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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, it has upended our life in so many ways. I can no longer live in my home city of 49 years.

The climate is too cold, it is also too dusty and there is too much pollen.

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 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.”

Finding hope

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.

Tell your asthma story here.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    5 days ago

    Hi Rosie – Thank you so much for sharing your story with us; you’ve been through a lot it sounds like. A new diagnosis surely can upend ones life and that of our family. I’m so glad you’ve found this community. I hope you’ll find it supportive and educational. Please let us know what happens after you visit the specialist; I’m very excited for you!
    Best, Lyn (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    5 days ago

    Hi again, RosieK, and thanks for posting your story here on our asthma.net website. Your story is well written and full of interesting details as well. You have touched on almost every single aspect of asthma, the illness, symptoms, triggers and management that we focus here on the website.
    I’m hopeful others in the community will read your story and identify with many of the very issues you have shared.
    Most important of all is the ‘hope’ you speak about. Hope is so important to the management of this condition. If you don’t mind, please keep us posted as to the progress you make when you this top physician. We appreciate your candor with the community. Wishing you well!
    Warmly,
    Leon (site moderator)

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