It’s the autumn again. For most people it’s a time to enjoy a bit of fun with bonfires and fire crackers. The weather is changing, the air crisp and some of the leaves are turning orange and red. Now I love Halloween, Bonfire Night and a nice walk by the river in the sun all wrapped up as much as anyone else but it’s also the season when Asthma kicks in.
What I don’t like so much, is that every autumn I get sick. Properly sick, for weeks’. For some years the pattern was the same – cold/flu…move to chest infection…large doses of antibiotics and 3 to 4 weeks of misery. I decided it was because juggling work, helping out at school and with sports was all too much. So I cut down on activities, thinking it would help. It didn’t – I still got just as sick.
Last year was the worst ever – not only did I end up on industrial level antibiotics but I also ended up taking Prednisone to ease my breathing. I hate Prednisone, I’ve been on it for various allergic reactions over the years and the insomnia it causes is horrible. Last year was the first time I was on it for my asthma though. It was a shock.
We both have an annual asthma review with oxygen levels and breathing checked. Molly was measured and weighted (thankfully the asthma nurse didn’t put me through the joys of standing on the scales).
Our spirometry tests were both fine, but Molly’s been using Ventolin a couple of times a week. With my history of chest infections the new asthma nurse decided that a stronger steroid was in order. We will go back to the brown inhaler in the summer once the cold season has passed. So goodby to the brown inhaler (Beclometasone) and hello to Seretide. So instead of being in the ‘mild’ asthma box, we’ve moved up to moderate.
It’s been a week, and Molly is noticing the difference. For me, it will be about whether I can get through a cold without it turning into a chest infection. I find asthma scary, and I’m a bit frightened that we’ve on stronger steroids for it. I preferred the world where I could tell myself that it was mild, easily controlled, and that maybe Molly would outgrow it all.
Instead we’re moving in the opposite direction…but with asthma you can’t be too careful. Too many times it gets dismissed, and Asthma UK is working hard to get people to understand that Asthma needs to be managed and it’s not ‘just asthma’. They are an amazing charity – you can call and talk to an asthma nurse any time. Hopefully one day there will be a cure, in the meantime we have to be smart, and take it seriously.
Do visit Asthma Uk if you need any advice.