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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Asthma Review Time!

So..where are my lungs at now?

Well, the prednisolone and antibiotics have just finished and they have worked, so thank goodness for that. The Clenil Modulite has also been doing well and my peak flow has increased significantly (although it isn't great still) and I can breathe better than I have in months.

On the other hand…my reliever inhaler (Ventolin, the important one) has not been that great. That's not Ventolin's fault, that is purely the fault of my body, which doesn't appear to respond to salbutamol (the active ingredient in Ventolin and most blue reliever inhalers) at all, really. I mean, it has had a bit of an effect. When I've been totally desperate, it has been my saviour. In the second week of college, I was in town when I had an asthma attack. I don't know what brought it on, and my chest was really sore and I couldn't find air and I was getting that tell-tale headache, so I pulled my inhaler out and shook it..and the canister flew out of it. I clearly hadn't put it back in properly after marking my last dose on. It rolled into a nearby bus shelter, where there was a small group of people, of whom I knew one. When he had gone, I went into the bus shelter. Guess what. It was gone, of course. I was struggling for air and this headache was getting worse and worse, and I had to almost stagger to Boots down the street and gasp out that I needed an inhaler, and my canister had got stolen or gone missing or something, and they actually made me PAY BEFORE I COULD USE IT. Finally, they gave it to me and I sat down, put it in my spacer and tried to calm myself down and just breathe it in. It worked, enough for me to be able to walk back to college and stress that I wasn't too good, and enough for me to get home and get some rest to try and help my lungs back to normality.

So this time, they've given me Bricanyl (terbutaline) which is supposed to be a good option for people who don't respond to salbutamol enough. Problem? Yes. It only comes in a turbohaler, which is a kind of dry-powder inhaler, which basically means you have to breathe in really hard and really deep and then hold your breath and..oh, it all sounds like hard work! I'm really apprehensive right now. The medication itself might be the think we've been looking for, but dry-powder inhalers? No. I struggle to do all that on a normal day, let alone when I really need it. Currently, my reliever is being used four times a day until my infection is totally under control, so I'm not using it because I'm in desperate need. But what about when that happens? It can't be said when, but it's a certainty that it will.

It's funny, medication. You put all your hope and faith into a little pill or a bit of powder or a mist in the hopes that it'll make a change in your body. You might feel that change, you might not. And you may never know if it is working until you really, really, really need it to. But you do it all anyway, because what else can you do?


As for my spirometry, my lung function has gone up (yay! Go lungs!) although my lung volume has gone down (biatch..) and we are going to continue with the Bricanyl and Clenil Modulite for now until my next review to check that things are still working, and then we may add on a long-acting reliever (such as Serevent) in order to help things along. I need to keep taking my peak flow readings and charting them, and bring in all my inhalers and my spacer and peak flow meter to my next review.

Which is when, I hear you ask? (I don't really. Even if anyone read this blog, I still wouldn't hear them, because there's all this glass and plastic and space and bricks and wood etc. between us so actually, it would be physically impossible for me to hear you..)

It is at 10.00am on 24/12/2014.
That's right, the only date and time available that I could do is on...
...Christmas Eve.

Oh, joy.