My name is Svetlana Ivošević. I’m 58 years old, married and I have two grown-up daughters. I am a lawyer by profession and I practice law.
I got asthma when I was 17. It started with a severe gasping for air at 3 a.m., it was in April. I can remember, like it was yesterday, the fear of shortness of breath, and the panic because I could not breathe.
In the first few years, the asthma attacks happened up to two times a year, during spring and autumn. People say that these are the periods when the grasses bloom and when they dry. As I am allergic to pollen and dust mites, it was a logical sequence of events.
I started getting treatment at the ‘Internal B’ clinic in Belgrade, with Dr Vladimir Zamurović. I was given desensitisation shots and, as far as I can recall, they helped. At that time, acupuncture therapy started being used at the VMA (Military Medical Academy), so I also tried that. I used a Ventolin pump and aminophylline-retard tablets.
My condition remained stable until my first pregnancy, and then everything changed drastically. Due to problems with my first and second pregnancy, I had numerous asthma attacks and could hardly function without intravenous injections of Urbason and Aminophylline. I ended up being admitted for hospital treatment at the Institute in Sremska Kamenica for the first time in 1984.
In the following years, due to work obligations, and for other personal reasons, caring for my health was not my priority, so I treated the symptoms with increased doses of medication. Numerous colds, pneumonia, and several surgeries followed, after which my immune system declined more and more, and my ability to breathe and move rapidly decreased. During this time my therapy remained unchanged and it all came down to taking aminophylline, Urbason, Ventolin (I tried
using other pumps too, such as Berodual, Seretide, Aloprol, but they didn’t work for me and I always went back to Ventolin) and due to frequent infections, penicillin, until I experienced a penicillin shock in 2000. It was a traumatic experience.
Finally, in April 2019, when my lung function was so weak that I could no longer even speak, let alone walk (35% and 36%), I was admitted for hospital treatment under the care of doctor Sanja Hromiš. That was the first time I felt that a doctor cared for the patient.
My therapy was changed and since then I have been using Duo Respimat spray and Spiriva and prednisone tablets. I have been on biological therapy since January 2020.