Back to square one: So since my last... - Asthma UK communi...

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Back to square one

Tammoth profile image

So since my last post i ended up in a walk in centre for xmas day. They were very good and gave me a neb treatment and more pred.

Over the last couple of days I've got gradually better and went to my asthma review yesterday feeling really good. Down to 3 or 4 puffs of ventolin max.

And then today.....back to square one. Constant tightness and breathlessness not being helped much by ventolin. Every now and again i get a clear chest for maybe an hour or so but i am now sat in bed desperately trying to ease my breathing before trying for sleep and failing.

All because my PF is ok and I'm not wheezy or coughing i can't seem to get anywhere. Thing is I've had bronchitis before with phlegm and coughs that haven't left me this breathless. It's bizarre!

Don't want to go back to the walk in for fear of catching something or them thinking it is anxiety when it really isn't!

5 Replies
EmmaF91 profile image
EmmaF91Community Ambassador

Hi - sorry to hear how much you’re struggling atm 😔

Do you know if you have any underlying illness (virus/infection etc)? One way I can tell what’s causing my SoB is working out which stage of breathing is harder - out 9x/10 it’s asthma, in issues for me is usually an infection or a breathing dysfunction starting to develop. If you’re 2x blue pump isn’t helping or isn’t lasting 4hrs then something isn’t right (either you’re not on the right maintenance med regime hence the attack or the issue isn’t asthma). Also don’t forget that 10 puffs is basically the equivalent of a salbutamol neb so if you’re struggling you can do that at home, but if it doesn’t help/last then you need to seek more help. If you’re struggling then you do need to seek further help regardless of what’s causing the issue 😕

Did the asthma review give you any advice yesterday or change your meds at all? Have they updated your plan at all? Technically needing your blue more than 3x a week means you’re not fully controlled 😒.

Is there anything you’ve done differently today compared to yesterday which may have triggered it getting worse? Different soap/spray/food etc. Does it get worse after eating? Or conversely is there a pattern to your ‘good’ times today?

Do you practice any breathing exercises or do mindfulness etc as they can help you focus on how you’re breathing and head off any breathing dysfunction that may develop whilst you’re struggling.

Personally I’d suggest you ask your GP to send you for a lung function test (with reversibility). This should help to demonstrate what’s going on with your lungs, especially if you do it while symptomatic! It’ll either suggest asthma or it’ll demonstrate something else going on. There are lots of asthma mimics out there (VCD, GORD, breathing dysfunctions, anxiety etc) so if you’re not a ‘typical’ asthmatic everything will be blamed on a mimic (usually anxiety) unless proven otherwise 🙄. I have severe asthma and was a ‘textbook’ asthmatic symptom-wise but since starting a new medication my wheeze has disappeared when I have attacks. This has caused me issues when I’ve had to seek further help - luckily I have a reliable PF that’ll drop when I’m bad but I do know asthmatics who don’t wheeze and can’t rely on their PFs either, and they always seem to struggle to get help when their bad too if they’re at a place that doesn’t know them 😟.

I really hope you start to feel better soon and get the help you need to calm this all down. Whatever’s going on, you’re not alone

If you have SOB with a good PF and your reliever isn't working then its possible these symptoms are not caused by asthma this time.

I had the same problem as you and even ended up in A&E and given pred, my GP worked out it wasnt asthma causing my SOB.

So to answer a couple of questions:

- i did nothing different to trigger this back off. I am essentially doing nothing most of the day as i am physically unable due to breathlessness. No cold air and no showers. Keeping warm but not having the central heating blasting all day

- eating makes little difference

- i do not suffer with gerd and have no heartburn at all. Just a tight chest

- asthma review said to carry on taking ventolin as required as i was clearly "in a flare" and that hopefully things would ease in the next week or so. I had few symtpoms at the time so he was sure i was improving. I have a follow up in 3 months

- blood tests never found an infection and I've had a course of antibiotics

- i had a slight wheeze at the walk in. Nebs seem to sort all that out for a couple of days

- i am practicing mindfullness breathing to be sure anxiety can't set in. This is the only way i am managing to get to sleep

I am very confused with it all. It certainly feels like asthma but is clearly not behaving like asthma. I am meant to be back at work on 2nd Jan and i can't even get to the end of the street! I'm 32 and was perfectly fit an healthy until 2 weeks ago. Wth!

EmmaF91 profile image
EmmaF91Community Ambassador in reply to Tammoth

So basically you’ve ruled out every trigger you can think of, and doing what you can to self-manage! Luckily if you wheeze then you’re more likely to be ‘believed’ that it’s asthma (as bad as that sounds!) so if you feel really bad head back in somewhere.

I’d suggest trying to get an urgent GP appt tomorrow explaining the situation and see if there’s any other maintenance meds they can put you on to help calm it down again. Good luck and I hope it all calms down for you soon x

Oh and i have a clear "rattle" or "vibration" feeling in my chest when i breathe but no one else can really hear that

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