Who has asthma, what does it feel like, and when

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Scent of Cedar II, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    And when did you first begin experiencing symptoms, and what are you doing for it?

    What have you found it necessary to avoid?

    What helps you the most?

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions for the best way to choose a physician, other than asking friends? (And most of our friends down here are not from here, either).

    It seems I never have recovered from whatever it was that happened to me last summer.

    I was treated for Lyme's/ehrlichiosis. During the course of that treatment, I developed pneumonia and was very sick and blah, blah, blah.

    And now, I have episodes of breathlessness which seem to be connected to certain foods, to my cat, to cutting the dog's hair ~ to just about anything, really.

    It's fightening and very frustrating, too.

    I can't be allergic to EVERYTHING!?!

    Can I?

    I was given an albuterol inhaler last summer, and am still using that periodically. I have found Mucinex to be helpful in relieving the feelings of breathlessness as well ~ sometimes, more helpful than the inhaler.

    I have never experienced anything like this. Apparently, asthmatic responses to environmental allergens can develop at any time ~but, cheesh, to everything?!?

    Thanks in advance for your repsonses, everybody.

    Barbara

    :smile:
     
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    You use the albuterol, I assume, as needed?

    When I got sick this past summer (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)) they put me on 3 inhalers. 3 maintenance and the albuterol for immediate help. I quit smoking at that time too, and I also used Mucinex to get rid of the nasties that I was coughing up. If certain things are making it harder for you to breathe, you very well may have developed adult onset allergies. However, I would not be 100% sure that breathlessness is connected to allergies, either. They are not always. I would see an allergist and a pullmonologist (and definitely avoid things that bother you). When it gets warm and humid, I literally have to stay in my house in the A/C and do nothing. I can't get a cat. I can't get a fish (the mold). This knocked me out. I'm pretty useless.

    You have my empathies. Really.
     
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Barbara, before I would worry too much about treatment, I'd want an accurate diagnosis. It sounds like you need to go back to square one and start that process over with these new symptoms.

    How does your insurance work? Do you have to start with your primary physician and then go to a specialist from there? Can your insurance company make a physician recommendation?

    It sounds like you need to be seen by a specialist, get some tests run, maybe some xrays, and certainly allergy testing should be included as well. Where are you in this process?

    Sounds scary. :frown: I'm sorry!

    Suz
     
  4. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    Thanks, Big Bad and Suz.

    Suz, you asked where I was in this process?

    Squarely in denial!

    :rofl:

    But I am going to have to do something, as this just isn't going away ~ in fact, it seems so much worse.

    Big Bad, we are down in Florida, now.

    It could be the humidity ~ and there have been mold issues with these buildings(which were mid-construction when Charlie hit).

    I think I am alright insurance-wise, Suz. We have enormous co-pays to begin with, but for anything serious, we will be alright, I think.

    Not that I have anything serious.

    :geek:

    Barbara
     
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Scent of Cedar II</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

    And when did you first begin experiencing symptoms, and what are you doing for it?

    <span style="color: #3333FF">I was 3 I believe and shortly after my first attack, I was tested using surface testing on the skin: they inject just under the surface of your skin a tiny amount of allergens up and down your arm, usually only 4-6 at a time, depending on the patient. Then you wait, usually 20 minutes and see the reaction. My mom said I was allergic to everything. </span>

    What have you found it necessary to avoid?

    <span style="color: #3333FF">Well, since I was allergic to everything, a parent these days would likely remove all of those things. But not my mom. We had various and many animals growing up. I built an immunity against them and they weren't a problem for me until I moved out of our house and my immunity against them fell. We were supposed to avoid carpeting and stuffed animals, drapes in the bedrooms; we were supposed to line our matresses since bed mites can cause allergies. I was supposed to avoid chocolate (yeah right) and strawberries, excessive dairy, and much more. The ONLY thing my mom made me avoid was cut grass. Whenever a neighbor cut the grass, I was locked in my room with the windows closed tight. I'd have to wait an hour before I could go out. </span>

    What helps you the most?

