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Old 03-19-2005, 09:47 AM   #1
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celtic_mom HB User
Okay asthma experts, I need advice...

So I'm now on my second asthma attack in as many months. At least this time though, I caught it in time and didn't end up in the hospital. Instead, I was sent home from my doc's office with a nebulizer and a script for prednisone. Ugh. I also have a bunch of unanswered questions, because I didn't think of them in time and I felt rather hurried. Gotta love modern health care.

Anyway, my questions/concerns are -

Since once again it appears that my attack was due to an infection, do I need to start nebulizing from now on as soon as I get a cold to avoid it progressing? Will that help keep my lungs clear?

Now that I have been on prednisone and nebulizing for two days, I'm coughing up tons of sputum/mucus again. I actually am coughing up more today than I did the first day or two. And today I coughed up some junk that looked like small slugs (small green slugs, I should say). It was gelatinous, thick and sticky. What is that?? Is that normal?

The first day or two everything was pretty much yellow, but now I notice that some of the sputum (and let's not forget the slugs) look green. Should I be back on antibiotics?

Should I continue to nebulize to help with the expulsion of the mucus? Yesterday I had coughed so hard, I think I broke a blood vessel because there was specks of blood in my mucus. And my lungs actually felt sore. I thought maybe I nebulized too much. My doc didn't actually say how long to continue to nebulize after I didn't need it anymore for breathing issues. But she prescribed a ton of the stuff. I do have a bunch of stuff I can feel in my chest, I just don't know if nebulizing is the right thing to do.

Should I take things like expectorants or decongestants? I don't know, I just feel like I'm winging it here. My doc answered my questions, but didn't exactly give me any additional information.

Any advice anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated. I just feel like I have no idea what I am doing or what to expect anymore.

 
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: Okay asthma experts, I need advice...

- This would probably be up to your doctor, but doing neb treatments isn't going to keep a cold from progressing. If you've got albuterol or Xopenex for your neb, all it's going to do is open your airways and possibly thin some mucus out, nothing more.

- My opinion on the prednisone+coughing up more mucus thing is that the prednisone has reduced inflammation deeper in your lungs and thus allowed trapped mucus to come out. The stuff that's coming out? Mucus...probably infected mucus. Colds cause it, as well as asthma inflammation.

- If the mucus stays green for two or three more days, then you should probably be on antibiotics.

- Nebulizing every 4-6 hours is fine with a cold/infection. When the infection is over, only go as needed.

- Guiafenesin (not sure of the spelling, but it's found in many cough meds) is contraindicated in active asthma. I've found that taking guiafnesin at all makes me a lot worse. Pseudoephedrine makes me faint when I'm regularly doing albuterol or xopenex. So, off of personal experience...don't use them.
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:26 PM   #3
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Re: Okay asthma experts, I need advice...

Thanks swimfast - I just found out the hard way that the expectorant is a bad idea. I think my cough was productive enough w/o it and the guiafenesin (whatever) made me have almost uncontrollable coughing spasms. My lungs "itched" for hours.

I haven't been able to produce anything but white foamy stuff today, so maybe the infected stuff has cleared.

The productive coughing comes and goes. Sometimes it's worse than others. Is that just part of normal recovery from an attack? I called my docs office, but the nurse was useless and the doc was on rounds.

I have an appt with a pulmonary specialist (finally!) next week. I'm really hoping that he can give me insight into what to expect/do going forward.

Thanks again for your input. I feel like I'm hanging in the breeze here.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 04:46 PM   #4
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Re: Okay asthma experts, I need advice...

Nebulizing with albuterol or xopenex will relieve bronchospasm which often results in bringing up more gunk. Call your doc about the green gunk - you probably are infected. My gunk goes from loose/white to loose yellow to medium yellow green to "green slugs" as you call it that taste really salty - a sure sign of bronchitis. Albuterol by neb is normally prescribed for every 4-6 hours; xopenex for 6-8 hours. Double check with your doctor.


I usually start nebbing pretty early and increase Advair to 500 - that often will keep my chest clear enough to avoid a lung infection.

I love guifanesin. It helps loosen the mucus and get it up faster.

Hope you feel better soon!

 
Old 03-21-2005, 05:22 PM   #5
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celtic_mom HB User
Re: Okay asthma experts, I need advice...

Thanks so much reader - I was really worried that the "slugs" might be something more serious than the regular broncitis mucus type of thing. My doc hasn't been much help. I could only reach the nurse today and she was pretty much clueless.

I haven't coughed up anything today other than the foamy white stuff. Do you think that might mean I might have gotten it all? Lord I hope so.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 06:35 PM   #6
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Re: Okay asthma experts, I need advice...

Wow, I had no idea Guifenisen was contraindicated in active asthma. The health center at school gave it to me, and it helped with the coughing, but I was sent back to my dorm with intructions to do more neb treatments and come back if my breathing was worse, so they obviously realized I have asthma.

 
Old 03-22-2005, 04:37 AM   #7
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celtic_mom HB User
Re: Okay asthma experts, I need advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by blondy2061h
Wow, I had no idea Guifenisen was contraindicated in active asthma. The health center at school gave it to me, and it helped with the coughing, but I was sent back to my dorm with intructions to do more neb treatments and come back if my breathing was worse, so they obviously realized I have asthma.
You know they gave it to me in the hospital when I had bronchitis too, so I kept taking it when I got home. I think it is very helpful when I still had a bunch of junk to kick out, but it seems, that when it's mostly the white foamy stuff let, it is just more of an irritant. My lungs were sore and itchy for hours after taking it the last time.

 
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