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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

I've had breathing issues for about nine months or so now...but up until a few days ago, they were extremely mild. They were bearable and it pretty much became second nature to me to require some deep breaths every now and then to feel like I'd actually taken a breath.

On Sunday, I woke up feeling really ill - chills so bad I refused to get up from under my blankets until I was on the verge of wetting myself, a fever that made me feel miserable (you know that feeling you get when you put your foot in water that's too hot and you pull it out and it feels burny-tingly? I felt that in my face), no appetite, a headache and a wicked cough.

I know it's not the flu because I already had the flu two months ago. Thankfully, the fever, chills and headache have disappeared and my appetite is still a little kooky because I didn't eat anything at all Sunday. The cough feels dry, but it's producing some mucous, and my chest feels sore (I know it's from the coughing because it wasn't sore before this illness set in).

I had a cough like this when my breathing issues first began near the middle of last year, and my doctor back home prescribed me an antibiotic called Biaxin, which worked wonders - whatever I had was just a little infection, and I have just begun more treatment with Biaxin today to sese if it will help me again. This cough and these worsened breathing problems feel a whole lot like what I had months ago, and part of me is scared that it may be being caused by a blood clot.

When I had this the first time, I was given a chest X-ray and it came back clean. I kind of figured it wasn't anything as serious as a blood clot then because I'd had that cough for four months before getting the X-ray and I hadn't yet died. But me being the paranoid person that I am, I am worried I have a blood clot this time. I have no idea if they run in my family - I know my mother doesn't have lung problems, but my grandmother did and they were not due to smoking.

I also have no doctor where I attend college, so to set up an appointment, I would need to wait at least three weeks, and by that point I will be home for my spring break. But I don't want to wait this long, and heaven knows, my mother will not be pleased if she has to spend upwards of $2K on a CAT scan (I am still on her insurance). I'm just...stuck. Part of me wants to believe it's just a bad bout of bronchitis and it'll go away after about three days on my meds. But the other part of me is scared it's something very dangerous and that if I ignore it, it'll be too late by the time I am able to get help.

I checked out some of the symptoms of pulmonary embolism and these are the ones I have:

- [B]Cough[/B] (did not really begin suddenly - it started off low-grade and got worse over a period of 48 hours; not producing blood in mucous).
- [B]Shortness of breath[/B] (have had this for a long time - it's just worse now).
- [B]Chest pain[/B] (developed after the cough worsened) - feels more like a heavy pressure feeling rather than pain.

I have not noticed anything like a bluish tint to my skin, anxiety (at least not until after I started thinking I might have a blood clot), shock, collapsing, dizziness, seizures and any others. I also looked into the risk factors for pulmonary embolism and the only one that really applies to me is that I am overweight (and rather sedentary). I am pretty young still - 20 years old, and I have no history of heart problems, have never had surgery, no pacemaker, never been pregnant, am not on birth control, and I don't smoke.

I'm strongly considering calling my uncle tomorrow (he's an ER doctor) and asking him what he thinks - maybe this is just a weird flu bug with a lingering cough. The cough lingered for a couple weeks after my first bout of the flu went away, so who knows. But I'll see if he thinks it's a big concern and probably catch a cab to the hospital and see if I can get a CAT scan in the ER.

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