What to expect?

Hi all, new to the site and need some advice. I had asthma as a child, mainly brought on by hayfever, but grew out of it...until now at the age of 41. I had a bad chest infection last year, after which i was diagnosed with asthma. Ventolin on its own didn't help. Tried brown and green inhalers to no avail. Fostair didn't work at all, afterwhich i had my first and hopefully only asthma attack! I've had to take prednisolone several times over the last few months. On Monday they have given me Symbicort, Ventolin, Beconase nasal spray, antihistamine tablet and Montelukast. I feel a bit more stable and coughing is less but still have poor peak flow and a strange dry lung feeling. Anything over a walking speed makes me breathless. Stairs are a no no!

Does anyone have any advice as to how to exercise to help myself? I cant stand the thought of feeling like this going forward as i used to be a gym bunny and fighting fit 18 months ago.

Not sure of my triggers but i'm pretty sure i am sensitive to a lot of things!

feeling a bit sorry for myself.........

10 Replies

  • I am like you, I was symptom free for ten years then had three bad asthma attacks in quick succession. Getting the right combination of meds is a good start, but also remember as hard as it is that things have changed and its probably going to take you a while to recover.

    I personally take Pilates classes, its good exercise and I can perform to a level I am comfortable at each time, meaning sometimes I do less, sometimes I do more. It also focuses a lot on breathing and breathing techniques, which I have found to be greatly beneficial.

  • When I wanted to start exercising again I started walking with an equally unfit neighbor 😉 We went fast enough that we were slightly out of breath but could still talk. We've got faster over the years and I've even started cycling. I normally take ventolin right before I exercise. Weirdly enough my chest normally feels tight just when I stop exercising if I don't take it. Start slowly if you can. It made a big difference to how I feel and my asthma control. Good luck.

  • Poor you! If you have had a bad chest infection and asthma flare up, it can take up to ten weeks for your lungs to really calm down! However there are a lot of medicines out there, and whilst getting the cocktail right is very individual, have hope something will work.

    It is really worth while keeping a peak flow diary, and making sure that you get a written asthma plan, so you know when to step up and step down from medicine also to log how much reliever inhaler you are using. It gives you a powerful tool when going to the doctor or asthma nurse, as it is hard to remember without writing things down. I use a phone app. and a blue tooth peak flow meter, but you can get a mini wright meter on prescription from your doctor.

    Re exercise, I love sport, but when I am unwell I will struggled to walk upstairs. So on 16th December I ran a half Marathon, on 20th December I was crawling upstairs and super sick. Now mid January, I am back in the gym twice a week and walking 5-8km every day, with help from my reliever, yes it is tough, yes I can say that it isn't entirely enjoyable. But is super important for optimising my lung function.

    My philosophy is to try to do as much as you can, so a short walk, a little pilates. a few ab exercises, yoga, stretching, and breathing, a few reps with hand weights, even if you only do 10 mins or less it is worth it, and then gradually step up. I used to just give up exercise for months in a row, and then struggle to get fit. But after I got a bad bone scan about 12 years ago now because of prednisolone, I realised that I would have to make a huge effort with walking and weight training even when I really don't feel like it. I am going to boast here, my last bone scan was better than the previous one, the consultant could not believe it!!! Weight training twice a week and walking has made the difference.

    The only time I don't exercise at all is if I have a fever and actual chest infection etc. Then I give myself a break. But when I have that washed out feeling, when you are starting to get better, I start to do some exercise. It can be very frustrating as you won't be as fit as you were before you got sick, but I can promise that the fitness will come back quickly and you won't have lost it all.

    Hope this is even a little bit helpful

    R x

  • Hi ...... I'm similar to you ... if it's allergic asthma there's a treatment called xolair an injection you have once a month (I've been on it 8 months) it's a biological treatment, not for everyone and specialised in that it has to be administered by a specialist team and there is certain criteria !

    Worth mentioning to gp or consultant

  • Hi. So sorry you are feeling down. It's awful when you can't see a light at the end of the tunnel. You are on some good meds there the montelucast helps me a lot. I would suggest a salt pipe. Very inexpensive. Just Google. It's portable and helps to clear the lungs and damp down alergy reactions. I'm not saying it's a miracle cure but certainly helped me. It may seem you are getting worse as it loosens the rubbish deep down. But it needs to so you can cough it all out and get rid.. good deep slow yoga style breathing will also help. Try to exercise as and when you can. Even just walking round the house counts. I'm not advocating a Marathon !! You need to be using all of your lungs and right now that's not happening. I'm sure you are probably shallow breathing so you don't cough. But it's the cough you need to clear it all. I developed asthma early 40s I'm now 65. I still work full time and go dancing (rock n roll mainly) when I'm not having a bad spell.(Just getting through a bad patch with pred) So there is light at the tunnel.Stay positive you will get there. Good luck and take care of you. Ros x

  • Poor you. I too had as a child then grew out of it and back in my 20's. I have brittle asthma and am very, very allergic.

    It has taken years to get me stable and that means I still have problems, winding down steroids after a trip to resus last week!

    I am lucky to have access to a specialist gym session for people with medical issues only accessible by medical referral. I use a fit bit to try and aim for a step allowance a day. It increases as I improve after an attack. The most important is that I move each hour not the number of steps. The hard thing is listening to your body.

    Good luck

  • Hi, I also started getting asthma again in my 30s having been free of it for many years. I went back on to the brown inhaler for a bit but it wasn't really controlled so started on a combination preventer and have been much better since; however I still have difficulty exercising in cold weather and in summer/autumn when there are lots of allergens in the air. I also really suffer when the pollution's high in London where I live. So I find that exercising indoors really helps - i also tend to avoid running as I don't really enjoy it and I find I get wheezy quite quickly. Zumba really works for me and other indoor things like yoga. I take a couple of puffs of ventolin beforehand and rarely have any problems.

  • Sorry you are feeling poorly..baby steps again..start exercising only when you are feeling your asthma is under control..with good meds you should be soon, why don't you phone the asthma Uk helpline, they will give you good advice. Take care xx

  • Thank you all for your replies! I have a Fitbit and can walk 10000 steps a day walking around at work and walking the dog... slowly. Went to town today but felt rubbish... horrid damp weather..

    It's not been a week yet on the new meds so I suppose I have to let it all kick in.

    Have any of you used a salt pipe? X

  • Well I ended up back in A and E today.... on nebs and another course of pred. Chest X-ray is clear so that is good news. Obviously the symbicort isn't going to do it for me........ have a docs appointment on Monday to insist on being referred to a chest specialist, and an appointment with my asthma nurse on Wednesday to discuss what course of action is next....

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