I thought I would do a quick update on the last two days and just cover everything that has happened fairly briefly.
On Tuesday I had my general health clinic with a nurse at my GP surgery, which actually turned out to be my annual asthma review. This was my first annual review for asthma, since I’ve only been officially diagnosed with asthma for a hear (almost). And I was with a different nurse to either of my two usual nurses, but she was really lovely. This really confused me since it was basically an asthma review but a very short one. The nurse also took my blood pressure which was fine, my BMI (now 20.44, which I’m okay with. I used to be dead on 18) and my heart rate which was slightly high and made the nurse a bit concerned. I did tell her that my heart rate had already been 160bpm that day which I probably shouldn’t have since she almost freaked and started looking at every heart related thing on my medical files. She did come to the conclusions that a high heart rate for me, is pretty normal. I had already worked this out though so it wasn’t big news or anything like that.
The nurse also asked me if I was having any asthma symptoms, and in all honesty I’ve been feeling much better (with exception to Wednesday, as you will see later). I kept giving her pretty brief answers which was clearly not what she wanted since she kept asking more questions… Do you get short of breath? do you get chest tightness? do you cough? do you wheeze? does it impact on your exercise? To all the answer was yes but I’m a lot better than I was which I think puzzled her a bit, but in the end she accepted it.
This appointment took all of 5 minutes so we spent 10 more minutes talking about college and university and extra curricular activities which to be honest was really fun since she kept giving me tips and telling stories about her university days. And in the end she said that I was the easiest patient that she has ever had, which is pretty awesome since I tend to be listed as “complex” and “unusual” in the majority of my medical files.
So Wednesday I had a really busy day, and also a really fun day planned. It was my Dad’s birthday so I got to give him his presents which was excellent. And my friends also took my to Alton Towers which was also really great.
Unfortunately, Alton Towers is fairly far away from where I live so I was up at 5.30 in the morning to be ready. As usual, when I go on a long trip, I was majorly over-prepared. I mean I had made up my own first aid kit, consisting of Ibuprofen (for me, I don’t hand out medications to other people), a vast variety of plasters, paracetamol (also for me) and ibuprofen gel for my joints (for me too!). And that was in addition to the asthma medications that I had. I took 3 ventolins and 2 symbicorts with me and I am really glad that I did. All of my inhalers are dry powder inhalers and I didn’t really think that they would get wet since they were all deep inside my bad. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and looking back I wish I had left at least on symbicort and ventolin in the car. I took 2 open ventolins and one brand new one and one opened symbicort and one brand new one and went on the log flume. I really didn’t think about my bad getting wet at all until about half way round the ride. As soon as I got off I checked my inhaler (my inhalers are more important to me than my phone since I can live without my phone for longer than I can live without an inhaler). One ventolin, which happened to be brand new, was soaked and I had to throw that one out since when the powder inside gets wet it cant be inhaled as it sticks together in one lump. The other inhalers were just wet on the outside, although I still don’t know about my new symbicort since I haven’t used it yet. Only time will tell. But I think that this is a good lesson learned about where you should keep inhalers, especially DPIs (Dry powder inhalers) when I am at the theme park, or anywhere wet for that matter.
I walked a total of over 17km and over 25,000 steps including 150 flights of stairs, yes 150 flights of stairs was no joke, (all according to my fitbit. My and GG (a twitter friend) have concluded that so much walking set my asthma into overdrive and my being soaked to the bone in freezing water for over 8 hours really didn’t help. This resulted in me taking 1200mcg of ventolin (6 puffs of a ventolin accuhaler, or 12 puffs of a ventolin Evohaler) as well as my 3 symbicort in the morning and at night (I also added a sneaky puff in at about lunch to see if that would tide me through to my evening dose, which it didn’t) and I mean that is a heck of a lot of bronchodilator! And then to try and stop me needing anymore ventolin I decided to drink a cup of black coffee with 6 sugars in it (also to keep me awake on the drive home) since coffee is a mild bronchodilator, BUT SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS A ALTERNATIVE TO VENTOLIN/WHICHEVER BRONCHODILATOR YOU ARE PRESCRIBED. And that didn’t work either.
I got home at about 11pm and went straight into the shower to try and heat up, baring in mind I had been soaked on a ride at 3pm and I was still wet. I think a combination of the ventolin finally kicking in (it had been working but not enough to give me so much relief that I didn’t need more of it) and my finally getting warm made my lungs actually want to behave a bit more and so I’m not coughing half as much as I was and I am not wheezing (a sign that I am pretty bad, since I tend to only cough until I let my lungs disobey me too much) so I think I can finally get some sleep. I haven’t slept since 5.30am so I am pretty exhausted and when your asthma is playing up, it drains your energy a lot faster too.