SEVERE breathing problems for 6 months now. PLEASE HELP.

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astronautagogo
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/9/2011 2:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Firstly, thanks in advance for anyone compassionate enough to read my story & especially offer any suggestions or advice. I've tried to be as thorough as possible. 6 months ago, my life basically ended, i'm running out of hope. Anybody that is able to, please help.

I'm male. 36 years old. 6 feet 2 inches. 190 lbs. This condition started in the first week of March. It came upon me while I was on the end of my second dose of Amoxicillin for an apparent sinus infection. A severe shortness of breath, especially a seemingly inability to exhale came on me suddenly, spontaneously, out of nowhere....to the point that I raced straight to the ER because I thought I was dying. I have never had ANY breathing troubles prior to this. Since this day, everything changed.

SO, my main symptom, is severe shortness of breath with a deep, damp, cough feeling in the center of my chest cavity that's been present since the beginning of this, that's never gone away. The center of my chest always feels like it has a slightly "caved in" feeling.
Any amount of significant activity increases these symptoms, along with chest pains, heart skips, labored feeling lungs and upper diaphragm....like indescribable feelings of discombobulation, like everything's getting out of wack and i'm going to die of a heart attack or something. Increased activity also increases a raw, painful feeling in the center of my chest cavity...the same place where the "dampness" is. It's during these times I also cough unusually, making a very deep, weird noise coming from a very deep place.

I've been to the ER 8 times since this condition began due to severity of my symptoms. Every time i've been to the ER, my oxygen level is stable. To be clear, I haven't been able to work or do anything since this condition begat me and i am primarily immobile and have to stay in my apartment most of the time. Consequentially, I've lost my jobs and most of my life really. I'm short of breath 24/7 no matter if i'm doing anything or not.

I've had an Echocardiogram which I was told had nothing abnormal about my heart.

I've had an Endoscopy, which revealed a small, recent ulcer and some gastritis, but nothing the GI specialist said would contribute to my symptoms.

I've had Pulmonary Function Tests done which revealed no evidence of obstruction of restriction. HOWEVER, residual volume was elevated to indicate an element of AIR TRAPPING. This residual volume was at 151% ...normal volume is 100%.

I've had a CT scan which didn't reveal anything. I've also had a CAT scan which the doctors said didn't reveal anything.

All my blood work, cell counts, blood pressure etc appear to be optimal.

I've had a Methocholine Challenge test which revealed a modest 18% improvement, which I am told is pretty insignificant. I'm using a Pro Air inhaler, which I don't physically notice any improvement, but I use it just the same.

I was thinking the next course of action might be a Bronchoscopy or at least an Thoracic Ultrasound of my lungs/chest, both of which my current Pulmonary Doctor refuses to assign. My current Pulmonary doc has no plan or idea what to do, yet won't authorize any further action.

ANY advice, suggestions etc...would be highly appreciated. I'm at the end of my rope here. I don't know what else to do, everyday is an incredible struggle for me and no one i'm dealing with seems to know what to do. I'm losing hope. I've tried a variety of herbs for inflammation, lung/cardio support to little avail.
So thank you for taking the time to read this.
Also, thanks in advance for your time & any advice any of you may be able to provide.
sincerely,
-S

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/9/2011 9:51 AM (GMT -6)   
S,
 
Welcome to HealingWell.  I am sorry to hear of your problems.  It appears you have been through the whole work up of GI, Cardiac and Pulmonary without finding anything to explain away your sx.  I know this must be terribly frustrating and alarming for you.
 
You might talk with your pulmonary physician re a Diagnostically, flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows a clinician to examine the breathing passages (airways) of the lungs.  Fiberoptic bronchoscopy can be either a diagnostic procedure (to find out more about a possible problem) or a therapeutic procedure (to try to treat an existing problem or condition).
 
Common reasons for a bronchoscopy would include unexplained symptoms related to the chest, such as persistent cough, coughing up blood, wheezing, hoarseness, noisy breathing, or shortness of breath. The airways are examined for signs of problems and samples of tissue (biopsies).
 
Let us know how you are doing and keep on posting here in the forum.  We are here to support you.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

astronautagogo
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/9/2011 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Kitt,
Thanks for the welcome, thoughtful response, advice & empathy...I really appreciate it. Is there a difference between a bronchoscopy and the flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy you mentioned? It seems clear to me at this point that one of these should be the next course of action.
Sometimes i'm forced to lay on my stomach all day and not move just to tolerate symptoms....this is no way to live. I used to have a very athletic, fun, busy life until this begat me literally, overnight.
Also do you suppose it's possible that I have some sort of Pneumothorax that's not being picked up on xrays?
Thanks again in advance & happy to have found this community.
warm regards,
-S

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/10/2011 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning,
 
The construction of bronchoscopes ranges from rigid metal tubes with attached lighting devices to flexible optical fiber instruments with realtime video equipment.
 
Tests to support the dx of a pneumothorax would include a Chest Xray and Lab draws for Blood Gases (ABG)
 
Sometimes, smaller pneumothoraces go away on their own. Pneumothorax can be missed by  radiography, and computed tomography(CT) is the current alternative.
 
I hope you can convince your Dr. to order these tests...........never be arraid to look for a new physician if you are not feeling that your current Dr. is looking at all options to dx your problems.
 
I wish you well,
 
Kitt
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"
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