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Help, I cant Breath Just quit smoking.... 25 days and counting now this!?

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Old 05-09-2008, 12:15 AM   #1
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Red face Help, I cant Breath Just quit smoking.... 25 days and counting now this!?

I was a smoker for 12 years (started at age 16); I have been smoke free for 25 days now. The fist 10-15 days no problems felt like I was floating, now I feel like crap. I have this feeling in my chest like I want to cough-up a hair ball, I have dry cough, at times I do cough-up some mucus (clear), tightness/tingling in my chest, and I cant get a deep enough breath, post-nasal drip, my chest is sore, it hurts when I breath-in deep, it is to say the least unbearable. I did have asthma when I was a child; it went dormant now itís back again. I went to the ER today; they did an x-ray, blood work, EKG the works! Thank God nothing wrong (no tumor, no emphysema, no fluid in the lungs, no blood cloth, no heart attack, etc). So with all that eliminated what do I have? Is this a cleansing phase, or is it; Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, Chylous effusions, Dyspnea, Hemoptysis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), chronic bronchitis,Bronchospasm??? The inhaler only works for 30 MINS. HELP!

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Old 05-09-2008, 04:31 AM   #2
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Re: Help, I cant Breath Just quit smoking.... 25 days and counting now this!?

Well, it's been a long time since I quit smoking but I do remember coughing up stuff for quite some time in the beginning. It was particularly bad first thing in the morning. It probably went on for about 2 months. I was given to understand that it was the body clearing itself. If it is that, the inhaler wouldn't work.

Old 05-09-2008, 08:58 AM   #3
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Re: Help, I cant Breath Just quit smoking.... 25 days and counting now this!?

It is most likely your body clearing out all the rubbish that's been put into it, it should pass. If it does go on for more than a few weeks I would consult your Doctor.

Old 05-09-2008, 10:35 AM   #4
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Wink Re: Help, I cant Breath Just quit smoking.... 25 days and counting now this!?

I quit smoking 9 years ago and although I am glad I did stop smoking. I now have COPD (Bronchitus) from the years I did smoke. I will have this forever and some days it is worse than others. I originally thought I had asthma and I was on ventalin however I was still feeling breathless, I am always clearing my throat and coughing up crap (sometimes clear/ sometimes yellow and sometimes it will turn bacterial if I get a cold). My Dr sent me to a respirologist and although I was relieved to find I did not have lung cancer (yet!) my mom passed away from small cell lung cancer in 2005 this got me worried. The Specialist told me things looked pretty good so far, I asked him "then why am I so breathless and winded after doing very little?" he said "because my dear, you have COPD chronic bronchitus from the years you did smoke". I felt so relieved, but there is no relief- it is exhausting! Every morning it takes me about 2-3 hours to clear everything out, I am now on 3 inhaler's-Advair 500, Atrovent 4 puffs twice daily, and ventilin as often as needed, which some days more than others. Even though I believe I felt better when I smoked because all this bad stuff was lining the walls of my lungs and not moving around plugging my tubes, when I quit it all had to come out and go somewhere, that's when it gets bad, even though you quit. It could be you may become bronchial until it all clears or it could be something you may have to deal with. I know with me I would have only got worse during the 9 years since I have quit if I kept going. So try to stay "stopped" and maybe see your Dr and go to a respirologist to see if you have some COPD, then you can get treatment, this is different than just a quick chest Xray, this involves respitory breathing tests, xrays, mirs CAT scans over a few months etc. Not many people who smoked get away with nothing affecting them smoke related at some time. I would rather have COPD bronchitus than COPD bronchitus with emphasema (then your breathing would be really exhausting) or Lung cancer. So I wish you all the willpower it will take for you to keep going with quitting. If you are already having breathing problems it will only get worse not better if you don't quit. Hang in there,please! I know what it's like when people say "you better quit" it's like-yea, yea it's my only vice. But a high price, plus the cost of cigerettes is insane and you smell and so does your car and house-yukky.

Last edited by ebrena; 05-09-2008 at 10:45 AM. Reason: added some words

Old 05-16-2008, 08:16 AM   #5
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Re: Help, I cant Breath Just quit smoking.... 25 days and counting now this!?

There are so many compounds (4000 they say) in cigarette smoke and quite a few of them are bronchodilators. They put these in cigarettes so you get a false sense of well-being by being able to breathe well while you smoke. You then quit and those compounds are no longer there to help you breathe.

My mother and myself both quit smoking after each of us having smoked almost 20 years and both had the same symptoms you are describing. My mother even almost started smoking again because she said she never felt this bad when she was puffing away. HOWEVER, she stayed smoke-free and over the first year her symptoms subsided to the point that now, even having been diagnosed with COPD 20 years ago, she is well enough to require no meds. Mine took about 6 months to clear out and while they did I'd cough so violently in the morning that I'd actually vomit. I'd also have shortness of breath while doing the most mundane of things: climbing stairs, walking briskly through a mall, carrying groceries. Things that hadn't really bothered me while I smoked. Now, 7 years later those things are gone.

If it truly gets worrisome for you, please contact your doctor. They can do a spirometry (a simple breathing test) to determine if your breathing is compromised. They can determine the results right there in the office and start you on meds if it's warranted. It doesn't mean that if they start you on asthma meds that it will be a lifelong thing. They'd continue to monitor you over a period of months and see if they could wean you off of them as your symptoms improve. Quitting smoking is hard enough without feeling like crap all the time because you can't breathe. There IS help out there for you.

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