Saturday, 3 June 2017

Asthma and Wobbly sock knitting

On Thursday my friend Pam came over to get me started on sock-knitting again.  In return I rehomed my late friend Annie's peg loom and other weaving things with Pam, along with a sack of Annie's fleece (Alpaca).  A little bit less in the Junk Room now, and they have gone to the Right Home.

Pam showed me how to get started on the magic loop needles, but I fear we were talking too much for me to pay sufficient attention.  I tried to carry on but got in a pickle, as I had forgotten much of what she'd showed me.  I made errors, unravelled it, and then got started again in a very wonky way and if I were to show you the ends (or sides as you are looking at the sock in the photo), you would notice a large hole which I shall have to repair later with needle and yarn, but I am now getting on famously and enjoying myself .  It has been 5 years since I first learned sock-knitting, and about 4 years since two pairs got abandoned at the heel stage and probably a year since I did much crafting, as we have been so busy with the antiques and Fairs.  I shall stick to magic loop socks in future I think.  Much easier than playing pick-up-sticks with DPNs.

As for the Asthma, it has been a bit dodgy for a couple of months now.  I had my asthma review two weeks back and the Respiratory Nurse, who I trust implicitly and WAY ahead of my GP, who is not an asthma specialist, said I needed to have a stronger inhaler to get my asthma properly under control.  Reluctantly (as it seems like Getting Worse) I agreed to try a once-a-day inhaler called Relvar.  Well, it worked for the first 8 hours, though my lungs felt like they had been in a sand-storm in a desert.  Then it ceased to work - just walking about the room was a struggle and trying a few steps up a slight slope had me gasping for breath in the afternoon.  I went on until the evening, when I started to worry about getting through the night (as it was once a day only).  I spoke to the OOH Doctor and he said there would be no problem in my topping up with my old Fostair inhaler.  Well, I ended up doing that for 5 days, getting no better in the breathing department.  I put myself back on the Fostair, but continued to struggle and my Ventolin inhaler has been in my pocket all the time.

I spoke to my GP a few days later and asked for the other alternative the Nurse and I had discussed, which was the next strength Fostair.  I tried that - lungs still felt flayed, I still couldn't climb even slopes, and was waking at night too.  I thought it might be pollen, but peak flow levels still where they normally were.

On Thursday I got an appt. with one of the other GPs at my surgery, and asked to have a fresh prescription for my old Fostair.  She declared my breathing clear, and NO asthma problems (???!)  I am taking it at twice the usual number of puffs, as indicated when I have breathing problems.  Today I rested up, and have been amazed to find that my peak flow has shot up to 500, and stayed there.  Now, 500 is a mythical figure to me - unattainable I thought, although I did have a brief blip with it in February.  I will speak to the nurse on Monday and see what she thinks.  Perhaps the stronger Fostair at one puff twice a day may do it (since two puffs was making me worse).

Bookwise, I am having a Val McDermid season and got this one, which is ticking the right boxes for me.  No murders in this one, well - YET!  I also had a rush of blood to the head and bought myself (Amazon Prime) a boxed set of 6 seasons of Wire in the Blood, which I watched 4 episodes of back-to-back this morning.  I've never done any back-to-back programme watching before and it was a good distraction from asthma problems.

Let's hope I can get my asthma right as we have a small window of opportunity to have a couple of days away, but only if I have sorted my breathing out - don't want to end up in A&E in the West Country . . .


  1. I do hope you can get things sorted so you get your break away. It all sounds very complicated

    1. Me too Sue. We only ever get a couple of days away a year, so such times are very special to us. The inhaler business really just comes down to getting the right dose of the right inhaler and getting my asthma controlled again.

  2. Does the pollen this time of year have any effect on your condition? Hope it soon improves.

    1. Yes it does Pat. Yet - although my lungs feel like they are besieged by the pollen, my peak flow says otherwise, which is a bit odd!

  3. Your symptoms sound like mine, it was assumed I had asthma, however a few years ago I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis and mild asthma for which I take ventolin, symbicort, spireva/ tiotropium, mometasone nose spray, also have antihistamines prescribed for use as and when I need them. Listed them all in case it may help some one else.

    I'm supposed to do various exercises to clear the muck from my lungs and take exercise, walking being one of the best, I do struggle on slopes, hills and stairs, some days I can be extremely tired in spite of sleeping well, often too tired to knit or crochet. There is great support around, my DH, Royal Brompton hospital, our local respiratory care team and our GP practice, all these liaise and monitor my wellbeing. The local respiratory care team offer pulmonary rehabilitation courses for living with lung conditions, also I find Pilates a great help with breathing, need a good instructor who emphasises 'exhale, and 'inhale' .

    It took many years before this was recognised, after all I assumed everyone was puffed out after climbing up steep slopes or running, it appears it was the result of having whooping cough, measles and conjunctivitis at the age of five. There maybe an inherited weakness, my great grandmother had asthma listed on her death certificate, some of her off spring died from bronchitis, like me they lived and grew up in London.

    Best wishes, I do hope your medication is sorted out for you, perhaps ask if you can see a specialist consultant?