Stephen, age 25, was diagnosed with asthma very recently. He is white British, single and works as a delivery driver. Stephen has been prescribed a preventative inhaler and a ventolin inhaler to use when needed. He is due to return to see his GP soon for a review to see how effective the medication has been.
Stephen was diagnosed with asthma just a few weeks before he was interviewed for his interview with healthtalkonline. He had always been fit and actively involved in sporting activities but when he returned from living in Australia for a couple of years and tried to get back into running and training he found himself breathless and was feeling less fit than he had been. At times he was feeling fatigued and breathless when he was sitting at home doing very little and there were also times when he found himself unable to sleep because his chest felt tight and he was wheezy. After a visit to the GP he was given two inhalers a preventer and a reliever, which he is now using regularly and he is due to visit the doctor again soon to see how effective they have been. He has used the preventer inhaler each morning but has tended to forget to take the second dose later in the day. He has used the ventolin [reliever] inhaler a few times but has found that the preventer inhaler has improved his stamina and he feels positive about being able to keep the asthma well controlled. His GP told him that he had been diagnosed with asthma at around the same age as Stephen is, and that it had not impacted greatly on his lifestyle and Stephen felt encouraged by this story and hopeful that he would be able to continue his sporting activities and improve his fitness levels. Although it’s very early days he said he felt concerned to some degree about the possibility of becoming dependent on using inhalers and is hoping that he will be able to stop using them at some point in the future, although at the moment he doesn’t know how realistic that would be. Stephen’s mother has suffered from asthma for as long as he can remember and he feels that to a certain extent people can become dependent upon taking medication as a matter of habit and that it would be preferable to be able to keep fit and healthy without reliance on medical intervention.
Stephen attributes getting asthma to having taken up smoking whilst he was living in Australia and has given up completely since his return home. He feels that keeping a positive mindset is important.
Don’t let it take over your life. Don’t, you know, don’t hide from it but don’t let it control you. You control it.