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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board


Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index


Hi all,

First off, I truly appreciate it if you make it to the end of my post. I welcome any responses! I am new here. I am a 29 year old female, married with a 2 year old daughter. Non-smoker. My illness began in May 2008. Prior to this time I would have considered myself healthy, having never had bronchitis or pneumonia to my knowledge (only chronic sinus infections that responded, sometimes hesitantly, to antibiotics).

At the beginning of May, I visited an urgent care clinic due to shortness of breath and chest pain. My chest x-ray showed bronchitis. After a round of Z-Pak I wasn't any better. Follow up x-ray showed same thing. Doc thought I was having bronchiospasms and put me on Albuterol and Prednisone for a few days. I felt somewhat better, but my health dramatically declined from here.

Since the bronchitis episode in May 2008, I have been to the doctor numerous times for unintentional weight loss, extreme fatigue, sinusitis, anxiety, etc. When I say extreme fatigue, I mean days and nights of not having any energy at all to get out of bed. Days when I didn't think I was going to make it at work until quitting time. And weight loss - 24 lbs in only 6 months without trying. My OBGYN had to put me on Wellbutrin just to give me enough energy to function each day. I had blood work done on many occasions only to be "normal".

Then in August 2008 the respiratory problems resurfaced. I visited my doctor who prescribed Levaquin for sinusitis. A week later I revisited my doctor because of shortness of breath and a sharp pain on my left side when taking a deep breath. I had no chest sounds but due to the pain they decided to do a chest x ray. Low and behold, I was diagnosed with severe bronchitis and early pneumonia (now remember, I'm already on Levaquin at this time). 4 days later, after a Rocephin shot and a round of Z-Pak, I land in my doctor's office again still extremely sick. No fever - ever - throughout any of this. My doctor is stumped. Why am I so sick with what appears to be infection in my lungs and sinuses but I am not responding to antibiotics at all? And I got no relief whatsoever from the breathing treatment in the office. So...here comes my referral.

I saw an allergist/immunologist last week who determined I had several allergies - none too severe. He prescribed Astelin & Veramyst and ordered a CT scan of my sinuses. Scan showed inflammation and swelling, so Doc didn't want me on antibiotics again. Instead he put me on Medrol (steriod) for 3 days. No improvement AT ALL. Allergist ordered all sorts of blood work (including CBC, metabolic panel, thyroid, mono - all of which had already been done by my other doctor) and he also included immunoglobulin and SED rate this time. Haven't heard from everything but the immunoglobulin and CBC came back normal, just as I suspected. I go for a follow up chest x ray in the morning to see why my chest is still tight and my breathing is shallow. I also can't shake the dry cough and the nasty white and sometimes green THICK mucous coming from my chest.

After months of crying out of pure fear, and starting to convince myself that maybe I am crazy and it's all in my head (although I don't think I can fudge the chest x rays myself), something hit me tonight. We purchased a brand new mattress in April 2008 for my daughter's room. (She still sleeps with us but we wanted to have an extra bed!) When we removed the plastic, I remember thinking the chemical smell was horrific. But I was optimistic that the packaging was the cause and it would dissipate over time. Wrong! 5 months later we are begging the dealer to swap the mattress for us because the "chemical" smell consumes my daughter's room. I tried sleeping on the mattress one night a few weekends ago because I was coughing and didn't want to keep baby & husband awake. After 10 minutes of lying on the new mattress, my eyes were burning and my head was spinning.

Light bulb? Why haven't I thought of this? Why did I fail to make this connection? Health problems began in May 2008. Mattress entered home in April 2008. Probably because I've been too sick. But I hope that we found my problem - the new mattress. We removed it from our home tonight so I guess the true test will be in the weeks to come.

Now to my question. Say the mattress has been the #1 contributor to my failing health over the past few months. And since I've had bronchitis twice now, would it be considered chronic at this point? Is there any hope that *if* the mattress is the problem and the problem is removed I might regain my health and suffer no long term effects on my lungs?





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