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It's official, I have asthma

ancientgirl
January 23rd, 2008, 01:36 PM
I've had a cough that won't go away since Christmas. One night during the holidays I felt short of breath, so much so I was to the point where I thought my windpipe was going to close. So I took another Singulair. It helped, but ever since then, I have been coughing and short of breath.

I went to the doctor and the PA sent me home with an inhaler. That was only supposed to be for emergencies, but lately, I've been using it more and more frequently.

Last night was the tip of the iceberg. I spent several hours hacking and coughing, because I took Mucinex thinking I had phlegm. OMG, I thought I was going to burst a blood vessel. After I finally was able to stop I went to bed and wheezed all night.

This morning I had had it. I called the doctor's office and said I'd be in to wait for him and that I NEEDED to see him.

When he saw me he listened to my lungs, after I told him what was going on. He said "Your asthma is out of control."

I was flabbergasted! I'd suspected I may have asthma, but I just never thought it would be true.

He gave me an inhaler to take once a day, I can still use the other one during the day. He sent me home with some pills, steroids which I hate taking, but I have no choice here, and a shot to help me breath.

I have to say, I haven't been able to breathe this well in weeks!

I asked him if I can still continue to take my "allergy" medication and he said yes, and no lecture. I for sure he'd give me the "get rid of the cats lecture" but no, nothing, and he knows what I take the allergy pills for.

So I see him again next week and I guess we'll figure out what to do about this, and the medication I'll need.

I told him before I left my brother had asthma as a child. He said, some people grow out of it, and some grow into it, I've grown into it.

Oh fun.:frustrated:

krdahmer
January 23rd, 2008, 02:37 PM
:grouphug:Aw I'm sorry to say welcome to the world of Asthma... been here since I was 2 (officially anyhow, my poor mother suffered terribly not knowing what was wrong with me from birth until then...:sad::o).

There are so many really effective drugs out there now that having your asthma under control is not such a feat anymore. I have been on Advair for about 3 years or so I think and have only used my rescue inhaler ONCE since starting it. That for me is amazing, seeing as most of my life I relied on that rescue inhaler almost daily!

Cats and asthma are not the best combo, but I know you are stubborn like me, and would rather suffer a little than lose one little fur ball! You've been researching and asking questions and seem to be right on track with your doc.... so don't worry its not as bad a sentence as you feel now.

:lightbulb:Oh and be sure you get a medical alert necklace or bracelet to alert others that you have asthma... its important that they know that right away if something ever happens to you and you are unable to tell them.

clm
January 23rd, 2008, 03:16 PM
I have it too, but only bad in the evening or if I have a cold. Most of the time I can handle it. Cats, dogs, dust, smoking....all are bad for it and I have them all. :laughing: Fortunately I've learned to live with it....never have taken medication for it although the doctor tried to get me to get an inhaler at the time it was diagnosed. (many, many years ago. :laughing:)

Cindy

14+kitties
January 23rd, 2008, 03:27 PM
Asthma sucks. My daughter has it too, along with a host of allergies, mostly food. And she has a cat. :) Go figure.
These days most meds deal quite well with it. As long as you are aware and educated you will do ok. And krdahmer is right, a medic alert bracelet is a must. :goodvibes: coming your way.

allymack
January 23rd, 2008, 03:39 PM
ah yes, welcome to the sucky world of asthma, i have had it since i was 12, i have had two puffers ever since, one (advair) that i am supposed to take everyday and a second one ( ventalin) for any exercise that will cause me to wheeze. the advair builds up to prevent all the coughing and the ventalin is a fast acting for emergencies. trust me i know how sucky it is! hope you get it all figured out and under control soon!:grouphug::fingerscr

ancientgirl
January 23rd, 2008, 03:56 PM
When he told me, I didn't feel as bad as I thought I might. I'd suspected it, and since I know a lot of you have it also, and are able to live with your pets and still live a comfortable healthy life helped me deal with it a lot!

