Unprepared for an appointment

Tomorrow I have any other appointment with my asthma nurse. Technically I am a month over late in going since she wanted to see me in May but due to exams I haven’t been able to miss much of college. That sounds daft especially because at one point in May, I was having 8 or 9 attacks a week, but I still figured that college was more important. WRONG! I’m pretty sure if I had gone to the asthma nurse in May like I should have I would have got my breathing under a bit more control, so I would be able to sleep the whole night through and concentrate on work in class, rather than on my breathing.

Anyway there isn’t much I can do about not seeing my asthma nurse sooner than learning from that mistake. I see asthma as a bit of a learning curve, and I don’t think there are many people in this world who can say that they are close to the peak of this learning curve. My one year Asthmaversary is coming up in just a few weeks and I feel that I am still just at the start of my learning curve for asthma, despite the amount of research I have done. It’s the same for any chronic conditions. Take my bad joints, for example, I tend to focus my research on Juvenile Arthritis as that seems to be the most plausible explanation for my joint pain and inflammation and I have had bad joints since I was 11, so that’s 6 years now. 6 years and I only know as much as patient information leaflets tell me, which for me is not enough. I have this thirst for knowledge, to find out more about my conditions, to be able to have the best understanding of them I can. So I have started to read case studies and clinical studies and research studies conducted by research fellows and doctors to try and quench this thirst. I don’t know if that is a good idea but I like to understand what is going on and about any new possible treatments.

So it’s almost one year since I’ve been seeing my asthma nurse, which is kind of scary because it has gone so fast. I have progressed from having no medications, to a ventolin inhaler, to a reliever and preventer, to a reliever and a preventer and a controller, and now a reliever and combination inhaler. That’s quite a few med changes. But technically I have only been on 5 medications and there are many out there to try. I am always pretty nervous when I see my asthma nurse or my rheumatologist due to the fear that they will not take me seriously (they always take me very seriously) but nevertheless I am still petrified. And today is no exception, I’ve been getting progressively more nervous throughout the weekend, probably because I don’t have a clue what will happen on Monday.

Usually when I go into an asthma appointment I have a pretty good idea of what I would like to know, but I don’t really know what i want to know for this appointment. Of course I want to find out what’s going on with my peak flow but there aren’t many other questions I’m wanting to get answered.

I am still trying to work out whether I would like to try Bricanyl instead of Ventolin. Bricanyl is another reliever inhaler that is delivered through a turbohaler, the same as symbicort is. I have no idea if I want to get into this conversation right now with my asthma nurse purely because I think getting my peak flow up is most important at the minute. I know that peak flow doesn’t always help in monitoring asthma but I think that if I could even get my peak flow up to 350 I would feel a lot better. Personally when my peak flow is at 300 and below, I can feel when it drops more than I can when it is above 300 and so I feel worse than I would if my peak flow was higher. So simply I don’t feel comfortable or very well when my peak flow is below 300, which is more than often the case at present.

I am also curious to know if the asthma nurse would prescribe me something, maybe mucodyne, that would help be thin the mucus (gross, sorry guys) so I can cough it out better. I’ve been thinking, and wondering if this would help increase my peak flow since my lungs wouldn’t be so junky.

I guess everything depends on how fast we get through the “your peak flow is still low” talk again, and of course any change in my treatment plan would also mean me seeing my asthma nurse again in the next couple of weeks, which would allow me to talk about anything that I didn’t manage to cover in this appointment.

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