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New Member. Plenty of symptoms. Any help?

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Old 07-14-2006, 03:23 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5
JParr HB User
New Member. Plenty of symptoms. Any help?

New member here.
I see alot of anxiety/asthma threads.
Mine is of that sort, but complicated by a few more symptoms.

I've was diagnosed with asthma back in high school.
I got over it though and have only had some minor problems breathing, here and there for a few years. I am also a smoker. (Worst combination, ever, I know) Also, last January, I was diagnosed with a polyp in my sinus. I was undergoing allergy treatment for it, but it was sidelined by the death of my mother in march. (And also because I had felt fine)

One month ago, I started working on my girlfriends rental home. Doing repairs.etc. She was also housing some orphaned cats there.
I am allergic to both dust and cats. However, my allergies to cats seems to be fairly in check, as I have 4 cats living in my house.
These orphaned ones, however, are long haired cats. And I seemed to be MUCH worse around them. For whatever reason, I decided to take one of these orphaned cats into my house. She's leaving tomorrow for obvious reasons.

I had a very bad asthma attack two days later. The symptoms went away about two days later. I went back to work on the house.
About a week later, I started getting a pretty bad sinus infection and sure enough, the next night, my breathing started up again.
This time it went away for a while, but was still present. Then about a week ago, I got another bad attack, this time with my lower rib protruding past the skin. The doctors said that this is common and that i probably sprained it by coughing.
Last week, the symtoms started again.

Yet, I noted that I didn't really need anything. As soon as I called someone, i called down in about 15 minutes. In fact, all of the asthma attacks I had that I went to the hospital for had calmed down almost completely before I even got into the triage.
I had some serious depression and anxiety last year that went away around the end of summer 05. In fact, I had been feeling great. I dealt with the death of my mother quite well. But the constant feeling of being sick has made me a bit depressed.

Point being, these 'asthma' attacks have left the muscles in my back very tight, which sometimes makes my chest tight and a little hard to breath. When i can't get a deep breath right away, i panic. But as I manage to get ahold of myself, the symptoms completely subside, I can get a deep breath, but the muscles in my back remain tightened.

I've been on Prednisone like 4 times since May. I'm now on like 10 different medicines. A decongestant, expectorant, allergy med, inhaler, advair, etc.
BUT NOTHING seems to be working.

So what is the problem here?
I've set a quit smoking date for this upcoming Monday.
I'm getting rid of the cat. But honestly, I don't have very high hopes. The doctors listen to my breathing and say that it sounds normal, but they think it could be allergies, asthma, etc. I was completely healthy only 2 months ago. So..?

Last edited by JParr; 07-14-2006 at 03:25 PM.

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Old 07-15-2006, 07:49 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NH
Posts: 337
dazedandconfused10 HB User
Re: New Member. Plenty of symptoms. Any help?

Well I'm sure you know this but quitting smoking is step one for helping your lungs. I had a sinus infection that lingered and it set of an asthma attack. It is definitely scary when you feel like you can't breathe, its so basic that we take it for granted most of the time.
I think you may need to do it methodically stop smoking, get rid of the cats and try to figure out what are the triggers are for you. Do you have a rescue inhaleer for the moments you feel like you can't breath, I have been fortunate to not need it much but the few times I did, it really helped. Allergies and asthma are usually very closely linked because it can be the trigger for many peoepl. Any fumes you are getting exposed to while working on the house- like paint, etc? Breathing those may not help, maybe wearing a mask-just ideas.And it may not be immediate exposure, or is there a lot of dust if you are sanding, I know one guy who got so much sawdust in his lungs he had a terrible asthma attack. Please keep us posted and although I never smoked I watched 2 parents do quit cold turkey. Maybe try a patch or something to help ease that transition. good luck and keep us posted.

Old 08-20-2006, 10:43 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5
JParr HB User
Re: New Member. Plenty of symptoms. Any help?

I quit smoking.
Slightly after I last posted.
Cats gone.

Problem still exists...

