My Asthma Journey
I had asthma when I was an infant until about 2 years old. I have not had any asthma symptoms until last year. I am EXTREMELY frustrated because I have gotten no where. All of this started when my chest was tight and I was hyperventilating. Since I haven’t had any asthma symptoms since the age of 2 I didn’t think it was anything serious but I took my rescue inhaler just to see if that would help.
After waiting a half hour of almost passing out my fiancé insisted we go to the ER (I didn’t have health insurance at this time so it was a difficult decision). We get to the ER and my heart rate was 160 so the doctors immediately started a whole work up and nothing came back. We got the run around with one nurse saying it was an asthma attack and the doctor saying it was anxiety. I have NEVER had anxiety nor do I feel or have ever felt anxious so I felt like that was BS. They sent me home and told me if it happens again come back. I left still with a high heart rate of 120 and tightness in my chest. The hospital didn’t do a breathing treatment because they couldn’t hear wheezing. Anyways I get home and it happens again. Go to a different ER hoping they will know more. End up getting a breathing treatment and the tightness went away. I was told to follow up with my primary care doctor and try and figure out why my heart rate was going crazy. We follow up with my PCP and she runs blood work and a bunch of other tests and of course nothing comes back so she prescribed Pulmicort along with Breo to see if that helps because she thinks that this is “anxiety”. (All of this started February of 2017) my symptoms improved for a short 7 months.
It was September and my symptoms started to return. I was deployed as a volunteer to help with hurricane Irma and ended up getting bad bronchitis from the shelters I was working in. The bronchitis got better but I still had reoccurring tightness and coughing but no wheezing. In November of 2017 i had another bad asthma attack where I was in the ER. The doctor there gave me 3 breathing treatments because of the horrible cough and tightness and order a bunch of blood work and AGAIN my heart rate was crazy at 150. They admitted me into the hospital for 3 days trying to figure this out.
Long story short my PCP discharged me bc he thinks that it was better as an outpatient thing. I was diagnosed with pericarditis shortly after the hospital stay (I had extra fluid in the sac around my heart). I was taking Motrin for the inflammation and those symptoms subsided however I was still dealing with the tightness and cough!
A few days before Christmas I couldn’t deal with the tightness anymore and called my PCP and he prescribed prednisone for me. I took that for 3 days and my tightness was improving until day 4 of the steroid. I had a horrible attack where my fiancé called an ambulance. We get to the hospital and the doctors say it was a bad asthma attack and to talk to my PCP about seeing a pulmonologist. I caught a stomach bug from being in the ER a few days prior and again my asthma flared up again had a bad attack with the extreme tightness, cough and couldn’t breathe. Went to the ER and was pumped with tons of fluids, got more steroids and more breathing treatments. The doctor gave me a spacer for my inhaler and sent down a respiratory therapist who says, yes this is my asthma flaring up and that I need to see a pulmonologist because I was in the ER twice within a week. This was the first week in January that I was in and out of the hospital. I called my PCP to explain I need a referral and she says she wants to see me first. I go to the appointment and she tells me she has a hard time believing that it is my asthma flaring up. HOW?!?!? I saw multiple doctors in the ER and they all said asthma! I am currently taking Pulmicort and Breo again.
My symptoms are improving but I am extremely frustrated with my doctor. Does anyone have any advise with a physician like this? Any advise on if I’m going crazy because I don’t have wheezing? Ugh I am so fed up with this I have been crying almost daily!