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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

I'm so glad to have come across this forum. I've been doing endless searching on the web trying to come up with answers to the problems I've been having and I haven't found much. Maybe someone here will be able to relate and share their experiences with me.

I'm 24 years old, and for the last two months I have had difficulty breathing. My chest constantly feels tight, like I can't get enough air down into my lungs and I want to yawn a lot. I've paid visits to my general doctor and my asthma/allergy doctor, and they don't seem to be able to give me an answer. But they do give me a lot of inhalers and breathing treatments that don't work!

My asthma doctor did a spirometry test (blowing out the candles on the cake) and said that overall my results looked good...and this was when I felt quite bad. He said I did have some small airway constriction. He didn't seem overly concerned though. I was given a breathing treatment, and did the test again. He said I showed a little improvement, but not enough to "conclusively" say it was asthma. I do have a history of asthma and I receive allergy shots, but (luckily) I haven't even touched my rescue inhalers (Maxair and Atrovent) in I couldn't tell you how long. When I take them I usually notice very little improvement, and sometimes feel like they make me worse.

He gave me Qvar, and a course of antibiotics because he thought it might be due to a sinus infection and post-nasal drip irritating my lungs. This was at the beginning of April. Since then I've taken 4 different antibiotics, with my doctors hoping that particular one would do the trick and clear up my infection. I haven't had any colored mucus though...just very clear, white, sticky mucus that occaisionally accumulates in my throat. I haven't been coughing either - I haven't felt the urge. When I do cough just to give it a try, it's very dry cough, with nothing produced. I do wheeze a little on exhalation.

However, every day I still CANNOT breathe. The only real relief I get is at night when I'm sleeping. Sometimes it is a little better than others, but I'm never back to feeling like myself (ie: being able to take a deep breath).

My general doctor attributed it to stress and upped my Zoloft dosage. I thought it could be stress too. My grandmother passed away in early April and it was quite a shock. My symptoms were there a little before that happened...but I admit they "blew-up" so-to-speak afterward. Then maybe the added stress of not being able to breathe, missing work, etc. I don't think it's too far off, but there is something physical underlying it. I know how my lungs feel and I don't think that can be due 100% to me being stressed and anxious. I've been doing some relaxation techniques and trying not to let my mind focus on my breathing. There are times when I'll have my mind off it completely, but then it comes around to the fact that things still aren't right.

I can see why my doctor would think I'm a head-case though. Everytime I go in, I can feel tight as can be, and they'll put the little ET-finger on me and I'll show 100% oxygen level, and under the stethoscope my lungs sound clear. Thank goodness, but I CAN'T BREATHE!!

I just don't know what this is. It's not the feeling I associate with asthma. I had lots of attacks when I was younger, took my inhaler and had a bad time of it, but then I did get relief. Now I don't. I thought I might start feeling better by being faithful to the Qvar, since it's a corticosteriod and might reduce the inflammation, but so far I notice no difference. I'm taking my Clarinex like I do every year at allergy season.

I felt like this several years ago and no doctor really knew what to do with me then either. I went to a quack pulmonologist who had me on all sorts of inhalers and prednisone, convinced I was going to have limited lung capacity for the rest of my life. My regular doctor put an end to the Prednisone and Advair. He gave me some antibiotics instead (which I thought at the time helped, but they haven't done the trick this time.) After about a month it went away, and I haven't had any problems breathing since that time until, well...beginning of April. Now it's going into two months and I'm sick of it! I'm frustrated and scared. If it's asthma, why can't I be treated with asthma meds? If it's not asthma, what is it? :confused:

If you've read this far, thank you. I'd appreciate anything you have to share ((ideas, similar experiences, support, etc.) I'm at my wit's end!

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