I'm sorry to hear that you're having a rough time. I hope it passes soon.
I can't relate to eating chocolate to help my asthma, but I can relate to coughing up clear, frothy fluid. I didn't know it had a name...Sir Coughalots...lol. When my coughing gets out of hand that happens. I've gotten to the point where I can usually tell when my coughing is going to be really bad and I try to use my rescue inhaler before it gets out of hand. But sometimes my it gets out of hand before I'm able to use my rescue inhaler. For example, my husband is a bleach fanatic and uses it to clean everything. I can usually avoid it, but he dumps it into the toilet (and doesn't tell me), so when I go into the bathroom, I get a big whiff of it. As soon as I get a whiff of it, I start coughing uncontrollably and it's really hard to use my rescue inhaler. I don't know why he can't switch to something safer, like Pinesol.
Yeah, avoiding triggers can be easier said than done, especially if there are a lot of them or they're really common things. I can usually avoid my triggers, but avoiding allergens can be hard. I don't know everything I'm allergic to and allergy shots only cover so much (common indoor allergens and pollens common to a specific region). Often I find that when I travel to different regions I'm allergic to stuff and it triggers my asthma. I've learned to take Singulair every day when I travel to help my allergic asthma from getting out of hand. It helps.
Thanks for your explanation of FEV1/FVC. I don't know the meaning of a flow loop, but when I'm having problems, it peaks, then it's concave or flattish. If I'm not having problems, it peaks, then it's round. That's all I have to say about that...lol. (Forrest Gump). I love that movie! Anyway, I can see why you're seeking more answers. I really do hope you find them.
I'm glad you found breathinstephen.com helpful (and you shared it with someone else)! I read his blog because I find him to be an amazing person who's able to persevere through anything. Having asthma, and knowing what it's like to not be able to breathe, helps me appreciate more of what he's going through, though I can't totally relate because my asthma is super mild compared to his. I find him to be an inspiration, and I'm glad he shares his story with the world. I'm sure he's helped more people than he realizes.
What natural remedies have you tried for asthma? I've never really tried any natural remedies for asthma, however, I've tried acupuncture for adhd. The effects lasted for about 4 hours after each treatment. I gave it a two-week trial period, and had three treatments per week. The amount I paid in co-insurance for those six treatments was over twice what I pay in co-insurance for a one month's supply of medication. I do find that things like regular exercise, sufficient sleep and reducing the amount of refined sugar in my diet helps. I'm training for a half ironman triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run), so I kind of go on the deep end when it comes to exercise, but I find it really helps my focus and attention, and it curbs my hyperactivity.View Thread
I know it can be a long road to getting a service connected disability claim approved by the VA. I met my husband while I was in the Army. He has problems with his feet...they're flat as a pancake and he has hammer toes on both feet. He has pain in his legs (feet, calves and hamstrings) related to his super flat feet feet. He goes to a podiatrist and wears orthotics, but the punks at the VA are making things hard. I wish you the best of luck in getting your claim resolved.
I hope you're out of the hospital now and are feeling better.View Thread
I accidentally sent my response before I was done...lol.
I've never started a prednisone taper at 80mg; they've always started me at 20mg or 40mg, depending on the severity of my problems. Starting at 80mg is pretty high, I think. I've never added the total prednisone I took in a year, but I'm sure it probably doesn't even add up to 200mg...very low compared to what you take.
Sometimes I give my body a break from Symbicort, and stop using it for a while. I can go for a little while without using it, but eventually I start to wake up at night and have problems when I exercise. I always use albuterol before I exercise, though. I seem to need more when I run than when I cycle or swim. I've learned that having a good warm-up and cool-down makes a big difference when I run. I run slowly for the first 2 miles and last mile of each run, unless it's an easy run, in which case I run slowly the entire run. It adds length to my runs, but it makes a big difference with my asthma.
I had some issues with allergies while I was in AZ and had some coughing and difficulties breathing, especially while I was running in the mountains. The predominant pollen in the area was cedar/juniper, but the pollen levels were pretty high. I think I tested as 1 for cedar/juniper, so I'm not too allergic to it, but I have allergic asthma, so it doesn't take much. Cedar/juniper isn't in my allergy serum. I think my allergy serum only has stuff for which I tested 2 or above.
