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Lung infections

When I was in my early 40s, I didn’t think of myself as having asthma. I was rarely symptomatic and then only mildly. However, every winter, I would come down with a cold which turned into bronchitis with a persistent mucousy cough and fatigue so severe I canceled trips, appointments, dinners. It was frustrating and embarrassing.

The fatigue could last for a month or more. (The worst year, I was sick for three months). I began to wonder if I was “just” depressed, and the fatigue was all in my head. I never linked to asthma. Fortunately, after five winters of lengthy lung infections, they stopped!

Lung infections and winter ailments

Thirty years later, my asthma has gotten worse. Last year I went to the ER twice, and I fully acknowledge I have asthma. And, unfortunately, my winter ailment is back. A cold moved to my lungs with a barking cough and deep fatigue. I talked with my asthma doctor, and I had acupuncture, I visited an energy doctor, I took herbal supplements aimed at my immune system. I did everything I could think of to get better. I’m fortunate to be retired so that I could get plenty of rest, and now, seven weeks later, I feel like myself again.

Treatment options and methods

Do I think the professional care I received, or the herbs hastened my recovery? I don’t know. The acupuncture gave me relief for a few hours, and I was happy about that, but I never felt well. I now recognize the link between asthma and susceptible lungs, and I believe the virus that caused the lung infection was tenacious, and it just plain took my body a long time to clear it.

Seeking prevention

Can I do anything to prevent this from happening again? I don’t know. I am addressing slightly low vitamin D and iron levels in my blood, and I plan to take immune booster herbs in the fall. But right now, I believe that these infections have to run their course, and that’s not very reassuring.

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Comments

  • Samuel Taylor moderator
    3 weeks ago

    Hi Bookhandler,

    We appreciate you sharing your story with us. It’s great to hear that my story resonates with someone in the community. I also received acupuncture to treat an infection; I found it quite effective!

    I hope that you feel better and you can get those vitamin D and Iron levels up. Please continue to share with us how you feel. We are always here to listen and help.

    Best,
    Samuel, Asthma.net community moderator

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator
    1 month ago

    Hi. Bookhandler. Thanks for sharing your experience with asthma. Respiratory infections are the most common, and often most severe, asthma trigger for us asthmatics. I have the same problem with infections, and they do seem to get worse as we get older. I’m not sure if there’s a way of preventing getting them, other than taking the regular precautions of avoiding sick people (not always easy to do), washing hands, etc. Although, I have friends (some on this site) who are trying to get me to think more about supplements like vitamin D and C, etc. There is actually some evidence various supplements may help with asthma control (https://asthma.net/living/can-your-diet-improve-control/). Still, nothing concrete as of yet. Also, I did recently have a doctor recommend I get my vitamin D level checked. She did say that she did a research paper in PA school where taking vitamin D improved asthma control. Have you ever discussed this with a doctor? Just curious. John. Site Moderator.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    1 month ago

    Hi Bookhandler and thanks so much for sharing your story here with the community. After reading about your experiences and point of view, it certainly seems like you’ve had a considerable challenge throughout most of your adult life – especially the later years.
    What have your doctors suggested for you? How do they assess your illness? Is there anything further you can share with the community at this time?
    Warmly,
    Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

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