Peak Flow

Well, since I had my chest infection, it took me around seven weeks to shift the germs, helped by two prolonged periods of antibiotics and a Becotide inhaler to try and calm the lively asthmatic lungs down a bit. Side effects = one bout of thrush (*), fading and returning voice and feeling very tired for over a month. (Mind you – work has been very busy too).

I booked an appointment at my GP’s Asthma Clinic, which is a somewhat grandiose title for meeting a nurse on a Tuesday evening to make sure you know how to take your meds and sort out any new prescriptions you might be running out of.

I knew it had been a while since I’d visited the Asthma Clinic, since my Dr’s receptionist had started leaving ransom notes on my repeat prescriptions with phrases like “We will not give you any more meds until you book in with the asthma clinic”.

Yeah right.  Anyone would think asthma wasn’t a life-threatening illness.

Anyway, since I’d had asthma problems as a side-effect of my chest infection, the time was right to get a check up, so I went along this evening. I told the nurse I was pleased to be better after nearly two months and two lots of antibiotics, and now that I was better I’d stopped taking my Becotide(**). She grimaced.

“Not good?”

“Well no. Do you think you’ve been a bit naughty in stopping your steriods so early? A bit premature, perhaps?”

“Not really. Until this episode I haven’t taken the Becotide for about 5 years, and I’ve managed fine. ”

She explained that if I caught another cold, perhaps I should at least have a spare one to get going with straight away. I think she realised she wasn’t going to win an argument with me, but she twisted my arm about being prepared for next time, and I agreed to a repeat prescription.

I did my peak flow and I was fine. Up to 430 again. Great.

The she said I could go.

Really? Is that it?


Could I come back in a year’s time, though? Just to make sure I’m seen once a year.

Turns out today was my first clinic appointment for nine years. Since I last went along in 1997 I’ve got married, seperated, got divorced and have started a new long-term relationship that’s already three years in.

But then the clincher – It transpires that the surgery get paid for every preventative health-care appointment they have – they get bonus points if they can get their chronic patients (asthma, diabetes, hypertension etc) in once a year too.

And there was me thinking they were doing it for my benefit. 

*I won’t go into too much detail, but imagine rubbing sand into your most delicate areas, especially the areas you pee from. That’s kind of what thrush feels like. Very uncomfortable.  I don’t recommend it.

**Becotide is a steriod and a ‘preventer’ drug, often taken in an inhaler format. It helps to reduce the inflammation in the asthmatic lung when used regularly and reduces the frequency of asthma attacks, so you need your blue reliever inhaler much less often.  


2 Responses to “Peak Flow”

  1. 1 Feathers 13 December 2006 at 8:45 am

    Interesting. I have found a fellow boob keeper…
    I have the same problem/delight. Weight can go up and down but the boobies are still more than ample. (I read the comments from your last post)
    Anyway, that wasn’t what I was going to comment on.
    I find it disturbing that the surgeries feel they have the power to ‘with hold’ medication in return for an appointment. My daughter takes Thyroxine for her Hypothyroidism. She is under the constant care of our local hospital but it is the surgery who are responsible for her repeat prescriptions. She has to take 125 micro gms a day for the rest of her life in order to grow, stay mobile, have her hair/bones/skin replenish as it does for most of us without help and yet they tell me they will with hold it if I don’t get an appointment.
    There had to be something in it for them.

  2. 2 drunkenspaniel 13 December 2006 at 4:45 pm

    Hi Feathers – good to hear from you. My mother has hypothyroidism too – and at least that condition allows you free prescriptions. We asthmatics have to pay for everything still – we’re not exempt. Now for me that’s not so bad because my asthma isn’t really much of a problem, but lots of people really do suffer with the condition daily. The idle threat re witholding meds, I believe, is an empty threat. They’d have no legs to stand on if they followed it through.

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