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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have been having shortness of breath for about 1 week now. i spoke to my gp and said go to the er right away i did and they didnt find anything wrong
they did an xray of my lungs and an echocardiogram plus blood tests nothing wrong.

i was taking high blood pressure meds but stopped taking them thinking that was the cause but apparently its not because its been 4 days since i stopped taking them.

i dont know what to do now nobody knows what to tell me im so upset and scared i dont know what to do now. i have an appt with the cardiologist on the 17th. please i need your advise what can be causing all these symptoms?
 

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I am sorry sushi but I don't know what to advise you although I can imagine how scary it is for you. I have only once had shortage of breath which was apparently hyperventilation. I just woke suddenly in the night and felt I couldn't breathe so called an emergency doctor for a home visit. He made me breathe into a paper bag then gave me a shot of valium. All very odd especially as I wasn't feeling particularly anxious about anything at the time.

But, and it's a very big but, that is just my personal anecdote and I did get the relief and reported to my own GP next day. Something more serious might be going on with you. If I hadn't been living somewhere with an emergency home visit service I guess I'd have gone to ER. I can only advise you to call your GP or go to ER again.

Do you have any pains or fever or anything else odd he should know about
If you have any relaxation techniques like muscle relaxing see if you can manage them to help with the panic feelings

Good luck sushi and let us know what happens please

Hugs
Clare
 

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Another possible specialist to look into it could be a pulmonologist; they have tests they can do to measure lung function and how much air you can get in, etc. Occasionally asthma can present in this way without any wheezing. Anxiety can cause it, and sometimes myositis can contributed to feeling this way as well. There are a lot of possibilities, and I hope you get to the bottom of it very soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i am sitting here crying for the last few days wondering and thinking i have the worst things associated with shortness of breath. ive been very depressed and anxious because im so scared to find out what is causing this.

i have an appt tomorrow for a pft. then wednesday for an echocardiogram and to see the cardiologist. im so scared i dont know how to cope with whats ahead. thank you for reading.
 

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Hi Sushi,
In reading your narative, I wondered why no one did an oxygen blood saturation eval. It is just a little light thing clipped on to a finger, and then it gives the O2 saturation you have. If you are lower than 90%, then I second going to a pulmonologist. Another thing to ask your pcp for is a peak flow meter. That will give you an immediate register if your lung function is low or you are simply getting a low feeling. It is a little device you blow into as hard as you can. It helps to give more info to any emergency/medical personnel.

My lupus has hit my lungs primarily. My lungs have formed a lot of scar tissue which restricts the saturation I get. I have also developed severe asthma which I never battled as a child or young adult.

Hang in there, there are ways to deal with all this junk that happens. A pulmonology consult might be a good way to put your mind at ease.
Sally
 

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Hello sushi
I am sorry you are so anxious and can understand your worry especially as you have so much stress anyway.
Here are some strengthening hugs (((((((((((( sushi ))))))
I hope you can get some reassuring answers soon. I wish you could get help dealing with your anxiety, effective medication, therapy and relaxation exercises.

Let us know how you get on and the best of luck

Clare
 

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Two possibilities come to mind if you have been checked out and they found nothing much wrong. Is your shortness of breath related to chest muscle tightness (costochondritis)? If you also have soreness around your ribs, then it might be that you are having difficulty expanding your chest enough to feel you are getting enough air in. I often get this, but compensate by doing diaphragmatic breathing, which is the kind of breathing you get taught in yoga or meditation. It is breathing right down into your tummy. Hard to explain, but not so hard to learn to do. Another possibility that someone else mentioned is mild asthma. Asthma is where you can't breath out properly because of bronchospasm, so your lungs don't empty enough to get enough fresh air in on the next breath. A trick I got taught by an asthma nurse for getting all the air out was to breath out through pursed lips. Pucker up your lips like you are going to whistle, and breath out slowly through this narrow gap. It minimises bronchospasm on the out breath, and once you have managed to get all the air out, then you can take a better lungful in on the next breath.
 

