I've never smoked, never will. Haha not worth it
I had a skin test and I know I reacted the strongest to pine trees, oak trees and horse saliva and mildly to cat, and all the trees they tested for. I disclosed that I lived on a horse farm growing up and the doc suggested that my asthma is allergic. That made no sense to me being a contributing factor for my asthma though, because I have lived in the city for the past two years. I haven't lived with pets and I haven't had allergy symptoms in the spring since I've lived in the city. Philadelphia does have a lot of street trees, but I haven't gotten my usual symptoms. Spring at home meant itchy watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. I sneeze occasionally in the spring now, but not enough to warrant even thinking about going to an allergist for.
I know allergies probably are a factor, but I've never been able to point at seasonal allergies and say yes you are my trigger for asthma.
My biggest problem is that I've been seen by the two largest "asthma care" practices in the city already. They are combo allergists/pulmonologists. I do love the medications I'm on, my new corticosteroid did markedly stop me wheezing after laughing too hard. I did go for a second opinion and they told me that it was allergic based on my skin test and Xolair could work despite the contradictory bloodwork. Insurance(not surprisingly) denied to pay for it and so they considered it being caused by acid reflux. Which for awhile looked like it could make sense, so I took Prilosec, but the absence of other symptoms and a normal endoscopy led them to decide it was not acid reflux.
Both were also unwilling to go over an action plan with me, and both would not let me talk to a doctor when my asthma was clearly getting worse. Mostly because both had wanted me to make an appointment when things started to get bad, so after one or two sudden attacks I was labeled irresponsible. So I do need to find another doctor, that I know.
My biggest possible contributing factor is my work. I am a sculpture major at school, specifically a metals major and an apprentice caster/jeweler. I wear a lot of protective gear, but I know I work with very very hazardous chemicals and compounds. I handle daily solutions that contain cyanide, nitric acid and heavy metals. I know that this very well could be the root of all my problems, but I can't stop doing it. It's what I do. I wear a respirator with a fine particulate filter when filing/sawing, and a full face mask when casting. Everything is also ventilated with gas and chemical alarms.
I'm not quick to call this a trigger though either, my asthma first started getting worse before I had done this kind of work. I also don't find it difficult to breathe in the studio, and I never have. I don't get symptoms after work either. I also wear that respirator.
Things I do know that cause an instant and sometimes severe reaction are:
Spray paint and similar chemicals
Fine powders (clay dust, flour, plaster, etc)
I stay away from them though, and so they are not usually triggers for attacks.
Wow I ramble. I don't even know what to tell doctors anymore. I just take my meds and the most of the time I'm okay. I guess I'm trying to figure out if this is just how my asthma is going to be.
Any advice on how to talk to my doctor, once I find a new one, to avoid the xolair/allergy shot cycle and just get an action plan?