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Old 07-06-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
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Pulmonary Function Tests

If anyone has read any of my previous posts on this forum, you are then familiar with my doctors not being able to figure what is wrong with me. At the end of May, my pulmonologist had me do another round of PFTs. He is under the impression that my problem is my vocal cords, but I think he is wrong. I don't ever feel anything in my throat, I mainly feel everything in my chest. Anyhow, I am going in on Monday for a follow up for my PFT results. I am concerned, because I have never been called back for results before, and we have done the PFTs at least 5 times over the last few years. If everything comes back normal then it is usually "no news is good news" for my doctor. What would show up on the PFTs that would indicate asthma? He also was going to do another test to look at my vocal cords, but that never happened. I am wondering if my PFTs resulted in asthma or something else and that is why he never called to schedule the other test. I know I am rambling, but I am just paranoid at what my results will show. Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

 
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
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Re: Pulmonary Function Tests

It could be that or it could be that he's as frustrated as you and wants to talk about it. I wouldn't read anything in particular into it. Just be glad he wants to discuss your situation. So many don't!

 
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:41 AM   #3
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Re: Pulmonary Function Tests

PFT's show the air flow/pressure vs. time relationship in your lungs. Nothing more than doing a capacity/flow check on a pump or bellows. While I never had any real symptoms with my asthma other than a loss of vitality or energy it was the PFT's that showed my lung capacity had dropped to around 30%. I never had an asthma attack and could do anything I wanted. But I was self-aware that the zip in my step just wasn't there anymore. It took years for this to all transpire. I will note that I blew out so hard on some of those PFT's due to encouragement from the nurses that on 1 occasion I even burst blood vessels in my eyes. Following that effort I scaled it back a bit. We found the trigger for my asthma, revitalized the immune system via diet-exercise-weight loss, got lung function back above 80%, then removed the meds 3 yrs ago. While I never had the usual symptoms and effects that most people consider as asthma, my low PFT numbers showed I had big problems if left untreated. What I found interesting is that at work all the heavy smokers had decent PFT results. Yet here I was a non-smoker with lousy numbers. It just wasn't fair....lol.

 
Old 07-11-2012, 10:24 PM   #4
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Re: Pulmonary Function Tests

How was your appointment? Did it go well?

I've had PFT's done about 5 times. Every time they have come back pretty normal. This is despite having severe asthma problems at times over the years. My Pulmonologist relies on my history, physical exam, response to treatments, etc... more often than not. He usually has me do PFT's the week before my regular appointments with him.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:19 PM   #5
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Re: Pulmonary Function Tests

Thanks everyone,

Thanks so much for the responses, unfortunately I don't have any answers yet. My appointment was rescheduled for next Friday...so another week of worrying! I have had PFTs several times, because I had to go through 4 rounds of chemotherapy and they have always come back normal. This is the first time that the doctor is wanting to discuss my results. I was also thinking that maybe because I got rescheduled that it must not be anything that bad, but I can only hope for that to be true. I will be sure to post whatever comes of my appointment next Friday! Thanks again, and God Bless!

 
Old 07-16-2012, 05:39 PM   #6
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Re: Pulmonary Function Tests

So, my appointment got rescheduled, AGAIN! My doctor is going in for surgery so I can't be seen until sometime next week...uuuhhhh! Anyway, so last night we had a really bad rainstorm blow in. High winds, rain, hail, thunder, lightning and I woke up in a bad attack (for me). I was coughing, shortness of breath, tight chest, and a faint wheeze. I took 4 puffs on the inhaler, but that didn't work, so I used my nebulizer which fortunately helped me. Then again today, I had the same attack, but not as bad. I am seriously thinking this is not my vocal cords like my doctor thinks. It is obvious that weather is a definite trigger for me as well as stress. I have never had an attack like this happen at night before, mine are usually early in the morning or during exercise. Really scared me, as I am currently by myself. Even more scarier when the inhaler didn't work. My attacks always start with rapid breathing, then I feel like this odd sensation in my chest, followed by tightness and wheezing, I usually don't cough until after I have used my inhaler. Does this sound like asthma or vocal cord dysfunction. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

 
Old 07-16-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: Pulmonary Function Tests

I'm sorry to hear you are having such severe problems still. I was in your neck of the woods for the last 10 days. (Getting away from the unhealthy air quality in my area.) The record setting heat earlier in the week followed by the storms the last couple nights really are tough conditions for lungs that are already sensitive. All that stuff blowing in last night was a major aggrevator.

I know that at times the weather takes a big toll on my lungs and triggers my asthma. The more sensitive my lungs are (like when I'm flaring), the easier the weather triggers things.

It very well could be that you have more than one thing going on as well and that it isn't an either or with your diagnosis.

I know in my case, I had to diagnose, treat and find a balance with the allergies/PND, "silent" acid reflux and asthma. It was hard because much of the time I couldn't identify which was triggering my lung inflammation.

I hope tonight is better for you. Please seek emergency treatment if you need to in the meantime.

By the way, I love viewing the majesty of the thunderstorms there. Harsh and amazing at the same time.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:28 AM   #8
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Re: Pulmonary Function Tests

So, I thought I was on the road to recovery, but I think I am still struggling. My pulmonologist took me off of Advair at my last appointment at the end of May, because he thinks my problem is my vocal cords. He told me to use my rescue inhaler if as needed, but didn't think the Advair would help or was helping. Since the end of May until now, I was doing great and really thought we were onto something and after three years of not knowing what is wrong with me I could get some answers. Well, the storm last weekend triggered all my symptoms to flare up. I had three attacks in two days, they were minor but attacks nonetheless. Now, I keep having like small little flare-ups where I am short of breath, or just coughing. I have one Advair Diskus left and I am wondering if I should start taking it again and see if that works. Should I use my rescue inhaler for these little annoying flare-ups I am having? I know I am not to the point where I need emergency care, but I am so confused as to what is going on with me. Last night I broke out in hives on my legs...no idea what that was from. Any ideas on what I should do would be greatly appreciated. Just trying to hang in there until I can see my doctor on the 26th.

 
Old 07-19-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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Re: Pulmonary Function Tests

I'd use the rescue inhaler and see if it helps. Sure...maybe doing it once will keep other "events" at bay?

 
Old 07-20-2012, 09:06 PM   #10
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Re: Pulmonary Function Tests

So, I had another attack today, I think? I went for a run, did about a mile and a half. Afterwards, I had a real difficult time breathing. I was short of breath, breathing rapid, chest tightness, dizzy, then my hands and feet started tingling. Is that normal, to have tingling during an attack? I can't figure out if wha I am experiencing is asthma or something else. Why is this so hard to figure out? I just wish I could get some answers already, especially so I can be prepared and not have something really bad happen.

 
Old 07-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #11
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Re: Pulmonary Function Tests

I had the tingly hands and feet thing during an attack a couple years ago. It was a very severe attack and I wasn't getting enough oxygen. I attribute it to that. Eventually my fingers and lips turned purple with the lack of oxygen too.
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