Re: It was the reflux!
At first, we didn't suspect reflux at all. In fact, it wasn't until I got up one morning and couldn't talk from so much acid refluxing during the night. I had had that happen before and recalled it was from my reflux about 6 years ago. So I went to the grocery store adn purchased the Axid OTC. Began it and weaned off the inhaler.
When I used the inhaler (Advair 500/50), it make me very nervous feeling and my heart woudl just race. I really dislliked taking it, but the Pulmicort just didn't do anythign for me. I bought a full range peak flow meter and used it 2 times a day, soemtimes more depending on if I exercised or not.
So after keeping very accurate and thorough records, I began to realize that only after exercise did my peak flow readings increase. And, that I was usually the same as I was before after being on the Advair if I didn't exercise. Exercise was the key for me to get the higher readings.
As for the inhaler working, I guess it did something - it did increase my peak flows slightly, but like I said, not as much as a good run on the treadmill.
I haven't used an inhaler in months now and haven't needed it. Now that I have Nexium, I doubt I will never need another inhaler. My doctor asked if I had been using my rescue inhaler (albuterol and/or maxair - had scripts for each, just didn't mix them). I told her no, that I didn't need it.
She then informed me that the reflux was the culprit all along!
It took awhile to figure it out and for me to keep very consistent records. I mean, I would even take notes on my triggers to try to figure out this out.
I think the big key for me was waking up and not being able to talk because I had refluxed so much the night before. I had never had indigestion that I could feel, but more like a silent reflux. I never experienced heartburn either. Only being able to not vocalize anything was the key that opened my eyes to the fact that I was literally waking up at night gasping from acid reflux, NOT from a lack of air becuase of asthma.
Luckily, I have a great MD that is willing and open to suggestions that worked with me to help figure this out.
Sidebar - I hated Maxair....I took it after intense aerobics one morning and it burned my entire throat. I called my MD immediatly and she nor her nurse had ever heard of Maxair causing such a reaction....I was terrified! It was very painful. I had eaten a grapefruit (a BIG no! no!) prior to going to the aerobics class. I refluxed SO MUCH during the class that I coudn't breathe. I had to leave a few minutes early. Then, used the inhaler and that's when it burned. Come to find out, the burning was the acid, not the Maxair. I shoudl have put it together that day, but it was actually 2 days later. I avoid grapefruit, as well as the rest of the GERD triggers now.