getting diagnosed without having a doctor.
well, i've decided i'm going to post my story . . . i'll try to make it as short as possible!
after a choir performance back in mid-february, my chest got really tight, i started coughing a lot and just generally had a tough time breathing. it was still the same after two weeks, so i went to a walk-in clinic [it was a saturday]. i had a very quick thirty-second "what-can-i-help-you-with-breathe-in"-stethoscope-check-"you-have-bronchitis", antibiotic perscribed appointment, then left. i got the 10-days worth of 4-times a day cephalexin, took it faithfully, suffered through the side effects, but my symptoms didn't dissapear.
seven weeks later i went to a different walk-in clinic, due to lack of a family physician, and finding out my pediatrician had retired [i was sixteen at the time, i'm seventeen now]. he did a more thorough examination, but still told me i had bronchitis and perscribed another antibiotic, once a day azithromycin--which didn't give me any side effects, along with advil and cough syrup.
nine weeks after that i went back to the same walk-in clinic. the doctor had convinced himself at the last appointment that my throat hurt, which it didnt, so he walked in and was like "hello, throat still sore?" i was like "no, my chest is tight, and i keep coughing".
he did another examination, and told me my lungs sounded clear so it "might" be mild asthma. he put me on salbutamol [ventolin], and gave me three refills.
i'm currently on my second inhaler, and while it's helping, i tend to need it 2-3 times a day. from what i've read, it means that if i do have asthma, it isn't controlled and i possibly need to go on a corticosteroid.
i experience chest tightness and coughing pretty much constantly, but symptoms don't awaken me at night. the reliever inhaler usually takes care of them.
i'll mention now i'm in search of a doctor, but most in my area aren't accepting new patients until september. i need a solid diagnosis and some sort of treatment plan.
now, i'll ask you folks, for your opinion. i know most of you aren't doctors, just seasoned asthmatics who know the what's-what:
-should i go back to the walk-in clinic and request referral to a asthma/lung specialist?
-should i ask if the doctor will consider corticosteroid therapy?
-should i be wearing some form of medical id?
-should i ask for a referral to an asthma education centre if indeed it is asthma?
thanks for your help, i look forward to hearing from you.