My asthma story: Edel

"There wasn’t as much known about the different ways in which asthma can affect people when I was child. I always had a cough as a child but no wheeze. I began to experience episodes of shortness of breath at around 19 and was diagnosed with asthma by a GP.

In my early twenties my asthma began to progress and I was prescribed preventer inhalers. For a time during after the birth of my fourth child, my asthma became much more difficult to manage. This progressed to getting more frequent chest infections that didn’t quite clear. This eventually landed me in hospital quite sick around 2011. At this stage the respiratory team got involved and after discharge they really worked hard with me to try and help get my asthma under control.

Having asthma and being a parent can be incredibly challenging as you may not always have the luxury of really getting a chance to rest and get better when you have been unwell. For a few years, I had long periods of being really well with flare ups in-between and had taken up running with my local Fit4Life. After having COVID my asthma has changed in how it affects me and it has became more difficult to manage.

I think sometimes when you have a chronic condition you you can become complacent and maybe not understand you are as sick as you are when you have a flare up. I used not to get acute asthma attacks out of the blue, but I do now. They can be quite unsettling , especially as my asthma now is behaving differently.

The Asthma Adviceline had been a huge help to me. I have regular phone appointments with Ciara, one of the Asthma Society Nurses, and these are invaluable to me. You really feel they are in your corner and just trying to help you to work towards a healthier you. Those phone calls have helped me get more benefit from my hospital appointments by knowing how to ask key questions from the doctors in the respiratory team.

If I had one piece of advice it would be if you want better control of your asthma, you have to become an active participant in your asthma control. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either, because your questions will not just help you learn but  they may even help your doctors help learn more about your asthma."

Find out  more about our services for people with asthma and their carers here.