I hadn't thought of a medical alert bracelet, but it is a very good idea.

Right now, I'm taking Singulair, and I'll start taking Zyrtec when it comes over the counter. The inhaler he I've been using that's for regular use and emergencies is Xopenex HFA, and he gave me Symbicort inhaler for once a day. I'm also taking Predisone for the next 7 or 6 days and he also gave me a shot of something while I was at the office that immediately gave me some relief.

I also know I have to be more diligent about keeping pet hair to a minimum, and as it is, I've been wearing a mask to clean the litter box for several weeks so that will continue to help.

Thanks for all of your support. I know with medication I can keep it under control now.:)

hazelrunpack
January 23rd, 2008, 05:14 PM
Just a caution, in case they haven't told you--as soon as you are able, wean off the steroids. Long term they can cause you grief--cataracts, osteoporosis, suppression of your own adrenal system, etc. The effects are cumulative--taking a rest from them will not reverse the damage they do.

I've been told by an ophthalmologist that if I were taking 20mg of prednisone (16mg of prednisolone) a day, after a year, they'd expect to already see changes in eyes. I converted my dosage from 2006 and I'm at about 90 days' equivalent. If I were to take more, I'd have to adjust that total upward. So if I can at all struggle through without the pred, I do.

Sometimes doctors aren't as diligent as they should be about warning you of risks. Sometimes the pred is necessary--because you do need to breathe :o--but they should at least tell you what you're getting into.

Once you get your allergies more in hand, you should be able to taper off on the heavy-duty stuff. :grouphug: Bummer, though, isn't it... :frustrated: Sigh

Hogansma
January 23rd, 2008, 05:27 PM
I too have asthma. My doctor sent me to a lung specialist and I was really afraid he would say to get rid of my dogs (not that I would have done it). While waiting in his office for him to come in, I noticed the beautiful large profesional pictures of his dogs all over the walls and a tiny pic on his desk of his human family. That put me at ease. He never once mentioned about getting rid of the dogs, just bathing them and grooming them regularly.

Hope you keep well!!!

ancientgirl
January 23rd, 2008, 06:00 PM
Just a caution, in case they haven't told you--as soon as you are able, wean off the steroids. Long term they can cause you grief--cataracts, osteoporosis, suppression of your own adrenal system, etc. The effects are cumulative--taking a rest from them will not reverse the damage they do.

I've been told by an ophthalmologist that if I were taking 20mg of prednisone (16mg of prednisolone) a day, after a year, they'd expect to already see changes in eyes. I converted my dosage from 2006 and I'm at about 90 days' equivalent. If I were to take more, I'd have to adjust that total upward. So if I can at all struggle through without the pred, I do.

Sometimes doctors aren't as diligent as they should be about warning you of risks. Sometimes the pred is necessary--because you do need to breathe :o--but they should at least tell you what you're getting into.

Once you get your allergies more in hand, you should be able to taper off on the heavy-duty stuff. :grouphug: Bummer, though, isn't it... :frustrated: Sigh

Oh hazel thanks, but I should have said, I don't have to take it all the time. I just need to now because of the coughing and wheezing and the fact he said it was out of control. I WON'T take them on a regular basis, not if I can control this with medication and the inhalers. I've taken these kinds of steroids before and I hate it. You get so swollen and your mood changes. Hopefully it won't be so bad this time.

ancientgirl
January 23rd, 2008, 06:04 PM
I too have asthma. My doctor sent me to a lung specialist and I was really afraid he would say to get rid of my dogs (not that I would have done it). While waiting in his office for him to come in, I noticed the beautiful large profesional pictures of his dogs all over the walls and a tiny pic on his desk of his human family. That put me at ease. He never once mentioned about getting rid of the dogs, just bathing them and grooming them regularly.

Hope you keep well!!!

That's great that he didn't put you through that. But it's just more evidence that you CAN live with this and enjoy having pets in your home.

