I had open heart surgery March 18, 3 months ago. I was on a respirator for 10 days and contracted pneumonia. The respirator messed up my swallow, so a feeding tube had to be inserted into my stomach before I was released from the hospital. The type of tube they put in me was a 4 week tube that had to be surgically removed.
During this time, my stamina, breathing everything was returning close to normal before the heart attack. Then they removed the feeding tube. This was 4 weeks ago. My breathing has gotten so bad, I am similar to what you describe. Today I noticed that I also, couldn't even sniff. I had already noticed that I was having problems sneezing, blowing my nose, or just my nose running.
I have been in ER twice and had a hospital stay of 5 days. One doctor saying it was upper respiratory, the other saying it was lower respiratory. I will have to tell them about the sniffing....
Anyone have any suggestions, or has this happened to anyone else??