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5 months of wondering about my lungs


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Old 04-08-2009, 08:31 AM   #1
Mathieujofis
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5 months of wondering about my lungs

Back in november I was diagnosed with an acute case of bronchitis. I took antibiotics for this and it went away for a solid two weeks when, right after those two weeks out of nowhere my right lung started to feel constricted and it was hard to breathe into that lung. My left lung was fine but for two weeks I had to suffer with this constricting feeling of not having enough air in my right lung. I also had this cough that felt as though my right lung was vibrating, as if it was constricted enough so that if I forcefully coughed air through it, it would vibrate tonally like an instrument; this was also very loud when performed. At the end of these two weeks, it started to let up but in the form of coughing up green mucus all the time. The pattern was: Get constricting feeling in upper right lung, cough up green stuff, lung lets up a little and is easier to breathe. Over time, this gradually got better and better but never actually went away.

Today, I still wake up in the morning and cough a little bit up. Later in the day I usually do too and my right lung doesn't feel 100% although it is not hard to breathe anymore. I also still have have that tonal sound when I cough forcefully enough, which vibrates my right chest.

I went to a pulmonologist and said it was viral asthmatic bronchitis and I didn't have much to worry about. I smoked for one year before this started happening and quit immediately once I found out it came back. Besides that, I haven't smoked anything else and haven't smoked cigarettes in a few months.


Does anyone have any idea? I'm mainly afraid of getting the symptoms I had a few months ago back because of things like COPD and more specifically chronic bronchitis, but honestly I'm a healthy 21 year old, 135lb male who has smoked for only a year (not to mention most of which was a social smoking thing). How could it possibly be something serious like that?

 
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Old 04-26-2009, 12:30 AM   #2
Angelica1
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

I can only tell you that I just came back from National Jewish in Denver,CO (I live in Phoenix) and finally have established a diagnosis and have been given some very good treatment advice for bronchitis, bronchiectasis, and bronchomalacia. They are #1 in the country for anything pulmonary. Have been to many other local pulmonologists and even Mayo Clinic without help.

 
Old 04-26-2009, 11:14 AM   #3
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelica1 View Post
I can only tell you that I just came back from National Jewish in Denver,CO (I live in Phoenix) and finally have established a diagnosis and have been given some very good treatment advice for bronchitis, bronchiectasis, and bronchomalacia. They are #1 in the country for anything pulmonary. Have been to many other local pulmonologists and even Mayo Clinic without help.
I'm surprised you weren't given a diagnosis of bronchiectasis and/or bronchomalacia in the Mayo clinic. It's not like you need a special doctor (other than a respirologist) to diagnose that. Anyway, I'm glad you got a diagnosis and are getting treating appropriately.

 
Old 04-26-2009, 11:23 AM   #4
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

Hi there,

The symptoms you are describing (i.e. the vibrating, the "constricting of your left lung") are all your subjective interpretation of symptoms you're feeling. What you think you are feeling is not actually what is happening to your lung. When people have one lung which is "constricted" it is usually because of an obstructing tumour. How do I know you don't have an obstructing tumour? Because you're posting messages to this forum. People who have obstructive bronchial lesions are very ill and often have collapsed lungs requring hospitalization. HOWEVER, tightness in the chest IS a symptom and it can definitely be part of asthma whether primary asthma, or bronchoconstriction induced by a viral infection (which goes away once the virus is gone). If it's been going on for 5 months, it's more likely you have some form of asthma (if it's not just you being hypervigilant about your body). Did the lung doctor ask you to do pulmonary function tests where you have to blow in to a tube?

Finally, I note that you have written "chronic bronchitis" and COPD. You've obviously been doing reading on the internet haven't you? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an entity comprised of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is almost uniformly due to cigarette smoking. So you think you might have it? VERY doubtful. How do I know? Because you don't have a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis or alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency disease, and secondly, you're only 21. People with smoking induced COPD have a MINIMUM of a forty pack.year history of smoking. To calculate a pack.year, you take the number of packs of cigarettes you smoke in a day and multiply it by the number of years you've smoked. A forty pack.year history is smoking 25 cigarettes a day for FORTY years. Or smoking 50 cigarettes a day for 20 years. Think of just how many cigarettes that is! Many people have MORE than that. Most people with severe emphysema have up to 70 pack.year histories.