I'm sorry to hear that you're having issues. I hope it goes away soon View Thread
I took a red-eye back home from AZ. I've never been able to sleep on airplanes, even if it's a long overseas flight, so I hadn't slept for over 24 hours when I wrote my rambly post. But I can get kinda rambly sometimes, anyway I'm never going to take a red-eye again!
What does FEV1/FVC measure? I see what my FEV1 is because it displays on the screen, along with the flow loop, when I have a spirometry done. I've noticed that the flow loop changes shape when I'm having problems and my FEV1 drops. I've never asked my doctor for more details about my spirometry results, but they'll say something general like "You're definitely having problems, your numbers are low." Like I can't tell that I'm having problems breathing...lol.View Thread
What branch of the military were you in and for how long? I was in the army for 4 years before I went to college. I had a good time, but was diagnosed with asthma at my first duty station. The doctor was a big jerk about it. He insisted that I knew I had asthma, and didn't tell the meps doctor about it when I had my baisc training physical. He said they would have never let me in with my spirometry readings. He did give me medicine for it, but I had to deal with his attitude each time I saw him. It was a big pita.
I hope you're able to continue with the bronchial thermoplasty.View Thread
I've been in AZ for the past week, so I've been out of the loop. I'm starting a new contract next week. This one is temp-to-perm, so if they like my work, I'll have the option of joining the company as a permanent employee. I sort of like the flexibility and variety that comes with being a contractor, but you never know, I might really like the company and the job. Stranger things have happened.
Yes, you do have a lot of comorbidities, which can make things more challenging. One thing can affect another, which can affect another, etc. I don't know how much prednisone you take when you take a burst, but having to take 3-4 bursts makes me think that your asthma is harder to control, than say, mine. I haven't taken prednisone for quite a while now, and when I did need to take it, it was for a short time, like 10-14 days, and was maybe once per year, usually when I had my yearly winter cold. When I first started getting allergy shots, my asthma was harder to control. At first it didn't respond very well to medications, even though I took a lot, but after about 4-6 months of allergy shots (I did rush immunotherapy), my asthma started making a complete turn-around. This winter has been one of the coldest on record and I haven't needed a neb treatment prior to running or biking. Granted, in the scheme of things, it doesn't get very cold where I live, but still. A couple years ago, I had to do a neb treatment if the temperature was below around 45. This year I went running when it was 26, and I was fine using just my inhaler. I coughed a little shortly after I stopped running, but it resolved on its own.
My allergist's office does ENO readings, but I've never had one. I don't know how they decide which patients need ENO reading and which ones don't. My spirometry readings always match my current state. If I'm not doing so well, my spirometry readings are lower then when I'm healthy. They've been stable the past two check-ups. I get a check-up in the fall every year, and I go in between check-ups if I'm experiencing problems. I've been fortunate because, for the past two years, I've been able to head off problems at an early stage, so they don't develop into something more serious. My symptoms come on pretty gradually, so that helps. It's just a matter of me noticing the subtle changes.
I hope the references I gave you have been helpful. I know I'm not much help in the way of dealing with severe asthma. Moderate asthma and severe asthma are completely different beasts. Most of my significant problems were at night, so that's when I had to deal with them. I did have the problem of sleep deprivation, and people didn't believe that nocturnal asthma could cause so many problems with daily functioning. Severe sleep deprivation can really impair one's cognitive abilities, which affects daily functioning. Not to mention the inability to think about anything except for the next time you can sleep.
I kind of rambled in my post today. I hope you were able to muddle your way through it View Thread
Wow....there are really a lot of things to factor in your case. You definitely need someone who sees the big picture. Does the restriction of your oropharyngeal airway affect your breathing at all? I don't know what ENO means. I'm thinking it's exhaled nitrous oxide, but I'm not sure. Correct me if I'm wrong.
