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Menopause Matters magazine ISSUE 63 out now. (Spring issue, March 2021)

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Author Topic: Asthma  (Read 11159 times)

Ju Ju

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Asthma
« on: November 03, 2016, 05:37:04 PM »

After a couple of weeks of an annoying cough that's being doing the rounds, asthma joined in. After coughing up dark phelgm and a small blood cough, I got an appointment with a doctor and a prescription for a short course of prednisolone (steroids) and ABs. Usual treatment. I'm to go back if I'm no better. I've not got a fever. I'm not getting worse or better., except it's tiring not breathing easily and not sleeping very well, so it's wearing me down. And I'm bored. How much TV or reading can one do? I'm not prone to health anxiety, thank goodness, but 3 years ago, it started like this and deteriorated over a few weeks and I ended up in hospital. That time I refused ABs as I didn't have a fever, then I got a chest infection within hours of seeing the doctor and rapidly deteriorated. All got a little dramatic. Which is why I agreed to ABs this time. When I voiced my fears to DH I was told I was being pessimistic. Thanks. Just wanted reassurance, but that kind of response shuts you down. At least he's cooking dinner!
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Kathleen

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2016, 05:57:57 PM »

Hello Ju Ju.

Not being able to breathe properly and feeling weak are enough to make anyone worry, especially if  emergencies have occured before so being pessimistic is easy under those circumstances!

Hope you feel better soon and wishing you well.

K.

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Elizabethrose

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2016, 06:09:39 PM »

I really feel for you Ju Ju, it's a horrible thing to experience and I'm not surprised you're anxious about it. Hopefully the ABs will work their magic and all will improve quickly. I don't like taking them either, but you're absolutely right, asthma is not to be messed with.

Your hubby sounds like mine though mine would have added, 'what's for dinner?'  >:(

I wish you better soon x
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CLKD

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2016, 08:57:47 PM »

Are you improving though?  I thought of you in the night …….

I can watch day-time TV all day  ::) - beginning with House under the Hammer, into mid-morning until we get to Bargain Hunt, BBC1 News: a break : then Escape to the Country - what's not to like  ;D and if I'm still awake, any buying house programmes on Channel4 ……..

It's for a short while Ju Ju - enjoy the rest!  Not sleeping properly will use up energy and ABs can cause discomfort ;-).  Enjoy being waited on, your husband needs to learn - little steps ?!? 
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

CLKD

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2016, 03:54:27 PM »

How R U today?
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

Ju Ju

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2016, 04:44:33 PM »

Woke up in the night with lots of coughing, but now have something to cough on, which seems to have eased the tight band round my lungs, so I think that's progress. It's a relief as before I seem to go down the slippery slope over time, then it becomes dangerous. DH says he needs to know when to step in, as last time he was relying on me. But when you are not getting enough oxygen, you're not able to think sensibly.  As you say, now I have to have patience. I seem to have that viral lethargy, where even having a shower today is an uphill struggle. I can't be bothered to watch tv, even all the episodes of Poldark I have recorded.

My GS was here today. Grandad was fully in charge! Including toileting! Progress indeed! He had to take him to his dental appointment, with the instructions to make sure grandad opened his mouth  properly. I was assured that grandad was a good boy.

What worries me is that asthma is playing such a part in what are minor viruses. How will l cope if I'm dealing with any other health issue? I'm fortunate that I don't catch everything going around. My immune system is doing a good job. Normally, my asthma is well controlled. I don't think about it, unless I'm singing as sometimes I find I don't have enough puff which can take me by surprise or if I actually run! I don't want to get paranoid if someone is coughing and sneezing round me.
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cubagirl

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2016, 04:53:32 PM »

I sympathise Ju Ju. I remember when I ended up in hospital with pneumonia.  Oxygen levels were low. I'd tried to carry on thinking it was just a cold. Only then did I discover I had asthma. I'd been ignoring my cough for a very long time.

Future DIL has same thing, she was given ABs & steroids. She's starting to feel a bit better but says she still feels as though she has tight band round her chest.  Daughter has similar virus

Hubby recovering from same virus, just hope I don't come down with it. Healthy bunch!  ;D
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CLKD

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2016, 05:47:17 PM »

Ju Ju - rest!   :foryou:  when you feel better you can discuss with DH what may be required in future.  What does the Chest Physician suggest for remaining well?

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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

Ju Ju

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2016, 07:02:56 PM »

Cubagirl, the nature of my asthma has changed through the years, so I really don't know what to expect. As a child, I had classic wheezing attacks, which could be acute and were triggered by just about everything, allergies, infection, stress and exercise. I suspect modern day medication would have controlled it, but back then it was uncontrolled. Every PE teacher thought they knew best and would make me run, but only once! They learnt! Now my symptoms are less obvious to the observer. The tight chest or feeling of weight, coughing. Peak flow meters are invaluable for you to see how bad things are or sometimes not as bad as it feels. Just listening to your chest is not enough, though I did have crackles apparently. When I ended up in hospital I could hardly walk or talk without worsening the symptoms, yet I, my DH or my paramedic son didn't realise how ill I was.

