I have a just returned from a holiday where I have had to seek medical attention due to my asthma (to be more precise, a chest infection). This is a first for me and so I felt that I would share my experience. I have previously written about the problems that us asthmatics face when going on holiday, the planning etc and some of the problems encountered while on holiday. The links to these can be found below:
Therefore I won’t spend lots of time going into detail about how I prepared for my holiday and what medication etc that I took with me. Needless to say I took everything, or so I thought…….
We flew to Majorca on the Sunday and arrived in our resort of Puerto Pollensa early in the afternoon. We love the resort and stayed at the same apartments as we usually do. We had previously stayed there in June which proved to be too hot (temperatures were into the mid 30’s every day) and so we booked the first week in October in the hope of temperatures in the low to mid 20’s and that is what we got. Despite the odd shower on the first 2 days of the holiday the temperature was great and by the 3rd day of the holiday the sun began to shine and we hardly saw another cloud for the rest of the holiday.
The temperatures were perfect for my asthma and the only thing wrong with me was a stiff neck which was causing some discomfort. Then on the Tuesday I started to cough pretty badly, initially the cough was non productive, I started to suffer from shortness of breath and my sats started to drop. I suspected a chest infection, I seem to be on a continuous run of chest infections recently, I have had 2 infections and Pleurisy in the last 6 weeks. The fear of another chest infection grew as I became worse on the Wednesday, I was needing my nebuliser and reliever inhaler more and more. I then started to cough up some coloured mucus which is a tell tale sign of an infection.
I knew that I needed some antibiotics and I had none with me (my GP always used to prescribe me an emergency pack which I would start if I cane down with an infection. Unfortunately making an appointment to see my own GP is virtually impossible and whenever I see another GP I am told that it is not policy to prescribe an emergency pack of antibiotics). By the time we got to Thursday morning we realised that despite increasing my steroids, inhalers and using my nebuliser I was not going to get through the rest of the holiday.
I wasn’t sleeping, I was struggling to do anything and my holiday was going downhill rapidly. We decided to call in at a pharmacy close to our apartments but there was nothing that they could offer and so suggested visiting a doctor / health centre.
We tracked down the nearest health centre and asked to see a doctor. This was a lot easier than expected, I explained things to the receptionist and she told me to take a seat in the waiting area. Within 10 minutes a female doctor called me in. Her English was superb and she quickly agreed that I had a chest infection and that I needed antibiotics. I went through my condition with her along with my medication (thankfully I always carry my medication list with me).
Within 10 minutes I was leaving the health centre (minus 40 euros) but with a prescription for the antibiotics. A trip back to the pharmacy and I was soon in possession of the antibiotics (costing an additional 5 euros). So the whole process cost me 45 euros and took less than a couple of hours and I had my medication.
I managed to get through the rest of my holiday without any drama, the antibiotics seemed to start and help pretty quickly and thanks to taking things easy I still got some enjoyment from my holiday. I managed to get a sun tan, I enjoyed some great meals, did some reading and listened to some good music, so despite the infection I had a relaxing holiday.
The flight home and the cooler temperature back in England have knocked me back again, my cough which had started to ease has got worse again and my sats have dropped since getting home. Hopefully it won’t take long before I make a full recovery and fingers crossed that I don’t have another chest infection anytime soon!