    <span style="color: #3333FF">When I was little, I only took medication when it was needed. As I grew, there were better medications and various ways of taking them. NOW, I am under the care of an allergist and I take two daily medications, Singular & Advair, which have helped me to maintain my asthma and I almost never use my emergency albuterol inhaler. I also have in my possession a nebulizer machine, which if you've ever gone to the hospital for your symptoms, you may have received this treatment. You put medications into a vial and then hold the mouthpiece and the medications are turned into a vapor that you breathe in. I hate doing it, but when I have a cold, it works wonders to keep me going.</span>

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions for the best way to choose a physician, other than asking friends? (And most of our friends down here are not from here, either).

    <span style="color: #3333FF">I would speak with your regular DR about your symptoms and concerns and request a referral for both a pulmonary DR and an allergist. You should be evaluated by a pulmonary DR and he/she may then suggest that you get your regular care from an allergist. My allergist treats my asthma and allergies. years ago my left lung collapsed twice and I was then seen by a pulmonary guy who was great. He was there for the surgery on my lung as well as aftercare but then he referred me back to my allergist for regular maintenance of my allergies and asthma. </span>

    I was given an albuterol inhaler last summer, and am still using that periodically. I have found Mucinex to be helpful in relieving the feelings of breathlessness as well ~ sometimes, more helpful than the inhaler.

    <span style="color: #3333FF">I like Mucinex because it helps break up the mucus. However, without my daily asthma medications, nothing will work. </span>

    I have never experienced anything like this. Apparently, asthmatic responses to environmental allergens can develop at any time ~but, cheesh, to everything?!?

    <span style="color: #3333FF">Yes, anyone can develop asthma and/or allergies at any time in their life. My H developed first a severe allergy and then asthma due to working with some Red Cedar a few years ago. He doesn't want to take any medications so he avoids red cedar and when he can't he steals my inhaler. Our DR told him he should be on a daily asthma medication which would help him in a preventative way, but H refuses. easy child and difficult child only get asthma when they get a bad cold.</span>

    </div></div>
     
  6. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Well Barbara, since you said you are "squarely in denial", we will just have to get your head out of *the sand* :angel: and make a plan.

    So tomorrow morning call a doctor.

    If you have to start with your primary care doctor, then call for an appointment there. If you can bypass that step then start calling specialists. BBK and Jo gave you suggestions on what kinds of specialists to call.

    If you want a personal referral, start calling your pals today to see if they can recommend who you should call tomorrow.

    If your breathing gets worse today, go to an urgent care facility or ER. That would also be a way to get the ball rolling.

    But it's worrisome enough that you are posting about it so you definitely need to take that first step to getting this resolved.

    MamaSuz :flower:
     
  7. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My mom was diagnosis'ed with asthma when she was in her 50's. Hers started off after being sick but then she had a few episodes of asthma. Hers seemed to be triggered by environmental allergies but she tested negative for allergies. She carried her inhalers for a while. The good news is that her "asthma" went away for about 10 years. She wasn't taking any medicine for it. Recently, she told me she is carrying her inhaler again.

    Since you've been treated for Lyme, I will tell you I'm reading a lot about Lyme now. There are 2 camps regarding treatment. One group (most doctors) believes you treat for 3 or 4 weeks with antibiotics. Another group (International Lyme and Associated Disease Society) believes you treat for 2 - 3 weeks after symptoms resolve and that it can come back. I'm mentioning this because breathlessness and multiple allergies are on a list of Lyme symtpoms I have seen.
     
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Barbara,

    my symptoms were so that I had a *kinda* hard time breathing for years, but attributed it to smoking, and was not willing to quit. Then one day, I was gasping for my very breath. So I took the route of going to the ER. Spent a week in the hospital and from there was referred to a pullmonologist. If things are that bad, get your head out of the sand and do the same. Just like Suz said.

    I could not imagine living somewhere as warm and humid as FL. It's in the 40s and a little bit humid today and I feel like I'm gonna die. I'm ready to pack up and move to Tuktoyaktuk.
     
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I've had asthma for 30 years. You do need to see a primary care physician first and possibily an allergist. Symptoms can vary (tightness or discomfort in chest, distinct cough, etc). Symptoms can also mimic other problems (which recently happened to me once it was the onset of mono and the other time it turned out to be acid reflux.