I already bath my furry ones once a month, and in between I use kitty wipes and also have a natural spray that helps keep their dander down.

Thank you for telling me your story.

I'm feeling a lot better about this knowing you all have asthma too and you are able to control it.

aslan
January 23rd, 2008, 07:18 PM
Puts hand up, I've had asthma for years, and yup i have pets and smoke. I had my first severe asthma attack last spring. Little hints to stop it from happening. Caffeine, steam both help in moderation. And OMG whatever you do calm down and don't panic. By the time my ambulance showed up i was on the bathroom floor sure I was dying. Gotta hate advair, push gargle spit.

ancientgirl
January 23rd, 2008, 07:20 PM
Caffeine, my SIL just told me that as well. The good thing is I love coffee. Maybe I can use it as an excuse to go back to my morning latte.:)

clm
January 23rd, 2008, 09:08 PM
I drink a lot of coffee and tea so loads of caffine.:laughing: I had no idea it helps. I may work for a drug company, but I don't like taking meds, so I've never used anything for it. :laughing: Sometimes the wheezing really bothers me some nights, but not often, sleeping with my head elevated helps a lot with that.

Cindy

ancientgirl
January 23rd, 2008, 09:16 PM
Well, I have this bad Tinnitus, which is ringing in my ears, and I have to say, i can deal with that. I can deal with almost anything, but I can't deal with wheezing. Not being able to breath is something that really bothers me.

clm
January 23rd, 2008, 09:58 PM
You know when it really bothers me too....is when I first get into a pool for a swim. Not like I do that often, but even when I was younger, going for a swim in the lake, until I got my breathing under control, it was almost like a little panic attack and the wheezing would get bad. I'm with you, not being able to breathe is very scary. I've learned not to panic if an attack strikes though....it's taken years and years of working on it though.

Cindy

ancientgirl
January 24th, 2008, 08:43 AM
I actually had something like that happen to me not long ago. I was at a friends house, and they were having some raw oysters. I've never liked them but decided to give it a shot. I had one and about 5 minutes later started to feel really bad.

I went to lie down and started to feel like I couldn't breathe. I began to panic. So much so my friend was getting ready to give me a shot. Her kids have allergies so she's got something for emergencies, I can't remember what it's called, but she almost gave it to me. LOL, of course, then I barfed all over her rug and I seemed to have calmed down.

Um...I've stricken oysters off my eating list forever. Just in case.

hazelrunpack
January 24th, 2008, 09:43 AM
Oh hazel thanks, but I should have said, I don't have to take it all the time. I just need to now because of the coughing and wheezing and the fact he said it was out of control. I WON'T take them on a regular basis, not if I can control this with medication and the inhalers. I've taken these kinds of steroids before and I hate it. You get so swollen and your mood changes. Hopefully it won't be so bad this time.

Have they told you to start a journal of meds and peak flows, yet? You can use it to keep track of how much pred you've had, too. How long were you on it before? Add that to your total, because you're looking at a lifetime accumulation.

Well, I have this bad Tinnitus, which is ringing in my ears, and I have to say, i can deal with that.

Yeah--and caffeine can contribute to the tintinitis :frustrated: but I've always found that the Joys of Caffeine outweigh any distraction from the noise... :laughing:


Um...I've stricken oysters off my eating list forever. Just in case.

:eek: Good call! All over the carpet, eh? :eeew: I hope it wasn't a shag carpet! :o

How are you feeling today? Still breathing well?

ancientgirl
January 24th, 2008, 10:05 AM
Have they told you to start a journal of meds and peak flows, yet? You can use it to keep track of how much pred you've had, too. How long were you on it before? Add that to your total, because you're looking at a lifetime accumulation.

No, I haven't been asked to start any kind of a journal. I'll probably get more info from my doctor next week when I see him. By then I'll have finished taking the steroids.

