply to johnsmith

diagnosed, not prescribed

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