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Thursday, July 12, 2018

I Just Can't Catch My Breath

For about 12 years now I have had a continuing problem with shortness of breath. I am particularly effected by changes in weather, especially changes in the barometric pressure and humidity rather than certain allergens. I become short of breath when I exercise or whenever I am outside after the sun sets.  Before I begin having difficulty breathing my sinuses begin to drain and my post nasal drip increases dramatically.  I have had post nasal drip 24/7 for about 12 years. About 10 years ago I underwent sinus surgery which did nothing. My sinus CT scans show no abnormalities and my lungs are clear. I have used every kind of inhaler that is on the market with no success.  There are many activities I would like to do, but am unable because of this breathing problem.

I have been to numerous doctors in Boston, Penang, Malaysia and Rochester, NY.  Each of them have said I have asthma.  I was referred to a cardiologist who "guaranteed" that my shortness of breath was due to anemia. He did a blood test which proved him wrong. I then underwent stress tests, ECG's and echocardiograms that showed nothing. He surmised my shortness of breath was attributed to asthma.
I was referred to an allergist who tested me for a variety of allergens, all of which were negative.  I tried to explain to her that the weather caused my breathing problems, but she poo pooed my assertion, even when I had an attack as a sudden thunderstorm went through the area.  After trying a variety of inhalers and steroids, which constantly made me dizzy, and scheduling a pulmonary function test, which showed asthma, she quit scheduling any more appointments.  Her office says that have no record of me ever being there!  Needless to say I gave up on her, as she gave up on me!

I was then referred to an ENT specialist who was the most honest yet. After examining my sinuses and CT scans he admitted that there was nothing wrong with my sinuses and he had no idea what was causing my asthma. He also told me not to expect that doctors know everything!

Next I went to a pulmonologist, who was the most useless yet! I paid $50 co-pay and $125 for the tech to take an inhaler out of the package to show me how to use it! As if I didn't know anything after 12 years of inhaler use!  She arrogantly told me I had asthma and her treatment was to continue using my inhalers!  I refused to make another appointment with her as it would be a waste of time and money.  It doesn't take a specialist to tell me to continue to take my medication that doesn't work!

I told my PCP about all of my experiences and he agreed that the specialists were  of no help. He agreed not to give up and encouraged me to keep researching my condition, as he would also.  I am continuing to research vitamins and natural supplement in hopes of finding something that offers positive results. So far nothing has helped, but I will keep trying.

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