So, don't worry about it. You may have asthma, but COPD you do not! Also, it would probably benefit you to stop trying to interpret the mechanism of your symptoms, because it's going to just make you more hypervigilant.

Last edited by hb-mod; 04-29-2009 at 02:44 AM. Reason: Unnecessary use of "Quote" reply instead of Quick Reply.

 
Old 04-29-2009, 08:26 AM   #5
Mathieujofis
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

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Originally Posted by cgranulomatis View Post
Hi there,

The symptoms you are describing (i.e. the vibrating, the "constricting of your left lung") are all your subjective interpretation of symptoms you're feeling. What you think you are feeling is not actually what is happening to your lung. When people have one lung which is "constricted" it is usually because of an obstructing tumour. How do I know you don't have an obstructing tumour? Because you're posting messages to this forum. People who have obstructive bronchial lesions are very ill and often have collapsed lungs requring hospitalization. HOWEVER, tightness in the chest IS a symptom and it can definitely be part of asthma whether primary asthma, or bronchoconstriction induced by a viral infection (which goes away once the virus is gone). If it's been going on for 5 months, it's more likely you have some form of asthma (if it's not just you being hypervigilant about your body). Did the lung doctor ask you to do pulmonary function tests where you have to blow in to a tube?

Finally, I note that you have written "chronic bronchitis" and COPD. You've obviously been doing reading on the internet haven't you? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an entity comprised of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is almost uniformly due to cigarette smoking. So you think you might have it? VERY doubtful. How do I know? Because you don't have a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis or alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency disease, and secondly, you're only 21. People with smoking induced COPD have a MINIMUM of a forty pack.year history of smoking. To calculate a pack.year, you take the number of packs of cigarettes you smoke in a day and multiply it by the number of years you've smoked. A forty pack.year history is smoking 25 cigarettes a day for FORTY years. Or smoking 50 cigarettes a day for 20 years. Think of just how many cigarettes that is! Many people have MORE than that. Most people with severe emphysema have up to 70 pack.year histories.

So, don't worry about it. You may have asthma, but COPD you do not! Also, it would probably benefit you to stop trying to interpret the mechanism of your symptoms, because it's going to just make you more hypervigilant.
It sounds like you are well informed on this. I did take a spirometry test (I think thats what its called, where I blew into the tube) and the doctor said it was normal. But, at that time my right lung wasn't feeling the tightness I'm describing. Like I said, it's a cycle; my right lung will tighten up then I can make myself cough up phlegm and then it will ease off a little (but still linger). This happens on average twice a day, usually starting with the morning. Lately, its been feeling better but I'm STILL coughing stuff up and when my lung gets tight, inhalers don't help too much.

By this point I would think a viral infection would be out of the question? I can't see how asthma really fits the bill either nor can I find anything else that might be my problem.

I realize I'm being a bit neurotic, but, after almost 6 months now, at 21, applying to grad schools soon and my whole life ahead of me, this has made my overall mental health deteriorate a little and I'm just looking for answers.

 
Old 04-29-2009, 09:19 AM   #6
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieujofis View Post
It sounds like you are well informed on this. I did take a spirometry test (I think thats what its called, where I blew into the tube) and the doctor said it was normal. But, at that time my right lung wasn't feeling the tightness I'm describing. Like I said, it's a cycle; my right lung will tighten up then I can make myself cough up phlegm and then it will ease off a little (but still linger). This happens on average twice a day, usually starting with the morning. Lately, its been feeling better but I'm STILL coughing stuff up and when my lung gets tight, inhalers don't help too much.

By this point I would think a viral infection would be out of the question? I can't see how asthma really fits the bill either nor can I find anything else that might be my problem.

I realize I'm being a bit neurotic, but, after almost 6 months now, at 21, applying to grad schools soon and my whole life ahead of me, this has made my overall mental health deteriorate a little and I'm just looking for answers.
Why do you think it can't be asthma? What does asthma mean to you? Also, if you don't think it's asthma, what's your theory as to why your right lung feels constricted? When you had the spirometry done, did they give you any puffs of ventolin?

