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Cough Variant Asthma

(7 Posts)
Franbern Sat 23-Mar-24 08:55:45

Finally......after nearly year, and telling several Health Care Professionals about my very bad cough and other symptoms, I finally got this diagnosis and - more important, treatment.

Easter 2023 and I had a very bad time with bronchitus. Felt extremely ill for three or four weeks. Even felt this was going to finish me off. My two eldest daughters who nursed me through it (more or less), were far more pragmatic - pointing out that three weeks is the normal time for bronchitus and at my age (in my eighties) I should such illnesses to take their time.

I did recover, but never fully, insofar as I was extraordinary tired for much of the time, and the cough that had always come when I was tired was with me most of the time. This was a deep throated cough, and as well as being debilitating, was very embarrassing. I mentioned the tiredness and cough to my GP and to the nurses whom I saw for my annual medication check up. 'Well, at your age....' summed up their responses.

Asked for referral to a Sleep clinic, as I was showing several signs of Sleep Apnoea. Evidently my local Health Authority stopped these referrals b the simple expedient of not permitting anyone with a BMI above 30 to be referred. Very unusual to find someone with a BMI below 30 suffering from Sleep Apnoea!!!!!)

My eldest daughter visiting me for a few days a few weeks ago was alarmed when I would fall asleep in my wheelchair whilst waiting for a few minutes, knows her way round the NHS having been employed by them for over thirty years sent a complaint about my lack of treatment.

Within days I was called in to my GP practice with an appointment with the Senior Partner there. He actually really listened to what I was telling him (backed up by No. 2 daughter who I took with), examined me and diagnosed this sleep variant asthma. Started me off with a five day course of steroids - which acted like a miracle. By day 3 that cough was gone!!! Steroid tabs finished he then put me on a strong steroid nasal powder to be used daily.

A month later I can honestly say I now feel as I had before I had that bronchitus a year ago. Cough gone, sleeping better without the snorts and snoring I have been doing all of the time, therefore not falling asleep every time I sit down.

Evidently this is a lesser known type of asthma, but surely should have been picked up in less than twelve months. Delighted that I am now in receipt of successful treatment but feel chagrined (to say the least) that without my daughter's intervention this would have just continued, being put down to a problem of ageing.

Redhead56 Sat 23-Mar-24 09:19:30

Glad to hear that finally you have the answer to your health problem and are getting the treatment you need. It’s definitely an asthma not well known I wonder how many other people are not diagnosed but suffering.
I spent over months coughing last year it was worrying me very much. My life had become miserable with coughing up all the time no sleep and breathlessness.
Our surgery does not allow visits everything is done by phone consultation. No actual physical consultation meant just being told on the phone to pick up prescription for cough medicines.
Eventually I was so desperate struggling with the cough I went to our Walk in centre next door to the surgery. I had never been there before and was seen straight away and basically they got the ball rolling. With referral they had to get from our surgery! I was sent for X-rays and then scans tests etc. I was told after all this I have asthma nine months after the coughing started.
I am on medication that controls my condition and go for regular tests at the respiratory clinic. What a difference it has made finally knowing why I felt so ill and getting the right treatment.

maddyone Sat 23-Mar-24 09:21:36

I’m so pleased you have finally got the treatment you need. Thanks to persistence on the part of your daughter. I have asthma, allergic asthma, and the cough is horrible when it’s bad. Always be persistent when seeking treatment when you know things are not right.

Whiff Sat 23-Mar-24 10:57:26

Franbern brilliant news and finally getting treatment. 😊

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 23-Mar-24 14:14:06

I have CVA, but was diagnosed pretty quickly by our Asthma Nurse. It can be difficult as we don’t wheeze, just cough so much and then can’t breathe.
Pleased that you have been diagnosed and are on the way to finding the drugs that work for you.

GrannySomerset Sat 23-Mar-24 14:34:18

Well done, Franbern and daughter but it really shouldn’t need such persistence to get a cough that won’t go away investigated. All too easy to label something old age and not bother. Hope your GP practice will remember your case when someone else presents with similar symptoms.

Sparklefizz Sat 23-Mar-24 14:41:09

Excellent news Franbern and well done to your daughter.

I have asthma and was sleeping badly and had a niggling cough all day - nothing too bad - but anyway I chased up my annual review which was long overdue. I am another asthma person who coughs more than wheezes.

I saw a different asthma nurse who is an asthma sufferer herself. What a difference!! She understood. She changed my spacer to a more efficient one, and gave me lots of tips which she had found had helped her personally, and changed my inhaler dosage.

I am now a whole lot better.