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I hate this (need some advice)

I was diagnosed with allergic asthma about 9 months ago (but I really feel like it's gone on way longer than that!) I was put on Singulair, which caused some female issues, so I was switched to Aerospan for a maintenance inhaler. That worked really well for me when I took it with a Zyrtec daily. At the beginning of February, I went to refill my Aerospan and I found out they discontinued it. So they put me on Qvar because that's the preferred RX through my insurance. After a few weeks, I realized the Qvar isn't doing a thing for me. So for two days, I didn't take my maintenance inhaler, and I've needed my rescue inhaler twice each day. I got a sample of Symbicort yesterday and took it last night and this morning. It seems ok, but I know I'm not up to 100% yet. How long would it take before I notice some actual improvement?

I'm trying to improve my very bad posture, which I think could be one of the things makes me feel like my asthma's probably worse than what it really is. It doesn't help that I'm anxious because of the asthma issue, so I just don't know. I'm super stressed (my husband lost his job at the end of January), and I have all kinds of anxiety-related issues, so I'm sure that's not helping either. I guess I just need to know that it will get better. It's weird because if I do something like take a bath and read a book or go on Pinterest or something, I can take my mind off of it and I start to feel better. That has to mean something good, right?

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  • Pljohns

    HUFFINPUFF-it sounds like your anxiety is irritating your asthma some (but I'm not a doctor).  I'm so sorry they discontinued the medication that was working for you and the QVAR isn't doing too great.  It took 2-3 different inhaled steroids for me to find one that really helped me (or as well as anything did).  I take QVAR and I guess it does OK-I have to use it because I use a LABA that requires you to use an inhaled steroid with it.  

    Give yourself some time-it sounds like you have a lot on your mind and your plate right now.  I hope your DH can find a job soon so that worry is off you both.  Hope the symbacort works for you and if it does, they have a savings card and your dr might be able to get you samples.

  • Kathy P

    Hugs Hufflinpuff  I'm sorry the change in meds is causing issues. It's really hard when meds that are working are discontinued.

    Did you know that ? All your current stress could be a contributing factor as well. Also, you said you have allergic asthma – it's !

    As for how for the new meds to work – that varies. I've generally noticed an improvement in a few days, but the full effect takes a week or two. How long did your doctor say to try this before letting him know how things are?

  • Marie E Natzke

    Huffinpuff,

    What ever you do don't get discouraged.  Easy to say harder to do.  Your body needs time to heal.  I've been on Symbicort for 7 years now.  I do ok on it.  Sometimes I need to switch to the higher dose but after a time I can switch back to the lower dose.  I think it took me a good month for my cough to calm down after starting Symbicort,  After about a week I noticed when I was close to taking the next dose I would have a problem but as time went on the time between doses was easier to get through.  Now if i'm a couple hours late taking it I start coughing bad, but within the hour I settle down. 

    Sorry about your husbands job.  I've been there myself.  Hopefully he can find something soon.  Will keep you in my prayers.

  • HufflinPuff

    Thank you guys. I really feel like the anxiety is what's making things worse (well that and my posture!) I did do my rescue inhaler once today, but it seemed to be pretty helpful. I talked to the pharmacist today and he said that they tried to send over the rx for Flovent again, but my insurance company said that they want me to try another medicine called Duo Air. I'm going to pick it up on Monday and see how it goes! This weather is terrible for asthma and allergies!!!!

  • LK

    Hi Hufflinpuff,  Sorry you are going through tough times right now!  It will get better!!

    My doctor told me that some of my asthma maintenance medicines would take up to three weeks to really start working.  Stress certainly can have an impact on asthma.  It is a trigger for me. 

    I need to improve my posture, too!  Especially when I'm sitting down, I start to slouch way too much.  Sometimes I have to make a conscious effort to take a slow, deep breath when I finally realize that I've been breathing shallowly ( not sure that's a real word     )  for some time.  

    I was diagnosed with asthma about five and a half years ago.  It took my doctor and meme quite awhile to find out which meds worked for me.  Some would work for awhile and then not seem to help much. 

    You'll make it!!  We've all been in your shoes – trying to figure out what to do and what meds work.  Will keep you and your husband in our prayers.

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Hufflinpuff! I hear you on the anxiety AND the bad posture and wondering when a new med will kick in.

    Could you call back to your doc and ask (even just the nurse), "How long should it take for me to see improvement?"

    Also, I'm really impressed with your replies that I saw on our thread on how to manage stress.  — I know when I did even a home-based DIY yoga, I saw my stress level go down and my posture improve. (Those planks and Four-Limbed Staff Poses really helped to build upper body strength! )

    Your mention of that has reminded me to try to include more yoga stretches and meditation in my day. 

