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.