Feb 27 2017

Heavy breather

Many years ago, when I was roughly half the age I am now, I visited our family doctor as I had a wheezy chest.

He diagnosed me as having asthma.

Personally, I never felt that I was asthmatic, but well, I’m not a doctor.

As the years passed, I have had to visit the doctor many times with my wheeziness and at the surgery that I currently visit, it’s pot-luck as to which doctor you will get to see.

But each doctor has done exactly the same thing: they have looked at my notes and said “Ahh, you have asthma”. I think that once it is on your notes, that’s it. No further diagnosis required.

“I’ll prescribe you a new inhaler”, they say.

I explain that the inhalers do nothing. So they prescribe a different inhaler. I’ve had all the different colours: blue, brown, pink, purple.


The last time I visited the doctor with this particular ailment – last year – I kicked up a bit of a fuss when he again prescribed me an inhaler. “Hmmm… this HAS been going on for a while. Perhaps we should send you to see a chest specialist”, he said.

Hooray! At last!

And so, over a period of some weeks, I visited a very nice man at the local hospital.

He put me through a series of varied blood tests and lung capacity checks on special breathing apparatus.

And a CAT scan.

And another CAT scan.

And at the end of it all, he told me something I already knew: I don’t have asthma.

What I do have is bronchiectasis.

He then prescribed me a different inhaler. Different from any that I’d tried before.

He also gave me some breathing exercises to do.

And you know what, my chest feels the best it has been in twenty-five years.


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    • Brennig on February 28, 2017 at 09:18

    That’s very interesting. You certainly do seem to have a fondness for chests. As indeed to I. But not yours (though I am sure it’s lovely, etc). I wonder how many times they give out different coloured inhalers that are actually placebos? Anyway, you and all those cats, eh? Whodathortit?

      • Masher on February 28, 2017 at 15:23

      Not me!

    • Toffeeapple on February 28, 2017 at 18:59

    At last, a proper diagnosis. It took more than ten years for the doctors to realise that my back and leg pains were caused by Scoliosis – too late to operate unfortunately.

      • Masher on February 28, 2017 at 21:05

      Problem is, I suppose, the human body is a complicated thing and all sorts of things can affect all sorts of bits.

      I remember – many years ago – my cousin’s wife having terrible neck pain for a long, long time. Doctor’s and specialists and X-ray machines couldn’t find the problem. Then a chance meeting with a dentist at a party sorted her out, when he suggested she saw her own dentist and advised of the problem. She had two teeth taken out at the back of her mouth and the pain disappeared, never to return.

    • Dave on February 28, 2017 at 20:50

    Bronchiecstasis? I don’t know whether that was some sort of dinosaur or a diagnosis that your bronchial tubes are in ecstacy. Still I’m pleased for you. I felt the best chest I had felt for 25 years some time back and got my face slapped.

      • Masher on February 28, 2017 at 21:06


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