 
Old 04-29-2009, 09:31 PM   #7
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgranulomatis View Post
Why do you think it can't be asthma? What does asthma mean to you? Also, if you don't think it's asthma, what's your theory as to why your right lung feels constricted? When you had the spirometry done, did they give you any puffs of ventolin?
Well, I guess I'm just under the impression that asthma would feel more symmetric to my body and in addition to that, I would not cough phlegm up. Also, an albuterol inhaler doesn't treat my symptoms as well as it would a person with asthma I'm assuming? I mean I don't know what kind of response I'm supposed to get from the inhaler but sometimes it feels like it doesn't work at all.

I don't know why it will randomly feel tightened up, I wish I did, but minutes after it does my lungs start excreting some of the mucous I've been describing.

And no I didn't get any type of medication before or after taking the spirometry test.

Last edited by Mathieujofis; 04-29-2009 at 09:32 PM.

 
Old 05-03-2009, 07:24 AM   #8
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

I am new to this post. I am 56 yrs old, don't smoke. Every year it seems for at least 5-6 yrs now I come down with this nasty post nasal drip stuff that lasts for months. Nothing comes out of my nose normally it flows like a river down my throat which goes right into a cough and into my lungs. Nothing seems to work. I have been to the doctor for it over the past years and they never really say its Bronchitis.. I am worried its something worse like cancer. I cough off and on during the day because of the post nasal drip and because now its gone into my lungs. Don't know what to do? Worried its something worse than Bronchitis?

 
Old 05-03-2009, 07:44 AM   #9
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

Post nasal drip is one of the most common causes of chronic cough. Lung cancer doesn't cause a chronic cough.

Have you tried a decongestant and/or nasal steroid spray?

 
Old 05-03-2009, 10:29 AM   #10
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

I haven't tried a nasal spray but decongestants cause my heart to race. I have PVC'S and am on meds for this irregularity.. thanks.. maybe I will ask my DR. for some kind of nasal sprays.. I know I read too much online stuff and its good but it can be bad too. Like Christopher Reeves wife. She had a cough and was told by friends to go get it checked out and didn't. It was a constant cough, and it turned out to be cancer. I am such a worry wart.. I never was but as I am getting older and again reading too much on here, I think the worse!? Thanks for the reasurrance!

 
Old 05-11-2009, 12:58 PM   #11
MY66CHARGER
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieujofis View Post
It sounds like you are well informed on this. I did take a spirometry test (I think thats what its called, where I blew into the tube) and the doctor said it was normal. But, at that time my right lung wasn't feeling the tightness I'm describing. Like I said, it's a cycle; my right lung will tighten up then I can make myself cough up phlegm and then it will ease off a little (but still linger). This happens on average twice a day, usually starting with the morning. Lately, its been feeling better but I'm STILL coughing stuff up and when my lung gets tight, inhalers don't help too much.

By this point I would think a viral infection would be out of the question? I can't see how asthma really fits the bill either nor can I find anything else that might be my problem.

I realize I'm being a bit neurotic, but, after almost 6 months now, at 21, applying to grad schools soon and my whole life ahead of me, this has made my overall mental health deteriorate a little and I'm just looking for answers.

 
Old 05-11-2009, 01:02 PM   #12
MY66CHARGER
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Re: 5 months of wondering about my lungs

i DO THIS SILLY STUFF FREAKIN MYSELF OUT MY LEFT LUNGS HAS DISEASE FROM AN PRIMARY IMMUNE DEFICIENCY i GET PAIN IN THE LUNG RUN TO THE dOC THINKING i AM DIENG WHICH i AM SLOWLY LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. I HAVE THE CURE ITS CALLED "ZANAX" I LISTEN TOO MY DOCTORS AND TAKE IT TWICE ADAY IT RELAXES ME AND THOSE TIGHT MUCSLES IN MY CHEST. aSK YOUR DOC FOR SOME AND DONT DO THE OBSESSIVE COMPULSION THING.

 
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