Here are some updates.
I just posted this on the Anxiety board....

(I've been having the "can't get a deep breath" sensation that seems popular on this board.
The symptoms include
"Weird clicking noise in my chest"
"Inability to get a deep breath"
"Sometimes better when yawning"
"Heavy feeling in abs"
"Muscle pain in back"
"Panic attacks that accompany it, sometimes not"
"Gets worse when alone"
"Gets better when not concentrating on it"

The reason I ask, is that all my doctors (ENT, Primary, Pulmonologist) are calling it allergy related asthma. I've always had mild asthma and allergies.
But apparently, my allergy score skyrocketed recently.
Although my lungs apparently sound clear as a bell....
I have a feeling it's NOT allergies...

Anyone deal with this and get over it? )

My allergist wants to do a year of allergy shots.
My asthma doctor wants to put me on Xolair because of my allergy tests.
I've had both my whole life and I don't feel like its either.

Old 08-21-2006, 07:13 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NH
Posts: 337
dazedandconfused10 HB User
Re: New Member. Plenty of symptoms. Any help?

First I want to say congrats on quitting smoking, even if you are not seeing immediate improvement that is a huge accomplishment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I too struggle with anxiety. I'm trying a program and some of the relaxation breathing is in thru the mouth and the stomach moves not the chest and out thru the mouth and you abdomen goes down. When I'm in panic mode its hard to breathe like that. Have you told the dr's about the anxiety. Some of this sounds like my anxiety. Plus you may still be going thru some level of withdrawal cigarette. Did you have anxiety before? Was smoking sort of a nervous habit?
I'm not sure what an allergy score is, did they do some sort of test and you reacted to alot things? Do you have a pcp that might try and look at the person. I'm just wondering IF they tried some anti anxiety medicine just to see how you're breathing is. Did they tell you what you are allergic to? Anything you can avoid? They should be able to tell you. I would question the allergy test more and ask for more explanation

Last edited by dazedandconfused10; 08-24-2006 at 09:38 AM.

Old 08-21-2006, 07:50 PM   #5
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Re: New Member. Plenty of symptoms. Any help?

I have both allergy and asthma problems. When one flares up, I always have problems with the other. Every time I go to visit my cat owning family in another state, I always end up with a sinus infection. That inevitably ends up causing a flare-up with my asthma and with my reflux. My doctor has been very supportive and encourages me to come in as often as I need to until I get the asthma under control. My biggest difficulty is that I can't stop coughing and I can't catch my breath. I always end up with sore rib and stomach muscles from this too.

I have good specialists that I work with, but I have found that having a really good Primary Care Physician has been my best course of action for me. She has knowledge in each area and is able to coordinate all my needs.

Have you ever tried massage to help you relax and feel better? In addition to various medicine combinations, I like to get frequent deep tissue massages when I am having problems. My massage therapist will work directly on my sinuses and pressure points for asthma. In addition, the massages help loosen some of those tightened muscles. With the deep tissue types, I can be a bit sore at first, but I go away feeling much better--even if temporarily. If you don't have money to visit a regular massage therapist, you might see if there are any massage schools nearby. They often have great discounts.

Old 08-22-2006, 03:26 AM   #6
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Re: New Member. Plenty of symptoms. Any help?

Frankly, it sounds like allergies and asthma to me. If you were diagnosed with asthma in HS, you probably still have it. Young children can outgrow it but not older ones. And the smoking, of course, didn't help any. And once you get really bad attacks of allergies going, it can be very difficult to get them under control. If oyu aren't on Zyrtec as your antihistamine, I suggest you try it. Also, the shots should really help....and I'd see an allergist rather than an ENT. Just my 2 cents...

Old 08-29-2006, 09:35 PM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5
JParr HB User
Re: New Member. Plenty of symptoms. Any help?

I'm being prescribed Xolair for my asthma.
They said I'm basically the poster boy for it after seeing my scores on the allergy testing.

I still feel like that's not it.
It feels more anxiety related.
But asthma is too scary to mess with.

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