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!