I ran into the same difficulty with specialists when I had my mystery illness. I had JRA (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) for a couple years when I was little. So, the rheumatologist naturally concluded I had adult Stille's disease, even though I didn't have joint pain or a rash. The immunologist concluded I had some type of abnormal immune response to the flu. The infectious diseases doctor concluded that I had some sort of infection, like Lyme disease or something, even though all the tests were negative. The CFS doctor concluded I had CFS even though I didn't meet all the criteria. One doctor concluded it was all in my head and sent me to a psychiatrist, even though there were documented medical abnormalities. From all this, I learned, that in the scheme of things, doctors are relatively clueless.
I was officially diagnosed with asthma while I was in the military. I didn't have any problems with it until I got into basic training. They gave us a bunch of immunizations and I got sick from them. I couldn't stop coughing, especially at night. It was pretty bad. The following winter, when I got to my first duty station, I started having problems with shortness of breath and coughing, again. When I went to sick-call, the doctor took a spirometry reading and told me I had asthma. He wasn't very nice about it, but he gave me medicine. It didn't affect my enlistment at all, and they even sent me to airborne school (parachuting) prior to my next duty station.
Hopefully you can make it to National Jewish. They have a really good reputation of treating difficult cases, and your case certainly qualifies as difficult.View Thread
I've read about vocal cord dysfunction, and how it mimics asthma, but aside from that, I don't know much about it. It doesn't seem like it's on the short list of diagnoses because people go for a long time being treated for severe asthma, to no avail, before they're diagnosed with vocal cord dysfunction.
It makes sense that you could have asthma and something else going on. The notion that you have a low-grade sinus infection would explain a lot. Has your doctor ever done a sinus CT or something to check for a sinus infection? I know when I get a sinus infection, it really throws my asthma for a loop. As you said, doing exercises for vocal cord dysfunction won't hurt you. Let's say you have vocal cord dysfunction and asthma, when would you notice an improvement from doing the exercises? A few months back, I hurt my IT band running, and it took 4-6 weeks of stretching and exercises before I could run again. I know the IT band and vocal cords aren't the same, but I'm thinking it would take some time to notice results.
When my asthma was out of control, my worst symptoms were at night, too. For me, it was mostly because I'm allergic to cats and my cat was sleeping next to my head at night. I don't have much problem with allergic asthma anymore, but I still get some allergy symptoms when the pollen counts are high or if I spend too much quality time with my cat.
I had post-viral fatigue syndrome, CFS or something of the sort after a bought with the flu. It was like the infection didn't go away. I was sent to specialist after specialist, and they all had their theories of what was wrong with me. And, yes, I was also sent to a psychiatrist for evaluation on more than one occasion. The entire experience has made me leery about doctors.
If you happen to run into funding, SARP might not be a bad idea. You're right, the trip could end up being a waste of time and money. However, it could also yield benefits in that they would probably be able to tell you whether or not you have severe asthma. They'll look at your medical records, do an exam and formulate an opinion. I doubt they'd base their opinion on a single spirometry reading.
You're right. In the scheme of things, the medical world doesn't have a clue. For example, they have no idea what causes schizophrenia, though they've come to the conclusion that it's probably an umbrella term for more than one illness. Schizophrenia research is all over the board. I don't keep up with asthma research as much, but I know there are some drug companies who are working on drugs for severe asthma (as opposed to mild or moderate asthma).View Thread
I think your friends are correct. It sounds like your counselor doesn't totally understand when to apply CBT techniques. He just applies them to every situation, even when it's not appropriate. When I went to counseling for my ADHD, it wasn't like that at all. It was more about changing my behavior in certain situations than being irrational. I don't even remember my counselor mentioning the word "irrational" in relation to the behaviors they were trying to change. When I participated in the research study for CBT and schizophrenia, they never mentioned my thoughts or experiences as being irrational. It was about how likely the scenario was and reducing my anxiety associated with each scenario. Both times, the beginning was mostly educational, in that they taught me about ADHD and schizophrenia, respectively.
From my limited experience with CBT, it doesn't seem like the technique even applies to your situation because there are no behaviors that need to be changed in certain situations. It also sounds like your counselor listened to respond, instead of actually listening to what you were saying.View Thread