I don't have pain all the time, but I do have chest pain in the lower right area during an episode.
"Is this the new normal?" Every asthmatic is different. A lot of the folks here have more severe forms and never go back to their previous normal. Some folks have mild forms and feel normal unless they get a respiratory infection. Sometimes folks have problems, then the symptoms go away for years only to reappear later on.
For most folks with asthma, the symptoms can be adequately controlled with current medicines and they go on to lead relatively normal lives. So, generally speaking, that's the outcome you would expect.
You could also ask the doctors to rule out other medical conditions that can look like asthma.View Thread
If you type in a drug name in the search box, it comes back with a link to the drug information.
1. why did the doctor put me into a cateogry of Asthma I have never had any respiratory issues. Never ever smoked in my life. Mold causes asthma health issues?
I don't know why your doctor did what they did because I would have to talk to them to know that. I also got mold in my apartment after a flood and the breathing got a lot worse. Allergies can make asthma worse, and some folks are allergic to mold. In my case they did an allergy and discovered I was allergic to mold, and allergies aggravate asthma.
2. Did the steroids and inhalers make my cataracts grow? Oral corticosteroids are associated with an increased risk of cataracts. I don't know if inhaled corticosteroids are.
3. Do the inhalers cause damage to your heart if you have already had heart issues?
In general, the rescue inhalers, like albuterol, can affect the heart electrical rhythm, but I don't know the exact details of which disease they affect the most.
4. What can steroids do?
The worse one is prednsione or other oral corticosteroids. In the long term at high enough doses, they can leave you open to osteoporosis, avascular necrosis, cataracts, mood swings, diabetes, insomnia, corticosteroid induced psychotic reactions, tendon damage, etc. Oral corticosteroids are nasty medicines, which is why most doctors will only use them if not using them means the person will likely die from their airways closing. They use them to get the airways open, usually in an emergency or to prevent an emergency that is likely to occur. It is also why doctors use inhaled corticosteroids and other asthma drugs, to help lower the amount of oral corticosteroids used. The other drugs have less risks overall.
Look up in the search box, it has a lot of information there.View Thread
You posted in the right place as there are many folks here with more severe asthma forms.
Sounds like the doctors you saw who said, "there's no wheezing, you are okay" weren't really listening to you. I hear not only on this board but also on the asthma UK's youtube account that although some medical professionals believe wheezing is necessary to say someone is having trouble, it simply isn't true. I also spoke to a nurse who I worked with, and she said it isn't true, because if a person isn't exchanging air, they are definitely in trouble, but there would be no wheeze because there's no air present to wheeze with. There's also cough variant asthma. Did they ever get the mucus plugs out?
It sounds like you are in an under served area, like I am, since you mention it taking a year to see an allergist. If that's true, I know very well the fustrations with that.
I assume you already know common asthma triggers and have tracked what seems to aggravate your asthma and avoid the triggers as much as you can. If you haven't, webmd has various articles on common asthma triggers. I usually just type things in the search box and it comes up, but let me know if you need the link.
If you have allergic asthma, some have found Xolair injections to be helpful, usually given by allergists in my area. It works by interferring with IgE, which is involved in allergic reactions. There's also bronchothermoplasty, which there are many threads on this board about....its for folks who don't respond well to the medicines, but it's not reversible. They go in and burn off some of the muscle in the lungs so the airways don't bronchoconstrict as much...when you have asthma and are exposed to a trigger, the airways tighten up as the muscles tighten up and there's inflammation as well as mucus. Bronchothermoplasty seeks to lessen the tightening of the muscles. Again, I'm sure webmd has some general information on asthma and the physiological components of an asthma attack if you put the words in the search box...again, let me know if you need a direct link.
National Jewish is a good place for asthma care, and it's located in Denver, Colorado. I've heard from others the care there is good, and they act as a second opinion source when local doctors can't get the problem fixed. You go up there for a few days, they run different tests, etc. The feedback I get from folks who've been is of two kinds: 1. The care is good, folks are nice there, but they weren't able to add anything to my care and just said my asthma is bad, so sorry, nothing more can be done 2. The care is good, folks are nice there, and they found I have asthma, but I have this other medical conditions (for instance, a rare pulmonary infection) that my doctors missed, and they started to treat me for that....so I'm feeling much better now. You can google them, and again let me know if you need a direct link. I believe Cleveland Clinic is also supposed to be good, but I've only known one person who went there.
