I had COVID in January 2022 and was diagnosed with post-COVID asthma and struggled to get my symptoms under control. My 2022 was full of hospital visits, ambulances and continuous doctors’ appointments. I think the longest time between attacks across the year was only 3 weeks.
I called 1800 ASTHMA several times over the year when I had questions. They would also send me follow-up information on email, call me back, and I get the newsletters and use the website to find information.
Being able to call 1800 ASTHMA made a big difference. Firstly, I discovered I was not taking my inhalers correctly. They listened to how I was using my devices and were able to direct me how to use the inhalers and preventers properly when I hadn’t quite been using the right technique. And then they directed me to the asthma website where I got to watch all the videos of people doing the various different things that they were doing. It was a short lesson, but as soon as you do that, you’re doing a much better job of managing your asthma. I’m more confident that I am doing everything I can for my medications to work best.
The phone calls also gave me more knowledge and confidence to manage my symptoms. When I was feeling anxious about not knowing what to do, I would ring the info line and the lovely people would take me through everything and I would always feel so much better. Sometimes I would call when I was having an attack, and I’d say ‘ahh which inhaler am I supposed to be using or what am I supposed to be doing?’ The calmness of the people on the phone has been very good.
The most significant change for me was the reduction in my anxiety about asthma because I now know I have the right information, know how to manage my symptoms and know I can speak to Asthma Australia whenever I have questions. Sometimes I would learn in passing about new asthma triggers, like cold weather or thunderstorm asthma, but I didn’t understand what it meant for me or how I could manage it.
I would ring Asthma Australia if I was worried or wanted to know what I am going to do if this happens. I would say ‘but what if this happens, what if I can’t talk so I can’t ring for an ambulance, what am I going to do when or if this happens…’ Every time I’ve had questions I would ring up and the people would talk me through the different things that might be happening, so I could be prewarned to what I would do in such a situation.
This has been significant because I have been trying to do everything right, but I haven’t been able to get my symptoms under control since being diagnosed. And I have had to take in so much new information.
Calling Asthma Australia took the anxiety out of not knowing what to do. It made me feel like I was being supported, that I wasn’t doing it by myself.
If you have any questions about asthma, you can book a call with one of our Asthma Educators or call 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462).