Monday, 29 August 2011


Well, this post is probably going to be a bit of a jumbled mess to read. I haven't posted for a little while as I haven't had anything worth writing about, but now.... well the point of this blog was a place to vent about these lungs of mine......
A couple of weeks ago I had a cold, I felt a little crappy and had a day off work - mainly due to lack of sleep through coughing and wheezing all night rather than feeling unable to work.
I returned to work and all was well for a few days until one afternoon I felt breathless, wheezy and my inhalers were completely useless. I wandered over to see my respiratory nurse who gave me a neb and sent me to A&E. The Dr who assessed me in A&E used to work on the respiratory ward so knew my history, she refused to discharge me even though I soon picked up and sent me to the Acute Medical Unit for observation. I convinced them I was fine, (I really thought I was!), the Dr went away to write my discharge letter, by the time she came back I was in the middle of a severe asthma attack. I hate it when they come on so quickly and severely like that.
So here was night one; oxygen, back to back nebs, IV magnesium and aminophylline, blood gases, reviews by ICU Drs. By the next morning I had settled down and was transferred to the respiratory ward.
I can't really remember the sequence of what has happened since. IVs, nebs and oxygen have all been weaned down and stopped in preparation of discharge, only each time for me to deteriorate and have to start them all up again.
Yesterday, day 9 of this admission, I finally felt good! I went for a little walk, peak flows picked up, I thought I'd be able to go home today. At about midnight I started to feel wheezy and started coughing, a couple of nebs later and it was time to get the Drs involved. Numerous, painful attempts to get cannulaes in and to obtain blood gases, and reviews by 4 different Drs later, it was decided I needed to be transferred to ICU. I've been transferred to ICU many times, this time was horrendous :( Each time I've been previously, I've either been so poorly that I don't remember it or not that bad so its more for observation and intensive treatment.
This time I get there and the Drs were swinging between intubating and waiting to see what happened as my most recent ABG was looking more positive. Hearing and watching them prep the intubation trolley, having all the staff come piling into the room to assist - I was so scared. The decision was to watch and wait, which turned out to be the right decision. I'm now back on the respiratory ward feeling much better than last night!

My lungs have never done this before. Its 'normal' for me to come in, pick up, deteriorate, slowly pick up, maybe have a few tiny blips and get discharged home. I've never had so many cycles of getting off all medication in preparation of going home, only to have a major setback and starting all over again.
I'm very concerned that the pattern of my asthma has changed to something even harder to control. I've had a pretty good year in controlling my asthma and keeping out of hospital, this admission feels like I'm right back to square one. I know I'm most likely being over dramatic and all doom and gloom. I think I need to see my respiratory nurse and consultant tomorrow to discuss what has happened, and get home to allow myself time to rest and take in everything that has happened. Deep down, even though my asthma is unpredictable, I do feel that I have at least a little understanding of what is going on (whether I genuinely do have that understanding or just think I do is another matter!), and right now I have no idea what is happening, what will happen, what has happened.... and in all honesty, I find that pretty damn scary.