Asthma is oftentimes misunderstood, even by healthcare professionals. Even by those who are knowledgeable...generally those who are Board Certified in Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology...there is just so much the science doesn't yet know about asthma. Of course, doing things that improve general health, good nutrition, exercise, rest, stress control, etc should make it less severe....but some folks still have problems even so.
Oh, and Dr. Sally Wenzel is doing research on the more severe forms of asthma which is another option if you meet research criteria. If you go to www.breathinstephen.com he has the links.
It's late, I've been busy today, so a bit lazy with the links....but again let me know if you run into trouble accessing and I'll look more into it and post links if you need them.
No problem. Hope all goes well. In my case, the doctor gave me instructions of what to do if the peak flow doesn't go up after taking the rescue medicines, but his instructions to me are based on my individual circumstances (I don't have a heart condition, for example), so may not be applicable to you. The fact the rescue medicines aren't bringing your peak flow up normally would be considered a medical emergency by what my doctor has told me since it would mean your asthma isn't responding to the rescue medicines....but I don't know for sure if it is in your case since I don't know if your technique of getting peak flow numbers is good or not, etc. You may want to consider going to an urgent care clinic or an ER. I'ts impossible for me to know for sure if you should go to urgent care of the ER over the internet. I've had times when I had an infection and it wasn't responding to rescue medicines, but it was apparently due to all the congestion in my lungs from the infection, and my doctor had just started me on antibiotics to try to avoid a hospital admission. Your doctor would also want to know that the peak flow isn't going up after taking rescue medicines if you elect to call them instead. Best of luck to you.View Thread
I would call the doctor and let them know what is happening and they can decide if they want to see you sooner.
I can only tell you what has been done in my inidividual case. The doctor gave me a peak flow meter, told me how to use it and to blow into it 3 times, if any number is way different than the others...more than 10% difference, then throw it out and go a 4th time. Take the highest number of the ones that are within 10% of each other and record it. Do this every 12 hours for 30 days. Take the top number that appears at least twice, and that is my personal best. Then, he set up a plan based on the percentage of my personal best. The charts that say what your peak flow should be are describing a population, and it is normal for there to be some variation, but your numbers are way different than the norm, so I think it's worth a call to your doctor.
Generally, 80-100% of either predicted (in this case, 475) or personal best as described above is okay, 50-80% and you have to add medicine because something is wrong. 50% or lower is a medical emergency and go to urgent care or the ER right away.
Your rescue medicines, (typically, albuterol or some variation of that) should bring your peak flow up about 10%. If it doesn't, that is a bad thing and would indicate a possible trip to an urgent care center. My doctors tell me if my asthma is under good control, then I should be using my rescue inhaler two times a week or less. Also, controller medicines, which Symbicort is one, can take a few weeks to reach full effect. So, if you just started it, it will take time to fully work.View Thread
I'm having to rest the hip right now as it flared up, so was looking at youtube. If you put in "disability rights movement" and the first video on the list is a documentary on the disability rights movement. It's a good video. It basically describes why I became an Occupational Therapist as opposed to a Physical Therapist because the theory of Occupational Therapy is mostly concerned if a person can function and participate in daily activities, and doesn't limit itself to only looking at movement disorders. It also addresses social discrimination and access issues, so is more encompassing or holistic. However, PT has the strength of going into a low of detail on the specifics of movement disorders and remediating the movement disorder especially in walking and gross motor skills....but what if the person doesn't respond to PT? Then PT theory no longer helps, but in OT it also looks at eliminating social and physical barriers, but is not as strong with getting people to walk. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, I was just drawn more to a holistic view especially the social injustice issues of seeing my friends being discriminated against just because they were different.View Thread
Best of luck to you. I was just trying to let veroctupus know that I do agree with doing whatever you can to limit the amount of the drugs, because I hate prednisone and it does have risks to it and side effects. I was just also adding, though, that sometimes for some individuals (myself included) it's not possible to get completely off the medicines. In my case, if I did, then it would put my life at risk and I could die since I've come close to that before. The doctors I see know full well the risks of the medicines, and yes the side effects are difficult for me as well. Also, for several years I had a primary care doctor who believed in integrative medicine, meaning using traditional pharmaceutical based western medicine with alternative health. So, most of my doctors are open to alternative health methods because my doctors usually want me to decrease the medicines as much as I can without the asthma becoming unstable.
Anyway, I hope the best for you. I tend to also have anxiety so know it can be hard.View Thread
I meant to say, "Taking good care of yourself by eating less processed food, increasing fruits, increasing veggies, getting enough sleep..." above. Veroctopus is right in that the drugs do carry risks, so it makes sense to minimalize your use as much as possible....just making sure you also know there's a risk to under medicating as well, depending on how bad your asthma is. Allergists I've known are willing to work on lowering the drug dosages, and if they don't they normally give a reasonable answer.