Yeah--and caffeine can contribute to the tintinitis :frustrated: but I've always found that the Joys of Caffeine outweigh any distraction from the noise... :laughing:

Well, I've had it for nearly a year now, and really, it's only an annoyance while I'm trying to sleep. But I have a white noise machine and if I don't put my ear to the pillow and allow myself to listen to the noise machine it's not so bad. It's when I'm in a really quiet place that it drives me nuts. But I love coffee, so I'll deal.

:eek: Good call! All over the carpet, eh? :eeew: I hope it wasn't a shag carpet! :o

How are you feeling today? Still breathing well?

LOL, well it wasn't a shag carpet, but about a week later it was in MY living room. I asked my friend if there was anything else in her house I could barf on. I need a couch!

Today I'm doing well. It's so nice to breath and not feel yourself wheezing and feel like your chest isn't constricted. I've still got a bit of a cough, but that's subsided considerably. I'm guessing it will get better after I've finished the Prednisone or whatever these pills are called.

I also found a site that has some very pretty and very fashionable medical alert bracelets, so I may be buying one or two to have when I'm out.

Helene4
January 27th, 2008, 03:18 PM
Hi Ancientgirl,

I also discovered about 11 years ago that I suffer from asthma, light not severe, but I know now that it started about 12 years before I got the diagnosis. When I left home to go to university, my family had 3 dogs and 1 cat. When I came home for summer or Christmas holidays, the first few weeks were a nightmare; I couldn't sleep the weezing was so bad. I couldn't breathe. It was as if my body cells didn't recognize my pets anymore. After a few weeks, everything would be ok until the next holiday...

11 years ago, my boyfriend and I adopted our first dog, Kalou (RIP 1994-2004) and again things were very difficult the first weeks. I took Claritin thinking I was allergic but half the time it didn't make any difference. After adopting our second dog, Mickey, a year later,the same thing happened. Not long after that, I read an article and discovered I had asthma and not an allergy so I went to the doctor and came back with an inhaler to use in case of emergency. It's funny, nearly 4 years ago we adopted our 2 cats, Kira and Jadzia, and I never had a reaction to them. Maybe it's because they are short-haired.

At one time my "emergency inhaler" was being used several times a day, my situation was getting worse. The doctor told me to get rid of my dogs or not let them in the house. Yah right. I don't really want to use strong drugs so I tried acupuncture. It has helped me immensely. Now I rarely use my inhaler and when I do it's mostly because of our cold winter winds, not because of my pets. It's also helped my hay fever. This year, I wasn't bothered at all. I am careful when I brush Mickey and 4 year old Arielle (our other dog) every week; I do it outside. I do brush Jadzia in the house and I'm ok. I don't brush Kira, she hates it! Other than that, I have no restrictions: everyone has the run of the house and they always cuddled up to me at night.

Anyway, it might be worth a try for your allergy and asthma. Acupuncture may not be able to eliminate them completely but maybe your attacks will be less frequent and severe. Acupuncture is very relaxing, I'm afraid of blood and needles but it's painless and I often fall asleep during the treatment!

Good luck!

ancientgirl
January 27th, 2008, 09:49 PM
Hi!

Thanks for the suggestion, but since I've actually now been diagnosed, I've had an easier time.

I haven't had to use my rescue inhaler once since my doctor gave me the daily inhaler. I'm also still on the steroids, but I should finish taking those by Wednesday. At that point, I'll go in to see him again and he may or may not give me something else as well.

I have to say, it just feels so good to be able to breath well. No wheezing and being able to actually feel like I'm getting enough air.

For the first time before i was diagnosed i feel like I don't even have an allergy or any kind of a problem. I'm able to pet my babies, brush them, and share my bed with them.

Yes I have to be more diligent in some things, but i don't know if I could sleep without at least one of them snuggled up next to me. LOL, last night I woke up and Vlad had his head right next to mine on my pillow. A week ago, no way could I have done that.