A month full of awareness!

Well lately I’ve been lacking in the enthusiasm department. I just feel so tired all of the time, I do get the occasional burst of energy, for example, when I’ve just eaten something that is packed with sugar.

I’m think my tiredness is mainly down to the massive amounts of college work I have. I have chemistry literally coming out of my ears! My exams are starting in a week with german (definitely going to fail that one) and they finish the day before my birthday on June 5th, which I’m quite pleased about.

So in a little over a months time, I’ll be 17. That is scary but I’m also really looking forward to it. I’ve been wanting to give blood for ages and in the UK you have to be 17 to do this, so I’m super excited about being able to do that. And I’ll also be able to learn to drive, which is brilliant. My provisional license came yesterday so I’m all set really, just need to book lessons, actually become 17 and I’m on my way.

I have also booked an appointment with my asthma nurse for the 17th of June. At the moment I’m really not feeling like my asthma is controlled at all. I’ve been having more attack (9 in the last week) and my lungs are just generally not feeling very good in the least. I do think that the symbicort is still helping, because when it starts to wear off I feel ten times worse but it just isn’t helping to the extent that it was.

I have also been getting loads of muscle cramps lately which really aren’t pleasant, especially when I am waking up most nights. This is also partly contributing to my overall tiredness. My friend Kerri has suggested that it could be the ventolin that is causing the muscle cramps as bronchodilators can leech the potassium out of your muscles, causing cramps (steroids can also do that). So I’m going to follow ether advise and keep some Gatorade or a Banana handy to see if these can correct any electrolyte imbalances there may be from the lack of potassium. [Thanks for the advice Kerri!]

That brings me to another thing that I am going to talk to my asthma nurse about. I am not happy with being on a ventolin accuhaler anymore. The max dose I am supposed to take is 4 puffs a day (this equates to the 8 puff limit on normal MDIs) which would normally be fine but recently I’ve been having more attacks so I can easily use these 4 puffs up and have nothing spare for later although if I do have another attack, I have no problems with going over the “limit” (I do not suggest anyone else do this or condone this behaviour. If you are needing more of your reliever inhaler than your doctor/asthma nurse has advised you take, I suggest going back to the doctor or to the hospital if it is an emergency). My friend is on bricanyl which is another bronchodilator (although it has a different active ingredient to ventolin/salbutamol). Bricanyl is available in the UK in turbohaler form which is the same as symbicort. I’m really loving the symbicort delivery device so I’m going to see if it would be possible for me to give bricanyl a try.

Any since this is my first post of May, I have to tell you that it is ASTHMA AWARENESS MONTH! And not only is is asthma awareness month, it is also Lupus awareness month, Cystic Fibrosis awareness month, Ankylosing Spondylitis awareness month and many more. I feel like all my Christmases have come at once and I am going to try and do as many awareness posts as possible!

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2 thoughts on “A month full of awareness!

  1. More than happy I can help with the cramping issue.

    I am not sure what the deal with the accuhaler is [I don’t think they exist here], but on standard MDIs the recommended “limit” is 8p/day [aka 2p QID]. I’ve gone way above and beyond this [up to 16 puffs MDI or 8 puffs MDI + 3+ nebs,] and I’m still alive ;). My doctor IS aware of this though, and as long as it doesn’t happen too frequently it is okay. Definitely bring this up at your appointment, though.

    Have you tried Advair? Some people don’t respond well to Symbicort, and Advair rocks their world. I was the opposite, Advair made me way sicker–Symbicort was good, but Zenhale [Dulera] is amazing for me :].

    I have a friend who used to use bricanyl when she needed top-ups over her daily Ventolin allowance. You might also ask about trying Symbicort SMART (I hated the turbuhaler, so I was resistant to the trying of SMART :)).

    Thanks for the shout!

    1. Yeah I’m okay to go over but it’s happening a bit too much for my liking. With the ventolin accuhaler, each dose gives 200mcg of salbutamol as opposed to the 100mcg the MDIs give hence the half dose (probably should have made that clear).

      I was on advair for a while but it ended up making me wheezy and basically my lungs didn’t agree with it so I don’t really fancy trying that again. How long have you been on Zenhale for?

      My asthma nurse is all for the SMART scheme but unfortunately it is only approved for over 18s so I have to wait another year for that which is a bit of a bummer :/ but I’m all for gaining controll before that 🙂 how come you hated the turbohalers? How loud they are?

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