    Any problems that last longer than two weeks require continual medications and monitoring. Don't let it go or it will be much worst to treat!
     
  10. easy child has "cough varient" asthma. When it gets going he coughs non-stop usually until he throws up. I had always thought that asthma involved wheezing and inability to breathe out. It can and does, but it can also involve coughing only. When easy child was 6 we went on a family hike. He started coughing that evening and it soon became apparent that he was in serious trouble, so we rushed him to the emergency room. He ended up staying for 3 days and was placed on oxygen and respiratory therapy treatments. His oxygen saturation was around 90% when he got to the ER - very dangerous.... We had no idea that his coughing was asthma.

    Fortunately our psychiatrist was very asthma savy and immediately got him into a preventative treatment program. She got the asthma under control - and he has had no attacks or hospitalizations for many, many years.
     
  11. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: fairlyoddparent</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

    I'm mentioning this because breathlessness and multiple allergies are on a list of Lyme symtpoms I have seen.

    </div></div>

    Huh.

    I didn't know that.

    It makes sense, though. I haven't felt like myself since I got sick last summer.

    Thanks, guys!

    I did receive the name of a pulmonologist. Maybe what I need is an infectious disease person.

    Barbara
     
  12. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I think you should still pursue it like it is asthma but look into the Lyme connection. Either way, you still have the symptoms. I'm just starting to learn about Lyme Disesase but from what I read, your infectious disease doctor is likely to dismiss the Lyme connection. If that happens and you still think it is related, you might need an LLMD (Lyme Literate MD).

    From the ILADS (Internation Lyme and Associated Disease Society)web page:

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> A preponderance of evidence indicates that active ongoing spirochetal infection with or without other tick-borne coinfections is the cause of the persistent symptoms in chronic Lyme disease.

    There has never been a study demonstrating that 30 days of antibiotic treatment cures chronic Lyme disease. However there is a plethora of documentation in the US and European medical literature demonstrating by histology and culture techniques that short courses of antibiotic treatment fail to eradicate the Lyme spirochete. Short treatment courses have resulted in upwards of a 40% relapse rate, especially if treatment is delayed.


    Most cases of chronic Lyme disease require an extended course of antibiotic therapy to achieve symptomatic relief. The return of symptoms and evidence of the continued presence of Borrelia burgdorferi indicates the need for further treatment. The very real consequences of untreated chronic persistent Lyme infection far outweigh the potential consequences of long-term antibiotic therapy.

    Many patients with chronic Lyme disease require treatment for 1–4 years, or until the patient is symptom-free. Relapses occur and maintenance antibiotics may be required. There are no tests currently available to prove that the organism is eradicated or that the patient with chronic Lyme disease is cured.

    Like syphilis in the 19th century, Lyme disease has been called the great imitator and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of rheumatologic and neurologic conditions, as well as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, somatization disorder and any difficult-to-diagnose multi-system illness. </div></div>
     
  13. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    Ah, thank you so much, fairlyoddparent.

    :smile:

    Barbara
     
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    FOP -

    Did I read correctly that Lyme disease can be a culprit behind "new" multiple allergies and asthma?

    Four years ago, after a bout with an irregular heartbeat, I had allergy testing done, and came back with nothing significant. This past summer, I had it done again and came up allergic to 50+ additional things that I wasn't allergic to before.

    This bothers me.
     
  15. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Results vary significantly between the methods of testing. I had a friend who had three different diagnosticians run allergy testing (one was Mayo Clinic) and had totally different results with each. Very few things overlapped.
     
  16. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Shari,

    I don't know the answer to your question. I just mentioned it to Barbara since she was treated for Lyme Disease, said she hadn't felt well since then, and had those symptoms. It is on a symptoms list I have seen for Lyme, but there's a lot of symptoms on that list.
     
  17. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member


    From the National Lyme Report, I found the following article, which verified what Fairly had found.

    39 things you DON'T know about Lyme Disease

    Really, what I was able to learn is that no one knows whether these symptoms are related to Lyme's or not. Conjecture and suspicion at this point?

    I made an appointment with an internist, and I guess I will start there.

    I did find an interesting article on diet and asthma.

    http://www.womenfitness.net/asthmaanddiet.htm

    Barbara
     
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