    And a big, big on your husband's job loss! I'm sending good vibes your way that he finds the perfect job SOON!

  • Melissa G

    @HufflinPuff how are you doing? My youngest dd has terrible posture from wearing a backpack all the time (it carries her feeding bag/pump & IV bag/pump).  Her physical therapist showed her several exercises and taped her shoulders so she couldn't slouch. Within a few weeks her posture was slowly improving. 

  • HufflinPuff

    You are all so wonderful!! Things are slowly getting better. I started the DuoAir yesterday morning and I’m optimistic. The nice thing is that the weather has been cold so my allergies haven’t been awful, so I have time to get used to the medicine. 

    I’ve been doing yoga this week and it’s been helping. I’m trying harder to not hunch over, and that’s going pretty well. I haven’t had a lot of anxiety thankfully, and I’ve been trying to remember that if I can take a very deep breath, it’s anxiety (not my asthma). That has been more powerful at stopping my anxiety than I ever expected!! 

    Melissa, what kinds of exercises did the doctor give your daughter to do? I’d like to implement something like that into my routine!!

  • K8sMom2002
    HufflinPuff posted:

    I’ve been trying to remember that if I can take a very deep breath, it’s anxiety (not my asthma). That has been more powerful at stopping my anxiety than I ever expected!!

    Oh, wow, what a great light bulb moment! And yes, a nice deep breath can calm me. 

    Melissa, I'm interested in some of those exercises, too!

  • Debbie Alves

    Hi, Hufflinpuff,

    I‘ve had asthma since I was 6 months old (62 now), so all your issues are ones I’m very familiar with. And I agree with the others that you seem to be doing a good job in trying different medications, but getting new ones when the earlier ones don’t work.

    A few suggestions:

    1.  Schedule a new appointment with your allergy /asthma doctor to discuss the drugs and your anxiety.

    2. Be aware that some of the meds you are on worsen anxiety all on their own.  With an underlying anxiety problem, the sheer effort it can take to cope with asthma and new meds and side effects, and the way asthma and many drugs can make it feel as though there’s insufficient air – I’d worry if you WEREN’T feeling anxious!  That said, I find sitting somewhere relatively quiet and cool, with cool air blowing near my face, and just doing the deep breathing exercises for

    meditation, can calm the anxiety quickly for me. But discuss this all with your doctor.

    3. PT might be good for you, especially the posture aspect.  I’ve worked with my medical group’s PT department for 5 years on a wide variety of problems and they’ve always been terrific.  Now they are partners as I try to improve some of my problems/conditions.

    4. Struggling with all this, on top of family issues and economic problems, plus the loss of your husband’s job must be terrifying for you both.  I can definitely relate.  But a couple of ideas:  suggest your husband, if he hasn’t already, start networking by attending any meetings of professionals groups, contact his college career placement office (it shouldn’t matter how long he’s been out), and perhaps volunteer for nonprofits in the field or allied, or even with a company he’d like to work for  - it’s an old gambit that’s worked for me. And be sure to explain this situation to your doctor.  He might be able to intercede and get you into some of the support programs that get some of your meds for free or much lower cost than even your insurance. Don’t be prideful – asthma is **** expensive, even with insurance!

    5.  Lastly, you need two copies of your insurance company drug formulary (one each for you and your doctor).  They should have mailed it to you last November or so.  You also should be able to download a copy from their website.  That will help your doctor choose drugs they are likely to cover and tell her/him about requirements for steps (trying other drugs first) or pre-authorization.  Keep track on your daily calendar of problems like increased anxiety – which she can use to appeal to the insurance company to continue covering the old medicine. You have a right to appeal, and even to appeal a second denial  but there are  strict time requirements and details required from your doctor, so you need to birddog it all.

    Good luck amd let us know how you are doing!

     

     

     

  • LK

    Debbie,  You have so many terrific, very useful suggestions!  

    Debbie Alves posted:

    2. Be aware that some of the meds you are on worsen anxiety all on their own.  With an underlying anxiety problem, the sheer effort it can take to cope with asthma and new meds and side effects, and the way asthma and many drugs can make it feel as though there’s insufficient air – I’d worry if you WEREN’T feeling anxious!  

    This one is something I hadn't thought of, but holds true for us all.

    Thank you for reminding me that just daily coping with asthma and all the associated meds, side effects, and not getting enough air is enough to make any person anxious!  Just knowing that is a stress reliever right there! 

    You are very wise!! 

  • Melissa G

    To be honest, I am no sure what exercises she was doing. Bekah would go off with the physical therapist and come back to me after about an hour. At home, Bekah would just do her exercises. One thing that definitely helped was getting her shoulders taped. The taping wouldn't let her shoulders roll forward.