Getting Asthma at 65
I am now 70. I was diagnosed with asthma in April 2015. What a learning curve this has been for me and my husband, family, and friends. Not only that, asthma has caused life changes and has upended our life in so many ways. I can no longer live in my home city of 49 years.
Daily, I have to monitor the air quality. If there is particulate pollution, I need to stay inside and use the air conditioner.
Activities I used to enjoy have dropped away
I cannot make plans and commitments as I never know how unwell I will be. I have found it easier to not plan, just be spontaneous and do things when I can.
I have to try to manage triggers: weather changes, cold air, smoke, dust, mold, exercise, strong odors, exhaust fumes, etc.
I have had to learn all about Type 2 asthma, inhalers, medications, asthma plans, impact of steroids.
I'm experiencing new life changes and asthma symptoms
Constant high doses of steroids have caused huge weight gain and Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and terrible mood disruption. I have relievers everywhere. In my swimming bag, in my handbag, in the car, beside my chair, in my bedroom. I have a nebulizer set up and ready to go. I carry a portable nebulizer. I gave been caught out in the middle of nowhere having an extreme asthma flare. I have learnt that constant coughing makes it impossible to use a spacer.
My asthma is very severe. My specialist said "you are one of the unlucky ones. Your asthma is with you everyday."
Yeah! It is with me every day. I have lost count of the number of times that I have been admitted to hospital, or traveled in an ambulance.
At least the local hospital knows me now! I no longer have to go through "I am not sure that this is asthma! Could be a panic attack! I cannot hear a wheeze."
It is weird, that I felt quite excited when my doctor told me, "Rosie, that funny noise you are asking me about, that is a wheeze." I was excited because so often doctors in Emergency have dismissed me because there has been no wheeze. Well, now I have one! Not really great as it indicates that my asthma is getting more debilitating.
I keep documents with me explaining what happens when my asthma flares.
I am about to see one of the top asthma specialists in Australia. He uses injections even for Type 2 asthma (Non-eosinophilic asthma) that are targeted to the markers in your bloodstream.
This has given me some hope. So often I am told, "There is nothing more we can do for you".
Having some hope again is quite wonderful.
Have you experienced a collapsed lung?