I was chatting to a fellow asthmatic recently and we were discussing the theory of asthma and a seven year cycle. Although there is no specific evidence for the 7 year cycle it is a common thought. I for one really do think that asthma does have a seven year cycle. I have had asthma all my life…well since I was 2 as you cant officially be diagnosed before then. Over the past 6 and a half years my asthma has been horrific and never knew it could be so bad. I had no experience of anyone having that bad asthma in modern day. I knew asthma could be fatal as my great uncle died of asthma but that was about 30 years ago before all the new modern pharmacology.
After seeing my consultant I worked out my dates and firgured that in June 2011 will eb the end of the seven years since my chest started getting really bad. I dont want to tempt fate but I do think that the 7 year cycle is a true phenomenom. The last year or so things have got much more stable my admissions to hospital have been less. I have not had to reliy on medication to keep me going so much. I have halved my drug intake- as in the number of drugs on my repeat script.
if I track back and give a quick run down of the years and what went on.
2004- I got double pnumonia from an airborne bacteria in Canada. I was admitted to hospital and flown by helicopter from the local town hospital to the big resp hospital in Calagry were I spent 2 weeks in ITU and a further 2 weeks in hospital. My dad was called to come out to canada and he spent six week there until I was well enough to fly home. Once home I was still very unwell and did not start to feel better until the summer. I had the summer to rest before I started univeristy. I started university and wasnt quite right and was admitted to ITU down in winchester within 2 weeks of ebing there. I had bronchitis and spent 2 weeks in hospital.
2005- Despite my best efforts to keep on top of my chest I kept being admitted to hospital with severe asthma attacks. I got a resp con down south and she tinkered with my medication and put me on various different meds. I continued to try and play sport as I had the thinking that playing sport would keep my fitness up and help me fight these attacks. I was roughly admitted every month and spent at leats 10 days of each month in hospital. I was admitted to hospital for a month.
2006- Was probably the worst year. I was referred to a specialist centre were they tried to get control of my chest. i was started on a salicylate free diet which I have been on ever since. I had loads and loads of tests and they never managed to find otu what was going on. I was then admitted and was not discharged for 5 months. I ended up going home on sub cut bricanyl. I spent 2 years on this. It was a really hard adjustment. I had started finding it hard to walk and get myself dressed. I ended up having a community matron who came in every week to check how I was. I also had a district nurse as I had a PICC line in place. This only lasted a few months as it got infected and had to be whipped out.
2007- due to spending so much time in hospital and being limited in what I can and cant do I decided to call it a day on university and spend some time at home. however I got itchy feet at home and ahted doing nothing so i decided to catch up on what I missed and did long distance leanring. This meant I caught up on my work and was able to do the second half of second year over a whole year making it easier for me to rest and not have too much to do. I returned down to Winchester to study for 3rd year. I tried so hard to keep up witht he work and did manage but my chest once again took a turn for the worst and I was admitted to hospital with probably one of the worst asthma attacks. I was in ITU for several days and then moved to my resp ward. Howveer I got bad again on the ward and was readmitted to the ITU once stabilised I was moved back to the ward. This moment sitkc sin my mind because my consultant came up form Southampton to winchester to see me. I remeber it so well because he sat on my bed and took my hand. he told me he could not allow me to continue at university as my chest was in too bad a state. he said if I continued I would kill my self with an asthma attack. i was devastated as sport was my life and I had no idea what i was going to do. I spent so long crying as my life had been turned upside down. I decided I couldn’t stay in winchester and I had to move home. I moved back to Edinburgh and settled down. I stayed at home for a while and then basically took the year out.
2008- I had a few admissions to hospital and had a new consultant at home. My asthma was more under control as I was seeing my consultant every month. I was basically not allowed to do anything. and after some hard work we changed my medication and managed to settle things down. I started to look to the future and things I could do. i started some voluntary work with AUK to keep my self busy.
2009- I was feeling much better I moved into my uncles flat so I could have my own space and jsut get myself back on my feet again. I tried to build up my exercise again but this failed and I had to go back into hospital. So i firgured my lungs were not quite able to cope. As 2009 moved on i had to think about what I wanted to do. I started looking at univeristy courses. I didnt want to continue with Sport. i could have transferred up to Edinburgh to get the honours but I jsut didnt want to. sport has been filled with so many bad memories I had to mvoe on. I started looking at physiotherapy and ocupational therapy. But after doing some research I fell into nursing. I decided to do some more diggin about the course and emailed various edinburgh Universities. I decided to apply to Napier and I got in. I started in the September. I had a couple of scary admissions involving Swine flu, ITU, HDU and a hospital transfer!
2010- I have had a few admissions to hospitals. I have been really enjoying my course. I am actually doing well in it which surprises me as i am not academically gifted. With close work with my consultant I have manged to stay out of hospital for the longest period over the past 7 years. I have manged to reduce my prednisilone and am continuing to reduce it. My lung function has improved !
2011- as I look forward to 2011 I hope to continue with my good progress chest wise and want to start to build up my exercise again.
I thought in this rather long post I would give a run down of my medication pre- bad asthma patch, during -bad asthma patch and now!
Pre- symbicort 200/12 2 puffs BD, ventolin PRN, Singulair 10mg OD, Zirtek PRN
During- Qvar 2 puff QDS, Atimos Modulite 2 puffs BD, Nasonex 2 puffs BD, Ventolin nebs 5mg QDS, Atrovent nebs 500mcg QDS, Saline 0.9% QDS, Pulmicort 2mg BD, Mucodyne 750mg TDS, theophylline 400mg BD, Singulair 10mg OD, Fexofenadine 180mg OD, Cetirizine 10mg OD, Paracetamol 1g QDS, Tramadol 100mg QDS, Lanzoprazole 30mg OD, Ranitadine 300mg BD, calcitriol 250mg OD, Alendronate 70 mg once weekly, Calcichew D3 forte BD, Terbutaline Infusion 12 mg /24 hours, Doxycycline 100mg BD, Clarithromycin 500mg BD, Prednisilone
Now- Seretide 500 2 puffs QDS, Nasonex 2 puffs BD, Ventolin PRN, Ventolin nebs PRN and BD, Atrovent 500mcg BD, Uniphyllin 200mg BD, Fexofenadine 180mg OD, Lanzoprazole 30mg OD, Calci chew D3 Forte BD, prednisilone. I have a few PRN meds for step up too.
As you can see I have hugly reduced my meds from the massice increment that was made. I am hoping that it will all settle down again.
I really do believe in this 7 year cycle. and think The way my asthma has gone may be something to do with the cycle. Now I am almost 25 I am hoping that this part of my life will be behind me and I can start to look forward and not have monthly hospital appointments and endless hospital admissions. I also hope this will give my veins and arteries a rest as my hands and arms are covered in scars from art lines and venflons and central lines. I find it very difficult to ahve blood tests now as my veins just fold.
I hope 2011 will just have more improvements and I will feel healthier again.