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New here
May 30, 2013
I'm new to the boards and thought I'd give my story.
I'm kind of confused about my situation. I was just diagnosed a year ago with asthmatic bronchitis, GERD, and allergies. Now that I think about it, as a kid, I was always clearing my throat and having sinus issues.
Fast forward to 2010. I got bronchitis with wheezing so the doctor just said it kicked up some asthma. That's the first time I ever heard that word. Z-pak and prednisone didn't kick it. So got another antibiotic, a steroid shot, and a breathing treatment which seemed to help it.

2011, had another bout of bronchitis, somewhat milder. That went away quick.

2012 - This year kicked my butt! March, got bronchitis. 2 rounds of antibiotics and an inhaler. The antibiotics helped but the cough lingered on. The doctor sent me for an xray and PFT. Both were normal.

So that's when I was referred to an allergist. Had the allergy testing and was very surprised at the results. All the pollens, grass, trees, dustmites, dogs, cats.... I never really had the normal allergy reactions. My problem has been very tight chest and cough with hoarseness. I described it as having to "reach for a breath". The doctor said I had allergies with reactive airway disease. He prescribed singulair and asmanex. Also started allergy shots. After about a month, I told the allergist I still had the problems with tightness and cough. He thought the meds would have helped so he thought maybe I was just having anxiety.

But he referred me to a pulmonologist. Since everything was normal, my pulmonologist wasn't sure where to start. He continued me on the Pro Air, and changed the asmanex to Dulera. He said it could still be asthma, even though everything was normal and considered doing the methacholine challenge test. But he doesn't like for anyone to go through that test. I was also prescribed Prilosec in case it was GERD. I did have problems a few years ago with acid reflux during the night. He gave me the peak flow monitor and had me recording that every day. When I started that, it was in the 350 range. I still have breathing issues now and then but my range now is around 550.

I'm still wondering if it's really asthma or not. When my symptoms happen, I can't always figure out my triggers. And sometimes, when I'm having breathing issues, trying to take a deep breath, I can still blow 450 to 500 on the peak flow. I think I might still have some acid reflux during the night that doesn't wake me up. Sometimes I have a sore throat in the morning. So, I'm wondering if the acid reflux is what is causing my symptoms.

Just went through bronchitis again. Keflex and prednisone seemed to kick it after 3 weeks. My pulm doc also says I should get the shingles and pneumonia shots along with the flu shot. Has anyone else had these shots?
Re: New here
May 30, 2013
Welcome to the boards!
I absolutely can relate to what you've been through. I never had asthma as a child and no one in my family has ever had it. In 2010 I had pneumonia, complications (double pneumonia), then whooping cough followed by H1N1. By the time it was over, I couldn't breathe and it wasn't getting any better. My GP at the time didn't think anything of it and refused to believe anyone could get hit with asthma that fast. He finally believed me one day when I walked into his office and couldn't even speak-to make matters worse, I worked for him at the time! His solution-use atrovent as a rescue inhaler. Can you guess about how well THAT worked?? I referred myself to a pulmonologist who did the meth test and confirmed that I did in fact have severe uncontrolled asthma. His solution-keep using what you are and follow up with your GP! I found all new doc's after that. My new PCP was wonderful, but couldn't find anything to work so I referred myself to an asthma/allergy doc. After allergy testing, we determined I wasn't allergic to ANYHTING. Non-allergic adult onset asthma is a terrible thing.

I never know what is going to trigger it, so I don't know what to avoid. After 3 years, we've been able to determine that weather changes, cold air(either from weather or air conditioning) and strong smells of any kind will trigger it.

A little over a year ago, inhalers stopped working for me. All we can figure out is there is something in the propelant that my lungs don't like. Albuteral still works great-in a neb. I have been carrying a neb around full time since then. We throw everything but the kitchen sink at it and we eventuallly find something that works...for a while and then we start all over again. Right now-Brovana neb twice a day, GERD meds and QVAR at the highest doeses with frequent prednisone bursts and albuteral/atrovent nebs. We just added Pulmicort on top of the QVAR when I feel like I'm getting sick. It's all a witches brew, but right now it works as well as anything. I take a boat load of suppliments to counteract the side effects of the QVAR and the Brovana, but so far, it's doing OK.

She did recommend-and I did get-the pneumonia and flu vaccine. I get a flu vaccine yearly and pneumonia every 10 years. My astham doc told me this last flu season that it would only take 1 round of flu to land me in serious trouble and in the hospital. I've never had the shingles shot, but I'm not old enough to get it (don't have too many more years though!)

This past winter was terrible-most of it at my own fault. I got sick in Feb, but was too busy to go to the doc. I followed my asthma action plan, but it wasn't working. By the first of March, I had laryngitis and was in the yellow zone at least twice a week. One of the docs I work for is an internist and she finally had enough and checked me out. Bronchitis and a severe flare of asthma. It took 3 rounds of prednisone, albuteral/atrovent nebs every 6 hours for 3 weeks plus 21 days of antibiotics to get me straight. I'm still having the occasional issue and have noticed that I am MUCH more sensitive to everything. It absolutely doesn't take much to send my peak flows down the tubes again. Lessons learned-I won't wait to go to the doctor again.

I too can be having issues and still blow good numbers-and several others on the board do too. That's not too uncommon. My doc told me to go with the symptoms-not just the numbers. She said if I'm having symptons, do a treatment and don't worry about what the numbers say. Sometimes I can have terrible numbers and feel fine. I think it's a crap shoot either way, but we do the best we can.

I hope you get the answers you are looking for, but I'm sure you will get some good advise from other board members.
Good luck!

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