I'm so unclear on how frequently it is ok to use the rescue inhaler. I've only been on Advair for about four weeks, but that's still long enough that it should be effective. I have experienced definite improvement. But I'm still using the albuterol a lot.
It seems like I'm only supposed to need it less than a couple of times weekly, but that some people need to use it before exercising. That's more than a couple of times weekly though.
I just got from a vacation at 8000 feet a.s.l., a vacation centered about horseback riding. Obviously, this was planned and booked before the asthma diagnosis. It might have been better to postpone it, but my doctor didn't seem concerned. I used it a lot on the trip.
Actually, I'm still using the albuterol multiple times daily, even after four weeks on the Advair. I dunno if this is because the Advair is not the right drug, or because I need to add a different thing, or if it's merely because I'm still having after-effects of having such a prolonged acute flare-up.
Today I feel like I'm coming down with another cold. I dunno if all the coughing tonight is asthma or a cold or asthma beign aggravated by a cold. I just dunno. Don't know if I should be using the albuterol or not.
I'm just confused. Don't understand really the role the albuterol serves. I don't know if I'm not at normal "maintenance" yet because I'm on the wrong meds or because I'm just being very active lately, not to mention stressed out, and those extra stressors call for stepping it up, or because I'm still recovering from being pretty sick for several weeks fairly recently.
Your rescue inhaler is a quick acting bronchodilator, it relaxes the muscles in and around your airways so that they relax and your airways widen, making it easier to breathe. However your daily meds should be taking care of the inflammation in your lungs so that you don't need to use your rescue inhaler as much.
Yes, you should see your doctor. More than 2-3 times a week usage of the albuterol means your asthma is not under control. This does not include those times you premedicate for cardio. I have asthma and I jog 3-4 times a week. I have to do 2 puffs of albuterol 15-20 minutes before jogging. Outside of that usage, I haven't had a single puff of albuterol so far this year.
Now, that's well controlled asthma.
Well, you folks were right. I had planned on calling the doctor Friday, but then the office was closed Friday after noon, so I decided to just wait until Monday. I figured that I just had a cold and that could probably make it worse.
Well, I spent last night in the ER, my first time going in for asthma. They were great, didn't have me wait at all, but I was still there all night. I mostly cough with my asthma, and don't wheeze much at all. At first they seemed a little skeptical because I wasn't wheezing, but I was coughing so much I couldn't catch my breathe, and my numbers weren't good. I can't remember what they were because I was so focused on breathing.
I'm now doing a five day course of prednisone, and they gave me a peak flow meter. I have read the those are often less useful for people who mostly cough with asthma, but I think it could also be helpful for me to tell when I start having real problems. It was around 350 this morning--they said it should be close to 500--but takng albuterol helped.
I'm trying to rest and recuperate from the long night now. I feel pretty funky. The albuterol in the inhaler makes me a little shaky, but right now hands and forearms feel positively tingly, almost pins-and-needles feeling. I wonder if that's left over from all the albuterol or something? I had two breathing breathments, the first she said was a "high dosage" but I don't know what that means, and there was O2 in it. The second was just regular, same as I got in my dr's office. My throat and chest are incredibly sore, but feel surprisingly by around noon. I wonder if the prednisone is starting to work already.
Anyway, I'm now under orders to contact my doctor Monday, which I was gonna do anyway. I am thinking about contacting the dr on call to try to arrange to go in first thing Monday.
It's just frustrating because I'm already on Advair 250/50 and it doesn't seem my asthma is that serious generally, although it probably has been lately. I'm just not sure what the next step is, and I dunno if my doctor does either. Refer me to a pulmonologist maybe.
Anyway, thanks for your advice. Wish I'd taken it sooner...