Asthma Action Plan

As well as using this forum to ask questions and to gain information and support that has been invaluable as someone who has had my first worrying problem with my asthma, I saw the Practice Asthma Nurse today and now have an Asthma Action Plan.

After going back and forth to the Drs for some 7 weeks I was beginning to feel like 'the bad penny' turning up so often but the asthma nurse actually encouraged me to go back to see the doctor or herself if I was concerned or my condition worsened.

As a 65 year old I can now understand for the first time why some older people don't want to 'bother' others even when they have genuine health issues but I'm going to challenge that myth and (a) look after myself and (b) use the services that are there for all of us, without feeling guilty ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

I was able to ask lots of questions and I feel much more relieved now.

I have found this site to be so helpful - thanks ๐Ÿ˜Š

14 Replies

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  • I don't think you'll be the only one on this forum who feels like "the bad penny" who keeps turning up at their local practice. I know I do at times. My local surgery has seen an awful lot of me in the last four or so years for one thing or another. I try to share it out between the different GPs whenever I can (they all know me) but I do feel a bit guilty at times.

  • Good for you! WW 2 children still carry that you don't make a fuss. We need to be kind to ourselves and go to the doctor when we need to.

    I feel like I am on a piece of elastic attached to the doctors. I have two long term medical condition one playing up at the moment. So been to the doctors a lot lately. (Not my asthma).

    Back to the hospital Monday but I don't feel guilty. I am ill and I need treatment.

    Let's look after ourselves we are worth it.

  • Same- minded ๐Ÿ‘ Yes let's look after ourselves because we're definitely worth it ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Yes, me too, as a 67 year old. Though the signs were there before, I was only diagnosed in 2014. But I either did not notice my symptoms or dismissed them with thinking I was an unfit whimp. Last year (a bad one for me) it ended with me being admitted to hospital, so I learned my lesson. As, I have to say, did my health providers. They take me so much more seriously now! Before that they were always nice, but sometimes ineffectual, didn't ask the questions that would have given clues that my asthma was uncontrolled, and I, my stoic self, didn't take myself seriously.

    So, like you, that has changed. I now am far more proactive, and it helps. Do take care of yourself as I will of me.

  • I think it's difficult when asthma starts later in life because we've grown up saying 'No' when asked if we have asthma and we don't know anything about late onset asthma.

    For me i feel like I'm learning a new language and certainly have felt quite lost, with lots of unanswered questions and a sense of uncertainty - even feeling a bit naive but I'm sure that as I continue to learn more that this sense of being a newbie (even after 6-7 years of having asthma without any real problems), that I will feel more confident ๐Ÿ‘

  • You are right, Chris. If I think back in my life I signs were there even from childhood (I coughed a lot), but not proper asthma. I brought up a daughter with asthma and my father died from asthma, so no doubt it is in my genes.

    But for all of that I, too, have found it a steep and often mystifying learning curve. I have used the Asthma UK helpline quite a lot , especially as it has been easier to get hold of them quickly. They are great! And I have found the fact that I ended up admitted to hospital with asthma quite a shock. It is taking me time to work out what might affect my asthma. I think one factor may have been tree pollen, but as I don't have hay fever I am not sure. So await that season with some trepidation.

    My admission also frightened my husband no end, poor man, and that still affects him (and me).

    Best of luck, Chris! Keep discovering!

  • Looking back I'm left wondering if I might have always had asthma for the following reason:

    I did lots of sport as a child and teenager and went onto be a PE teacher.

    When I was a teenager I did the Duke of Edinburgh Award and when doing the walking I could walk at 4mph on the flat but every time I had to walk up a mountain or incline I was always the last in the group and struggled to get my breathe!! And yet I was really fit.

    This has always been the case throughout my life - as soon as I go uphill I get really out of breathe.

    Those of you with more knowledge of asthma - is this possible that I've always had mild asthma but it wasn't a problem because I was fit????

  • It's a good question! Though not when young, I have struggled with even small rises in the last few years. I always put it down to unfitness, and tried to exercise myself out of it to no avail. It would be inte resisting to hear what others say.

  • I've had asthma pretty much all my life (52 years out of my 55) so I really can't remember what it was like not to have asthma. I can recall what it was like to have undiagnosed asthma as the medical profession refused to admit that I had asthma for the first five years of symptoms (not unusual in the 1960s). I did used to get school reports along the lines of "could try harder" for PE when I was seven and eight. I can remember my mother being furious that I got a similar report even after I was diagnosed and the school had been informed. I rather suspect words were said; it didn't happen again.

    Looking back I would say that being on the correct medication gave me more energy. I've never been able to run for long distances; there were certain positions in a game such as netball (centre) that my lungs couldn't cope with even when my asthma was controlled. But I was able to join in with a level of enthusiasm that had been lacking.

    As an eleven year old (so two and a half years after I was diagnosed) I managed to get up Ben Nevis; could I have done it if I had not had that medication - I very much doubt it. Mind you I'm not sure I could do it now:-). I'm OK walking on the flat and some climbs I can cope with, but I think a long sustained uphill such as Ben Nevis would have to be very carefully paced if I was to stand a chance and the weather would have to be good.

  • It is interesting about childhood experiences. My father had quite bad asthma in childhood, and this was before current medications existed. His primary school refused to believe he had asthma, and he talked of his suffering when he was forced to run.

    Our daughter, diagnosed at 5 years, but probably had had it at least for a couple of years then. I didn't take her to the doctors when she had a cold/cough, as antibiotics was handed out like confetti at that time. By five she was wheezing, and it was high time to act. Anyway, she always had problems with PE. When she had been ill with a cold, always a difficult time, I wNted her to get back to school sooner rather than later, but not to do PE until her asthma had properly settled. It was a constant fight. Even when I got a doctor's letter she was hauled to the headmasters up at least once for not taking part. It was a bad experience for her, and for me. It still makes me angry. And it certainly did not give her any faith in the beauty of sports, sadly. That was in the eighties and nineties.

  • I lucked out with my secondary school. Ten days after starting I had an asthma attack brought on by playing a game of tag in the playground. The school had been warned that I was asthmatic and I believe one of the two headmistresses had originally trained as a nurse which was a huge advantage. After that episode the school was very aware of what could happen. It was never suggested that I should attempt cross country running, for example, and I was carefully watched during PE and swimming lessons. It was a very positive experience and I ended up thoroughly enjoying the sport I could do.

  • When I was a child I was always told that doctors had better things to do rather than to be bothered with the likes of you it has stayed with me and it's so wrong now I listen to my body and know when I need to go I think it's the same for all us of a certain age ๐Ÿ˜

  • Hi ChrisR65,

    I'm glad you have an asthma plan and received good advice. I joined this site last week after having troubling symptoms. I then phoned the national asthma helpline and the asthma nurse was fantastic! She gave me excellent advice and for the first time in 15 years she explained what my inhalers do and why my symptoms were difficult to manage. Her advice helped me stabilise my symptoms. I'm going to my gp today, but it helped me get through a tricky few days until I could an appointment.

  • It's good to hear that the National helpline asthma nurse was so helpful.

    I had considered ringing at one point while waiting for a doctor's appointment but felt a bit nervous about doing so. Your post is really encouraging๐Ÿ‘.

    Hope you get settled soon. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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