Asthma action plans and vaccinations

First of all, I apologise for not finishing RABlog week… My life is super hectic right now with the uni work mounting up and living with a chronic illness so sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the blog too.

Today I had an appointment with my new asthma nurse to see about getting an asthma action plan. I have found that recently my asthma has been a lot more controlled than it has over the past year and I am having virtually no symptoms unless I am sick… which I was the other week when I made this appointment. Stupidly I hadn’t thought about getting an asthma action plan earlier so I pretty much just survived on Ventolin because I wasn’t ill enough to see the GP or asthma nurse.

This new asthma nurse is amazing. She checked my inhaler technique without my asking [it’s always better to know that you are doing something like this correctly, even if you have been doing it numerous times a day for years] and she didn’t put a huge emphasis on peak flow numbers. My new asthma action plan doesn’t even contain any peak flow readings to work off because my nurse would prefer me to treat based on symptoms and not to get too caught up with readings. She did ask me to check my peak flow a couple of times a week though because this can provide an early warning for whether my asthma is getting worse or not. We also discussed my treatment options. She asked me whether I would want to try the lower dose of Seretide even though when I was on the equivalent dose of Flutiform my chest got bad again… I agreed to give it a go because I really don’t like taking inhalers/medication at all, and if there is a chance that my asthma could be controlled with a lower dose then that would be awesome. I have been given a prescription for 3 months of Seretide 50/25 to take, and I still have 3 months worth of Seretide 125/25 so I have been told to switch up and down in accordance to my new plan. And if I find that my asthma does become worse again on the lower dose then my asthma nurse is happy to switch me back up to the higher dose. She explained that some people need the higher dose to stay stable, and it is better to have he best control possible over asthma than to get caught up trying to reduce the dose when you can’t.

I also got given the flu jab and the pneumonia vaccination… one shot in each arm. Surprisingly the flu jab hurt a lot more even though the pneumonia vaccination needle was larger. I can’t remember if I wrote about my experience with the flu jab last year but I ended up with an incredibly itchy and hot red circle around the injection site last year, which popped up a couple of days after the jab. I have the same red circle at both injection sites this year but the rash came up within an hour of getting the jab. Thankfully it isn’t too itchy right now but I am keeping a close eye on them. I presume it is just going to stay as a local site reaction because I haven’t got any other symptoms apart from being slightly achy which is awesome!

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8 thoughts on “Asthma action plans and vaccinations

      1. Hey never give up, the filings are still open if you wish to write one. Also look forward to next year, I know I am with some improvements. I really had a great time doing it… Watch for 2016 #RAblog week next September. In the mean time add #RABlog to your twitter filings, if you wish

  1. Hi! I just wanted to say that I just thought today how I haven’t checked your blog for a while, and decided to check it, and straight away saw the line which perfectly describes what I’ve been trying to say this week; “some people need the higher dose to stay stable, and it is better to have [t]he best control possible over asthma than to get caught up trying to reduce the dose when you can’t.”

    I have commented on this blog before under a different name, but since then, I have been going up even more with my asthma meds. I ended up in hospital for a week in the summer holidays after a life-threatening attack and came out on Symbicort 200/6, 4 puffs twice a day, and Atrovent, as well as the Montelukast (Singulair) and my Ventolin.

    I saw a different asthma nurse at my GP surgery about a month ago because I wasn’t getting on with the Symbicort; it worked, of course, but it was annoying having to take 4 inhalations twice a day, and my chest hurt because of how hard I had to pull to get the meds in. So she changed me to Fostair, saying it is ‘double-strength’. And sure enough, it is double-strength relative to Clenil..but I wasn’t supposed to be on Clenil 250, I was supposed to be on equivalent to Seretide 250, which is equivalent steroid-wise to Clenil 500! I mentioned this but she just continued with the ‘it’s double-strength and finer particles’ BS. So I took it home. I started on 1 puff morning and night (1/4 of the dose I should be on) and within a day was up to 2 puffs morning and night (1/2 of what I should be on) which still wasn’t working, so I went up to 3 puffs morning and night (3/4) and went back to the nurse last week, who said my asthma cough sounded ‘like the croup little kids get’ and said that my chest was ‘perfectly clear which is a good sign’ (which is actually not a sign either way, because my chest is always clear, no matter how bad I am!!!) and that I had to ‘give the Fostair enough time to work’…huh! I complained about how I’m not controlled on that dose, and showed her the equivalent doses chart, to which she responded with ‘well we don’t want you to be on a higher dose because of the side-effects, like osteoporosis..’ etc. etc..

    I know about those side-effects. I also know they’re preventable with adequate bone protection, for instance.

    I was set to see the respiratory nurses at the hospital on the 10th of December but my mum said to call them or rearrange the appointment to a closer date; it no longer mattered whether I missed some college or not. I moved my appointment forwards to this Friday, and currently am doing 2 of Fostair, Atrovent, and Ventolin 3 times a day, and yesterday I felt like I was suffocating so, after much deliberation, I got out my Latex Allergy Rescue Pred pack and gave myself 30mg, as I have done tonight. It isn’t right, it isn’t what they’re for, and none of my doctors or nurses have licensed me to do that, but I cannot go feeling like I’m suffocating because some silly nurse is obsessed with trying to get me on a lower dose! IT ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN!

    *sigh*

    I’m so sorry for the length of this post, but I just needed to rant and, if I may, I would like very much to quote your nurse on this!

    Thank you for inadvertently putting some sunshine into my day 🙂

  2. By the way, on the site reaction to the jabs..have you checked if the jabs were latex-free? Latex in the sheath or the bung can elicit reactions in sensitive people, and if that’s the case with you, you would be best off avoiding latex in the future so a Type IV reaction doesn’t become a Type I (anaphylaxis-prone) reaction 😛

    Just a thought! Also, if you’d like to check out my new blog, it’s about living with Atopy:

    atopicalblog.wordpress.com

    🙂

  3. Hi, first I apologize for dropping in with a post on your page,

    I want to let you know, that I opened a survey this afternoon for RABlog week 2016. I hope you will drop by and answer a few questions about Blog week so I can do some planning. The survey link is:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QY

    Rick Phillips

    1. Yes of course Rick!! Loved it last year even though I didn’t manage to do all the days! I will definitely try and get them all done this year!

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