Clkd, I did see a consultant after the last time I ended up in hospital, but he was very unhelpful. Just told me that I was managing my asthma very well and to carry on as I was. I don't think there is much understanding of how you lose your confidence after a health crisis. I have been called in for a medication review, even if I don't need to go back for this episode. I shall try and arrange an appointment with the lovely GP I see if I can. I might have to wait, but it will be worth it. She was the one doctor who listened to me when I said I got no relief from salbutamol inhalers and arranged for a spiral meter test which proved that. They didn't listen in hospital.
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CLKD

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2016, 07:46:42 PM »

Little steps. Get those feet up this weekend, as little gentle exercise.  You know your body the best!

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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

cubagirl

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2016, 11:28:16 AM »

Ju Ju, my asthma didn't get diagnosed until my early 40's. I'd probably had it mildly for about 8 years prior to that. Used to work in an office, continually on the phone & would cough myself silly every time. I ignored it, which in hindsight wasn't clever! Always flares up March-July time, but can bother me off & on all year for whatever reason. My hubby didn't realise how ill I was either. When I came out of hospital he was like a headless chicken, running about after me, making sure I was OK.

Over the years my inhalers have changed. My preventer is now a combination one, which works best for me. Brown on it's own wasn't enough. Salbutamol can take a while to work when I'm really bad as inhaling can cause coughing to get worse, even with a spacer.

Oh the joys. Hope you feel better soon!
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Annie0710

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2016, 11:52:17 AM »

I developed asthma a year or so before peri started.

It was sudden and quite powerful.  I'd wake in the night unable to catch my breath, a visit to the nurse resulted in me walking out with the blue and brown inhalers.  It was hard to stabilise at first but now I've got a great inhaler, it's combined and I have to use a spacer which is a pain for carrying around but this one gives immediate relief.  I use it each morning and night as a preventative and as and when for the breathing issues.  I usually have attacks on a daily basis still but notice I'm worse in the evenings and mornings

X
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Age 54
Hysterectomy 1999 age 32 and given 2mg oestrogen due to ovarian failure
Onset of new symptoms  2012 age 45
Diagnosed post meno 2015 age 48
2mg elleste solo til 2015
Started Estradot 75mcg 2015
Sept 2016 scan showed dissolved ovaries
May 2017 oestrogel & Tostran

Ju Ju

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2016, 02:08:22 PM »

Yes the aero chamber takes up room, but not as big as the alternative one I used to have. I have to rinse my mouth afterwards with mine, to avoid oral thrush. Sadly, my alternative relieved inhaler (atrovent) does not give instant relieve like salbutamol used to. And the preventer inhaler worsens the symptoms before working. I tried several. Probably need an overall look at medication, so it's just as well I've been told to book an appointment for a review. There might be new alternatives out there. Normally, I rarely need to use my reliever inhaler, but I do carry it around. I've had asthma since I was a baby and it was a part of me. No big deal. I got on with it and have rejoiced in the fact that allergens are no longer a big trigger. But this is different. Unknown territory.

It's interesting that a lot of women are diagnosed with asthma when they are peri menopausal. There must be a hormonal element here. Asthma is passed on from generation to generation and can occur alongside hay fever, eczema and migraines. Both my children have had periods of asthma, but do not need medication. My daughters seems to be triggered by all dairy products and eggs, but she's find if avoids them and she now gets violent diarrhoea immediately if she inadvertently ingests some. Her body protecting her?

I think I'm getting better. Certainly less wheezy and more energy and my peak flow readings, though still low are rising. Yeh I washed my hair today and feel more human. It's the last day of the short course of steroid tablets. If I'm still needing my reliever inhaler several times a day, plus doubled up preventer medication, I'll see a doctor on Monday. Otherwise I'll book a routine appointment.
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CLKD

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2016, 04:01:53 PM »

The difference a hair wash can make is enormous, I would like to see hairdressers available on the NHS for long-term patients  ;).

Because you are beginning to improve, do remember to continue resting! 

My Dad was diagnosed with late-onset asthma in his early 60s  :-\.  I remember getting short of breath pre-bleed, like my body filled up with fluids which seemed to cause me to be aware of not getting a proper breath ……..once the period began, those symptoms went and I would forget until they recurred the next month.
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

Kathleen

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Re: Asthma
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2016, 01:44:30 PM »

Hello JuJu.

Glad to read that you are feeling better.

I also know someone that developed asthma during the menopause so it makes you wonder how common it is.

Talking of not being listened to, back in the seventies my friend was prescribed a new inhaler but  complained that using it gave her heart palpitations which her GP dismissed, telling her not to be such a silly young girl. Needless to say she stopped using it but when it was mentioned again about six months later he said he wouldn't be prescribing it anymore because ‘ it causes palpitations you know'. Medicine moves on but some things never change!

Wishing you well.

K.
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