Well today is my first Asthmaversary. Well technically it is my 5th year of having asthma but I have only been officially diagnosed for a year.
So I thought I would show you some of my asthma family, or should I say, inhaler family.
Over the last year I feel that I have matured a lot. I have learnt how to manage my prescriptions, manage doctor appointments and travelling to and from my doctors and nurse appointments. And I have also learnt how to manage attacks and exacerbations. I know when I should increase my preventer inhaler and I know when I should drop it back down to the original dose. I know the sort of area that my peak flow should be in and although I haven’t managed to keep it in the green zone for the majority year, I feel confident enough to deal with any symptoms and I do know when it is time to see my nurse or the doctor.
So those has been my asthma pals for the last year. I must admit 3 inhalers are missing, two ventolins and one Symbicort. One of the ventolins had water damage, and since it is a dry powder inhaler I meant that I couldn’t use it again. And the other ventolin and Symbicort are in the pharmacy. I should be picking them up early next week.
Technically it has been over a year since I got my first ventolin so I thought I would show you my asthma journey from then until now.
After about a month of being on ventolin and clenil, serevent was added. Serevent is the small green (it doesn’t look green, but it is green) inhaler. Serevent is a Long Acting Beta-2 Antagonist. Which basically means that it keeps my airways open for 12 hours rather than just 4 like ventolin does. Serevent is a controller medication, added when you asthma is not controlled with only inhaler corticosteroids (such as clenil) and reliever inhalers (including bricanyl, ventolin and xopenex).
Then we decided to add seretide which is a combination inhaler, rather than having 2 inhalers to take morning and night, my nurse and I agreed that it would be easier just to have one inhaler morning and night. It was at this point that I also switched to a dry powder ventolin as I felt that it was a lot easier to use when my hands were sore and stiff.
So early this year my nurse and I agreed that I wasn’t doing very well with seretide. Especially since I kept wheezing after I had taken it. Initially the nurse thought it was the dry powder but since I didn’t have issues with the dry powder ventolin she figured it was the serevent component of the seretide, which had caused some issues earlier.
So I was swapped to Symbicort which I feel has made a massive amount of difference. And although for the majority of the year my peak flow was hanging around 60-70%. But when I did get a cold, which was fairly frequently, the attacks weren’t as they had been before I started the Symbicort.
I have said previously that I am pretty settled on Symbicort, of course there is fine tuning needed, but I have been on Symbicort longer than any other medication (except ventolin).
But if I didn’t have asthma, I think it would have taken me longer to learn certain things about myself, as I wouldn’t need to be in a position where I would need to know these things. Such as, in an emergency I can stay calm. This doesn’t strictly apply to asthma since my attacks are not bad enough to be called an emergency. But the inability to breathe during attacks is scary and I still manage to think clearly throughout. Even a couple of months ago when I was choking I stayed calm and was able to clear my airway on my own.
I also feel like I am a better advocate for my own health, and I help make the decisions about my health care rather letting health care professionals decide certain things for me, and that makes me feel like I am in more control of my health than I was before.
And if hadn’t been diagnosed with asthma, I would not have this blog, I would not speak to new people daily about asthma and other chronic illnesses. I would have never joined twitter in the aim of finding people who I can connect too. I would still be naive of some chronic conditions such as diabetes, both type 1 and 2 (thanks to GG and Scott and Navy Kitty for teaching me so much about diabetes, I really appreciate it). I have also “met” people over twitter with cystic fibrosis, people who have had heart transplants, liver transplants, lung transplants, people with mitochondrial disease, people with lupus and other rheumatic conditions and of course other people with asthma. I must say having a blog has been an eye opening experience, and I haven’t even had this blog for a year yet! I wonder what will happen between now and my next Asthmaversary. This is an adventure.
Oh and I forgot to say, I bought myself a phone case for my Asthmaversary, not because I have asthma but because I have learnt so much and survived this year pretty unscathed.