I’ve had asthma for years. I spent many years believing I was just fat and unfit, and that was the reason I couldn’t keep up. Every year after we graduated from uni, at least twice a year, a group of my friends and I would go away to the lakes – to talk, to walk, to party, to catch up. I was always the butt of the jokes because I huffed and puffed my way to the top of the hills we walked. I couldn’t keep up. I laughed at myself, but secretly, got more and more annoyed that I was so unfit. At home in London, I worked out 3-5 times a week and still I couldn’t improve my ‘fitness’.
In 1995 at a wedding with a friend, his father, a GP, explained my ‘unfit’ condition was actually asthma. Peak flow, something I’d never heard of, was 275 which was apparently quite bad.
For many years I battled with inhalers, telling myself I could control it. In recent years, I haven’t been able to. And more recently, it’s gotten really bad – again. Last week, I got a new inhaler – that’s three in total. This new one gives me palpitations for about 4-5 hours after I take it. I start shaking on the inside and then it reaches my extremities and continues. It’s pretty freaky. The good news is that my peak flow is 400 – for the first time in 13 years. Does that mean I’ve been on the wrong inhalers for all this time?