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06 Dec 2004

Asthma Sufferer
Dear Doctor; I grew up in the Free State (Bloemfontein) and was always very healthy, never seriously ill. The only illnesses I had was suffering from Migraines and occassional bronchitis/colds. At age 23 my husband and I moved to Johannesburg, and I was diagnosed with Asthma. I was started on Ventolin and Flixotide. I am 28 now and my condition has since deteriorated even more. I am now using Ventolin and Seretide 50/100, with Combivent for the nebuliser. I have had bronchitis 3 times this year, and have been suffering from a lung infection for the last 3 weeks. I cannot return to my doctor as my medical aid is exhausted. I finished Tequin antibiotics 2 weeks ago, but am still not that much better. I still cough alot, bringing out mucus at times and my lungs/rib are are very sore. It sometimes sounds like an early morning smokers cough, but neither I nor my husband smoke and we rarely are in contact with real smokers. It truly feels like this is due to us living in Gauteng and the lack of clean air. We did move to Centurion last year, but are still working in Johannesburg. Do you think that moving to the Western Cape or any area with lower levels of pollution can improve my health? I am at the stage where I never have energy to do even the smallest things at home and even at work, including having fun or relaxing properly. This really worries me as I am a bit of a workaholic and a real busy body. My biggest hobbies arecleaning, painting (aritstic) and gardening, but since July I have just not had any energy and am constantly ill. This is really affecting my life negatively and feel that we do need to make a change, but I am not sure what to do. I did phone my doctor regarding my question of relocating, and she vaguely answered that she cannot depends... Relocation will be a huge thing, therefor we cannot act on ifs and maybes, it is not only the moving part,but also the career part. Please answer to the best of your ability, I cannot continue to live like this. I actually feel like dying, because then I don't have to worry about tight chestedness, constant coughing, severe headaches (not proper migraines as migraine medication brings little relief), very low energy levels, nausea, sleepless nights even though you are so tired you can barely do anything and just the overall quality of life associated with all of these symptoms. Things that used to be fun are no longer pleasant or a pleasure, it is strenuous to start the day most of the time, but then sleeping is also a battle on its own. Can you please help me? Kind regards, Marinda
Answer 703 views

01 Jan 0001

Marinda, the best would be to go on holiday to the area you intend on relocating to and see what happens. It is the only way you’re going to know for sure.
The other thing is of course that you might not be on optimal treatment (you can definitely increase the Seretide®) or that the wrong diagnosis has been made. So before you take any rash steps, see a pulmonologist and make sure that it is asthma and that you’re being treated optimally. Good luck.
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