I am Roger. I’ve been an asthmatic all my life.

I’ve played a lot of sport in my time especially rugby, badminton and skiing none of which were hindered by my condition – indeed, the pulmonary exercise certainly helped me to keep active. In later life the sport stopped due to injury and arthritis and inevitably, given my lifestyle, the weight increased!

5 years ago, I had a serious exacerbation and was taken to Stoke Mandeville. On discharge, I was given a choice of hospitals to follow treatment and investigation. I opted for Harefield Hospital as it is an acknowledged leader in its field. As part of the investigation, I had a series of allergy tests on my arm. When the nurse saw the results, she screamed that she had never seen anyone react to that degree – of the 24 pinpricks I must have reacted to 21 and some quite drastically!

The Consultant then suggested that now being defined as a chronic atopic asthmatic, I go the Royal Brompton for trials on Omalizumab injections (trade name Xolair). This is to boost my immune system. (Google it – as it is created from the ovaries of Chinese hamsters! How on earth did that come about?!)

The staff were very thorough, and Lung Function Tests (LFT) had to be undergone and checked by a doctor before the injections could be administered. After the injections, I was obliged to wait 2 hours to ensure I didn’t suffer an adverse reaction and anaphylactic shock from the subcutaneous injections. Fortunately, there was no adverse reaction, but I still must carry an epi-pen just in case.

I now have the injections every 4 weeks at Harefield Hospital but still with the rigorous health and LFT checks before being administered by the very pleasant, professional and personable staff.

On my last visit to Harefield on April 1st, 2020, and because of the current pandemic, I was asked to self-administer the injections and prescribed enough to cover 3 treatments over the next 12 weeks, to the end of June.

In summary, my chest is good and I certainly sleep well!

Published on 11 May, 2020 (updated 19 Nov, 2020)

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