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Asthma Message Board

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Hello Frogerina. I was diagnosed with asthma at the end of September by my family physician and an ER Dr. The ER doctor said that I was having severe bronchial spasms. He said that bronchial spasms is just another way to say asthma. He said one is a process and the other is a diagnosis. So I guess doctors do refer to asthma in different terms. Since then my peak flows have been between 220 to 390. The normal for me should be around 490. I waited for 6weeks to get in with an asthma dr. which I saw on Dec. 3rd. He put me on symbicort and it was helping until I ran into a co-worker that wears "all natural from the earth essential oils" on Dec. 9th. I know that sounds sarcastic but I know now for certain that the oils are a trigger for me. Immediately, I had chest tightness, cough, and my lungs felt wet. Soon after, I started to cough up clear sticky mucous. I called the asthma Dr. and he put me on 5 days of prednisone and mucinex DM. Things just continued to go downhill and after a peak flow reading of 220, I went to an urgent care facility on Dec. 15th. The Dr. there said I wasn't moving much air so he gave me a shot of epinephrine, a shot of steroid, and a breathing treatment. After four hours he sent me home with an antibiotic, prednisone, albuterol for my nebulizer, and a firm speech. He basically told me that if I had waited much longer things could have been dire. I went to the allergy dr. the next day and he agreed with how I was being treated but wanted me back in three days. On that visit he put me on ipratropium for the nebulizer twice a day for three weeks. I went back yesterday and we were very pleased with how I am doing. I am off the ipratropium unless my peak flow goes below 300 or if my symptoms get worse. Next for me is allergy testing and the methocholine challenge. After reading your reaction I have to say that I am more concerned. I feel certain that my asthma is irritant based but I guess my Dr. wants to see it for himself. I have been in the chemistry field for over 22 years. 10 years as a teacher and the last 12 in a laboratory environment. For the first 5 years I worked in a lab with a sub-standard ventilation system and I developed small fiber neuropathy. I was moved to a new lab and have been there for 7 years. In this lab there have been numerous chemical leaks and in September I was taken in an ambulance to the ER after a natural gas leak. That is when my asthma turned into a big problem instead of a seasonal annoyance. -Allie

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