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Hi, I'm new here and would like to give a quick introduction before I post my questions. I'm in my 30's and was diagnosed with asthma about a month ago. I had bronchitis 6 years ago and have very similiar symptoms to what I'm currently experiencing. The symptons were shortness of breath, 'wet' lung feel, waking up at night gasping for air and extreme fatigue. After a spirometer test, it was confirmed to not be asthma. I used an antiobiotic and a nebulizer with albuterol. I was 'healed' in about a week. No more medications until about a month ago.

Fast foward to a month ago. I get a sinus infection. I go see the allergist/asthma physician and have skin test done for allergies. I've never been to an allergist ever, because I never needed to.

I quit the antiobiotics and begin the asthma related theraphy that she prescibed. It was advair (for non-allergic rhinitis) and pulmicort. I still felt the same, except I didn't have a runny nose. I still coudn't breathe! I coudln't even walk up stairs.

Keep in mind, I'm a physically fit person that tries to excercise every day for at least 30 minutes a day. But I flat out coudln't breahe.

So she ordered the methacholine challenge. I thought someone had ripped out my lungs when the drug was admistered. I bent over begging and gasping for help. My large airways decreased by 43% and my small airways by 38%. OK - sounds like asthma to me, right?

Go back to physican and get another spirometer reading. I increased by maybe 5% on the pulmicort. She puts me on advair. I felt like I could finally breathe after over a month of feeling like the lower part of my lungs were no long in my body. Peak flow meter readings indicate that I'm improving slightly on advair, but ONLY after I go exercise.

Now, here I begin my quesitons and really want your imput.
1) If I truly have asthma, as indicated by the MC challenge, woulnd't I have symptoms more often, instead of one every 6 years?

2) How do I know it's not a viral infection? The CBC came back as normal, as did the chest x-ray adn sinus x-ray. To me, that indicated there is no type of infection, but could there still be an infection lingering that is in the lower part of my lungs that an x-ray or CBC would not detect?

3) What do I do in a few weeks when I'm over this breathing hurdle? I mean, in the past occurence, I took the antiobiotic and was back running a few miles a day in just a week. I'm already back to exercising again, just not running. Instead, I do 4.0mph walks. Do I continue my prescribed medications or is it safe to stop them?

4) As for #3 question, I do realize that I should never stop a medicine without physician approval and supervision, but if I continue to show dramatic increases shoudl I consult with her and ask? She will probably laugh at me for even suggesting to stop the do I call an osteopath and get help there?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've only had symptons 2 times my entire life - one was 6 years ago and now. The one 6 years ago I have concluded was due to cats. I do have an allergy to cats and I was around 3 cats daily. I get away from 2 of the 3 cats and I improved drastically. Now, I still have the 3rd cat.

5) Could my cat be causing all of this havoc on my poor body? I am positive for intradermal skin test, but not scratch test for cats. But it's a confirmed allergy to cats ONLY. Nothing else was a positive allergy for me.

6) Could it be the constant exercise that has keep asthma from really affecting my body until now? Until a month ago, I was exercising daily and now I have returned and most of my symptons have ended. I don't use a rescue inhaler, don't have a need to, not even before I exercise. When I exercise, the lungs seem to clean themselves, so I don't feel like I need to use the inhaler. I breathe better after exercise than any other time.

7) I began coughing up a very thick mucos about a month ago after starting the pulmicort. The physican told me it was because I was asthmatic. Yet, when I told her that I never coughed AT ALL, much less coughed up mucos until I started the inhaler, she just raised her eyebrow. Seriously, I NEVER coughed prior to starting the pulmicort. And, I never coughed anything up. Now, I cough up about a tsp of this thich mucos a day, mainly when I first wake up in the morning. So is the inhaler causing the mucos to loosen and be passed out of my body and it was there all along?

I guess these are all the questions that I have. Thank you for reading this far, since it is quite a novel. I'm just not sure where to turn to for help! I don't doubt that I have asthma, I just want to understand how I could have this with only 2 episodes of issues with it in 6 years...or is that normal??? Like is asthma a masked disease that could only have recurrent phases when it feels like it or when I get something (like a sinus infection) that can irriate the lungs by causing drainage in them?

Thank you in advance for your help!

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