Long term health conditions

Nicola - Interview 13

Female
Age at interview: 24
Age at diagnosis: 7

Brief outline: Nicola has moderate asthma and needs to take her inhaler everyday to keep her symptoms under control. She does not get many asthma attacks now, but is prone to developing bronchitis which can last for up to a week. Nicola recently saw an asthma nurse and found it most useful. It provided an opportunity to discuss her asthma and treatment in detail.

Background: Nicola studied journalism and public relations and now works for a PA consultancy. She shares a house with other young professional girls. In her experience most people know about asthma. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

Audio & video

Nicola first became aware of being asthmatic when she was about 7 years old. She had a mild form of asthma and was given an inhaler that she remembers using once every three or so months. Initially she felt breathless when running and doing exercise but it didn't really bother her that much. It was only later, when she was already at secondary school, that her asthma symptoms began to trouble her and she was prescribed a Becotide inhaler to use twice a day. 

Nicola does not get many asthma attacks now, but is prone to developing bronchitis which can last for up to a week. She says that actually, with bronchitis, you are wheezing all the time and it is like having a permanent asthma attack. So it can be a scary experience, particularly if you don't feel your symptoms are responding to the treatment. She usually gets a course of antibiotics and that clears her bronchitis but for at least the first two days she needs to stay in bed as she feels very uncomfortable and tired.  

In her experience asthma has not affected any aspect of her life. She has found that most people know about it because it is a common condition and providing she carries her inhaler with her, she is unlikely to need any help from others. Likewise, she is able to take part in any physical activity provided she uses her inhaler before starting to exercise. On average she tries to go to the gym twice a week.

Recently and for the first time Nicola has seen an asthma nurse and found it most useful. It provided an opportunity to discuss her asthma and treatment in detail. Nicola found out that her asthma wasn't as well controlled as she had thought and she needed to change the type of her preventative inhaler to improve the control of her symptoms. 

Feedback

Please use the form below to tell us what you think of the site. We’d love to hear about how we’ve helped you, how we could improve or if you have found something that’s broken on the site. We are a small team but will try to reply as quickly as possible.

Please note that we are unable to accept article submissions or offer medical advice. If you are affected by any of the issues covered on this website and need to talk to someone in confidence, please contact The Samaritans or your Doctor.

Make a Donation to healthtalk.org





Find out more about how you can help us.

Send to a friend

Simply fill out this form and we'll send them an email