Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Horrible lungs

My record run of avoiding hospitals has come to an end. I went almost a year without needing to go into hospital for treatment. I should clarify, I mean almost a year without needing to go into hospital since being diagnosed with asthma 6 years ago, I'd never been a patient prior to that!

Since starting Azithromycin my asthma has felt worse. I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but it means I can safely say Azithromycin hasn't made any improvement yet!

Last night I was in Exeter when I realised I needed to get myself to hospital. I could have gone to the nearest hospital where I always get admitted but because of my medical history and all the ED doctors know me, they automatically try to admit me and I couldn't be bothered with the battle and ending up having to self discharge.
So, I made the decision to drive back to the district hospital close to where I live. They only have a Minor Injuries Unit and no facilities to admit me, if I turn up there worse than they can deal with they call an ambulance to take me to Exeter. Last night was I confident I wasn't severe enough that I'd scare them!
I drove the 30 minute drive, I'd forgotten how horrible it is to drive whilst having a full on asthma attack, I've driven in worse states but it still wasn't comfortable.
Once at the MIU unit I had to sit around and wait to be seen, the duty doctor didn't seem to understand brittle/difficult asthma and couldn't get his head around the fact that I'm on long term high dose steroids, he kept asking the same questions as if he thought I'd made a mistake.
There was a lot of we'll give you a nebuliser then we'll wait and see if it helps, after 30 minutes you can have another one, we'll stick to salbutamol to start and then throw in an atrovent in a couple of hours!
Don't get me wrong, they doctor and sister were both lovely, and I wasn't life threatening or anywhere near that. I guess because in Exeter most of the staff know how poorly I get, they don't waste any time in treating me, often I feel like they overtreat me. I've never been made to sit and wait to see if I improve! It was a little frustrating as I knew I needed back to back nebs but it took them a little while to work that one out last night.

For majority of the time I was in the MIU I was the only patient, I heard the sister complaining that she had been on the go pretty much constantly all night which made me smile!!

After hours of intermittent treatment with nebs and oxygen I felt less breathless and wheezy. My sats were 93% and peak flow had gone up to 200. This is the other reason I chose to go to the MIU, I knew they'd discharge me with stupid clinical observations like that whereas Exeter would have never let me go! I genuinely did feel better though so it was fine :-)

After spending most of the day asleep I now feel much better than I did, but I am aware that my lungs are really not happy. I just hope there isn't a 'proper' hospital admission looming in the near future!

Monday, 4 April 2011

New drugs!!

Well, new drug to be truthful, but drugs sounded better!

Since my last post I've been really struggling, I've thought about calling an ambulance more than once but decided against it, which has turned out to be an okay decision as my asthma has become more manageable after every attack.

Today I saw my consultant, I've been wondering what the next move would be for a while now. It turns out that the CT scan I had done shows that there is some thickening and inflammation, but not enough to be diagnosed with bronchiectasis :) At least, I think that was what he said, for some bizzare reason I find it hard to concentrate on what my consultant tells me, I wait for a copy of the letter sent to my GP to make sure I've understood what was said!! He has suggested I start an antibiotic called Azithromycin, 3 times a week. If anyone has been on it I'd love to hear what you thought of it. He is going to write to my GP and get him to prescribe it, so I have to wait for that letter before starting.

I felt really ill and wheezy this morning, and in a way I was glad that I'd be able to go to see my consultant and be able to 'show' how I was feeling. Typically, by the time of my appointment I was feeling relatively okay! Peak flow and spirometry were a bit pathetic, but everything else was fine. I feel like such a fraud when I go in and say "I feel so ill, blah blah, can't breathe at night, blah blah" but I look fine!!! I hope that made sense, I don't like or want to be ill, but I wouldn't feel like such a fraud if my clinical presentation wasn't totally contradicting what I was saying!!!! That is the reason I took so long to be diagnosed too, my lungs have a magical ability to behave whenever I go to respiratory related appointment, but play up before and after!

My new favourite film is Phantom of the Opera. I'll know the words soon I've been watching it so much lately. One day I'd love to go to the theatre to watch it, this is officially now on my 'to do' list :)