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Old 02-25-2009, 02:46 PM   #1
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Unhappy Newly Diagnosed, new to meds, nebs, and allergies...HELP!!!

Hello all,

My name is Tanya and I'm a newly diagnosed asthmatic. I just got out of the hospital yesterday after a 7 day stay due to what was diagnosed as adult onset asthma. My mother has it really bad so I knew that it ran in the family. I was also a two pack a day smoker for 15yrs. until 8 days ago. I have recently quit. I got the quick run down of asthma from the docs and nurses at the hospitol. Apparently this is something that got really bad really quick. The lung doctor said that he couldn't believe that I had never been treated for this before now. I have been on so many meds for the last week my head is still swimming. I went from not taking any meds at all to needing breathing treatments 3x a day, two different types of inhalers, a nerve pill to calm down the tremors caused by all of the steroids, and a cough medication. It just started as a head cold. Since then, I have even been having cardiac stuff happening. I just don't know how things can go from daylight to dark in such a quick time. Anyone else diagnosed like this?
Does this get any better? Any less meds? My breathing has sucked ever since I got sick and the lung doc is saying that he isn't sure how much it will improve. That all we could do is wait and hope that my lung function improves. I had a Pulmonary Function Test done and my percentage was 42%. The tech doing the test said that normal or acceptable would be 75-80%. Also, there was a "FEV" number but I'm not sure what that is. The final report from the test said, "Moderate to Severe disease process." What does that mean? I also had fluid in my lungs. I know that isn't good but the doctors didn't seem to awful bothered by it. I'm completely bewildered by the different docs reactions to it. Some acted like it was a death sentance and others acted like it was just something I would have to deal with. I'm just really overwhelmed and would love to hear from others about their diagnoses and treatment. Like I said before, my mom has severe asthma but she is one of those types who don't ask questions or research anything. She just takes the meds they tell her too and half the time she doesn't know why. HELP ME PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

Thanks
Tanya

 
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:01 PM   #2
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Re: Newly Diagnosed, new to meds, nebs, and allergies...HELP!!!

Tanya,

You need to establish yourself with a regular Pulmonologist. You also need to get a written asthma plan put into place with the Pulmonologist.

A good Pulmonologist will take the time to really explain what is going on and to answer your questions. They will also have regular follow-up visits with you until you get into a routine that keeps the asthma under control.

Good Luck,
Mountain Reader

 
Old 02-26-2009, 04:09 AM   #3
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Re: Newly Diagnosed, new to meds, nebs, and allergies...HELP!!!

i heartily second that! You need a better understanding of asthma and what symptoms are relevant to your case. Everyone is different. There are so many people who come here and say they can't have asthma beccause they don't wheeze. Well, not everyone wheezes with asthma. So you need to find out what is specific to you and work to get a plan that works for YOU!

 
Old 06-27-2010, 06:30 PM   #4
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Re: Newly Diagnosed, new to meds, nebs, and allergies...HELP!!!

I am 33 y/o and have had asthma my entire life. I was hospitalized more than not as an infant and young child due to asthma.

You should not need all that medication for ever. Whenever my asthma is flaring up I have to take steroids and the nebulizer along with my regular meds.

However, in general I take Advair on a regular basis and then have my rescue inhaler as needed. Once your asthma is under control you should only need something like Advair and a rescue inhaler.

Each time you have an asthma attack there is damage to your lungs. It's important to take your meds and do what you can to prevent the attacks if possible.
Find a good doc to help you manage this.

I already know what works for me since I've always had asthma so I tell my family doc what I need and she gives it to me. Eventually you will figure it out to.
If your allergies are bad then usually your asthma will get bad. Got to keep both managed!

 
Old 06-28-2010, 09:57 PM   #5
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Re: Newly Diagnosed, new to meds, nebs, and allergies...HELP!!!

I'll just add to what everyone else has said: Yes, it can get better. It seems pretty common for adult-onset asthmatics to get worse and worse without noticing and suddenly find themselves really sick. The spring/summer I was diagnosed, I had been getting slowly sicker for nearly two years and was quite ill with asthma and the drug side effects for a couple of months and managing asthma was a full time job.

And yes, it is hard because some of the drugs make you feel as bad as the asthma does! Prednisone or other steroids (IV or IM, often given in the hospital in an acute situation) can give you a weird thick-headed or head-swimming sensation. Albuterol and other broncho-dilators make you nervous and shakey. If you're on antibiotics, which you probably are, given your description, then you probably have GI symptoms as well. It's just not a good time.

It does get better though. The important part is not to get fooled into thinking it has gone away. I swore I wouldn't, but then when a doctor suggested that I could cut back, I did, too much, and ended up without a daily controller medication. I was fine for months. And then I had a serious attack and spent a week being sick (see my posts from a couple weeks ago...)

But yes, most people can get down to one or two daily meds. Remember that the number of meds isn't as important as getting your symptoms under control. The side effects of some of the drugs go away after a period of acclimation. Prednisone pretty much always sucks, but it's the big guns, and is rarely used for extended periods of time for asthma.

Hope you're feeling better by now, anyway.

 
Old 06-29-2010, 07:10 AM   #6
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Re: Newly Diagnosed, new to meds, nebs, and allergies...HELP!!!

Tanya,
I totally understand where you're coming from! I was diagnosed 9/09 with adult onset-had never had any problems and no one in my family ever had. The pulmonologist said mine was probably the result of MANY allergic reactions to meds that affected my lungs over the course of many years, then I had severe pneumonia and H1N1 within 8 months of each other.

I went from fine to not being able to breathe in just a few days. The doc I work for gave me symbacort, which landed me in an exam room with 2 shots of epi, oxygen for a while and being REALLY sick for over an hour. Even my doc was a little freaked at how bad it hit me. I had the same problem with Advair.

The end result after 6 months has been that I now have 6 inhalers(2 just for martial arts training), take a neb treatment 2x daily plus 2 rounds of pills. I've just finished a PFT, chest x-ray and full allergy tests. I'm not allergic to anything so the type of asthma I have has been classified as neutrophillic. The asthma doc tells me that there are no meds to control it well so I'm stuck with inhalers etc. The bottom line is that it will not get better and there are no definite triggers so I always have to keep the inhalers with me.

I totally understand you going from being perfectly well to "how the heck did this happen??" I hope things get much better for you quickly.

Hang in there!
Lynn

 
Old 06-29-2010, 04:24 PM   #7
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Re: Newly Diagnosed, new to meds, nebs, and allergies...HELP!!!

Mine also hit suddenly, literally overnight I went from perfectly healthy lungs to allergic asthma so bad I could barely walk home from my bus stop. Again, no family history.

It took about a month to get under control to the point that I could go to work, do at least a little other stuff, and feel okay. I'm still having problems with side effects of meds, but I am getting better, and I'm confident that next spring won't be as bad as this one.

 
Old 06-29-2010, 05:41 PM   #8
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Re: Newly Diagnosed, new to meds, nebs, and allergies...HELP!!!

I was the same way. Made it to 50 with many allergies all my life. But never any asthma symptoms. Then contracted walking pneumonia and bam! Asthma. Took a while to figure it out and get the meds right but 14 years later, one puff of Flovent a day, no attacks in 3 years, 2 puffs of albuterol before jogging and life is good. But it is a pain in the rear getting to this stage!

 
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