....and I don't get any money from drug companies....lol . I've spent years trying to decrease my reliance on medicines and clean air and diet high in anti oxidants with a lot of raw, organically grown fruits and vegetables definitely helped in my case....but I still have to take asthma medications and to take prednisone bursts 3-4 times a year...but it's much less than what it used to be (I take about a third of the prednisone than I used to before making the changes).View Thread
A person should not take any more medicines than they have to in order to keep the asthma controlled. However, some asthmatics, even with good trigger control and keeping other elements of health (diet, rest, etc) in line still have to take higher dosages of medicines in order to prevent life threatening asthma attacks. People die from asthma attacks, so under medicating also carries risks.
A normal FEV1 test does not mean a person definitely does not have asthma. Asthma is a reversible airway obstruction, so a person can have normal lung function measures one day and abnormally low ones the next day. I know because that's how my lung are. My FEV1 varies anywhere from normal all the way down to 50% of my personal best depending on if I'm having an asthma attack or not. Just because I have a normal FEV1 one day does not mean I won't be at 50% in a few weeks. This variability in lung function is why moderate and severe asthmatics use peak flow meters. If I followed your instructions which states a normal FEV1 one day means you don't have asthma and can't be low a few weeks later, I would already be dead because I can drop pretty rapidly. Thousands of people die from asthma attacks every year.
Silverfox, I would definitely try to figure out what is triggering your asthma. Taking good care of yourself by eating less processed food, fruits, veggies, getting enough sleep, breathing clean air, exercise, low stress can only help and this with avoiding triggers should lessen your reliance on the medicines, which is desirable...so I agree with veroctopus on that. However, I wouldn't go off the medicines without first discussing your individual medical condition with your doctor to get their input on the relative risks and benefits of taking the medicines. In my experience, allergists are normally more than willing to try to decrease the medicines if they think there is a good chance your asthma will stay stable...but I would still discuss it with your doctor to be on the safe side.View Thread
I neglected to mention above that actually the pain after the surgery has been much less than it was before the surgery. It's been 9 weeks since the surgery, and the surgery definitely helped by not only decreasing the pain, but also by increasing the amount of weight the leg can take before becoming unstable and therefore allowing me to use one crutch instead of two, which makes a huge difference in daily activities because now I have one hand I can use. However, I'm lagging behind where the protocol says I should be, apparently due to the tendon also being damaged, which the protocol assumes only the cartilage was damaged.
Also, I'm trained more for hand therapy than hip therapy, but I'm using what I know and basically treating the hip like a big hand....lol....and that's why I think it's beneficial for me to go to outpatient PT, because they are trained more for the hip injuries. The one I'm with right now doesn't get defensive, and if I'm wrong, she listens to me then explains where I'm wrong and educates me. If she's not sure, she'll assess the hip to evaluate what's going on. If she thinks I'm right, she says, "you're doing everything right, it's just not responding....you will need surgery. It's nothing that you are doing wrong." We get along well.
As far as I know, the main difference between our injuries is mine involved the labrum (cartilage in the joint), which has a poor blood supply. Because it has a poor blood supply, it doesn't heal well on its own, and rest and time often doesn't help. In my case, I tried PT to see if increasing the ROM and strength of the muscles would help, but my ability to function was severely affected by the labral tear and trying PT alone didn't help. Resting it and icing it also didn't result in its healing. So, the orthopod said I was a good candidate for surgery. They went into the joint and they sewed up the tears. Since the tendon injury does have a good supply of blood, it was not evident at the time of surgery that the tendon needed surgical intervention....so the orthopod surgeon left the tendon to do its thing of healing on its own.
In general, after an orthopedic surgery, you have to be careful with adhesion and scar formation limiting the ROM, as I mentioned above. So, you usually don't do complete rest, except perhaps in a few cases where to move the part would clearly impact the integrity of the repair. It's all about balancing rest and activity.
I want it to be healed right now, right away, though. I keep asking what more can I do? .... and the response from both the PT and the orthopod is, "you're doing all you can. This injury will heal, but it takes time." You're right, in that I really hate to know I can't do anything more and to be patient with it and not overdo it and to realize time heals all wounds. Still, thankfully, my training did teach me to avoid severe pain levels so I don't keep pushing and pushing and pushing when left to my own devices. I listen to the old body and will give it a break when it asks for one.View Thread