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:shrug:
Hi Sushi,
As part of the pft, ask the tech to do a oxygen sat level. That should automatically be done, but if not, then ask. That will give you the basic info you will need at the start.

re: pft, if you haven't done these before, you will be asked to push out air as hard and fast, and the techs always coach along with. This is part of their training....not sure it helps any, but they do it anyway. Personally, I hate pfts....my lungs hurt for days afterwards. It is one of those nasty things have to be done in order to get the help we need. A necessary evil - in my mind anyway. :rolleyes:

In order to make sure that you get all the info with the cardiologist, you may want to think to take one of the micro (tape) recorders. Another option is to take a friend who has a good memory to go with you. I find it beneficial for myself and the doctor to write down in advance the symptoms, issues, reactions I have been dealing with. I also include all my questions about what is happening. My doctors appreciate this so that we don't end up with me leaving, and calling later with questions that I forgot to ask.

I do this with my animals too, and my vet loves it, checks off everything as we go thru them. So it isn't limited to just people dr's.

Also, by being organized, you are showing the doctor that you respect him/her and that you want to get the most out of your visits.

Good luck with this all....stay calm, you will get thru this.
Sally
 

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Please let us know how the PFT Testing goes and I agree with Sally to make sure they check your pulse oxygen levels.

I have had shortness of breath for a long time now. They can not seem to find my problem either with scans and yet I failed my PFT function test miserably.

I am also a smoker so that may be why and I will be putting down the ciggs very soon. It is scary when you cant seem to catch your breath and yet do not have any answers.

Let us know how you made out.:wink2:
 

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Hey, I'm so sorry that you are so scared. I want to play doctor here and remind you that the more upset you become, the more difficult it's going to be to move air.

How do I know this fact?

I'm the QUEEN of shortness of breath. When they do my lung volume test... they always double check the machine!! 20 years running... ha.

My lungs aren't the same as other lungs so they can't move as much air. Every breath I take is labored and takes a lot of energy. If anything is near my mouth/nose, I get a little panicked b/c I can't suck in as much as I need to in order to get air.

The good news, even though I have to work harder than most people, I am able to maintain a healthy blood oxygen level almost all of the time! It does "feel" like I can't breathe... but I'm moving enough air for my body to do what it needs to do and my guess is that you are as well, or you would have been admitted.

Patients are triaged when they go for visits and breathing difficulties have become at the top of that list in recent years... at least in the US. They finally started to take it seriously after losing a lot of patients who didn't present as trauma but were indeed suffering tremendously due to a breathing difficulty.

Over the years, I've also learned that though breathing is automatic, it is heavily affected by me and my thoughts and behaviors. Just the same as running a mile will up your respitory count... so will becoming upset and anxious. If you already have to work hard to move air... that extra stress will just make your task that much more difficult. So, in that vein, it is very important that you stay calm.

It sounds funny but I'm very serious... think about ninjas. Think about any dedicated practitioner... breath control is a HUGE part of their skillset. Influence over an automatic process is powerful... always. I've surved many asthma attacks by refocusing my energy, being calm, and saving my energy for each breath despite the pain and urge to panic.

So, that being said, I feel suffocated right now... it sucks so hard and I do understand your worry... I'd recommend you buy yourself a home monitoring kit if you can afford it. You can get a pulse ox monitor for under $100. Use it when you start to feel short of breath... choose to feel better once you see a strong number reflected... or choose to get immediate help if you see it drop to an unhealthy level (decide this w/your doctor, everyone's baseline is different).

If I would have had that option, I would have chosen that path for myself instead of learning the "hard" way...

Good luck. Feel better soon.
 

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Hi Sushi

Will be looking out for your post to see how you got on with the Cardiologist.

I hope you find some answers and ultimately some relief.

Nicky:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i got my results back the pft came out with flying colors no asthma he said my lung function is fine. the cardiologist said my echocardiogram came out good also no heart problems.

the scheduled me for a stress test this week coming up and i called my rhumatologist for an appt. can this shortness of breath be due to a flare?

thats what the cardiologist thinks. i also have an appt with the pumanologist next week. i just hope it has nothing seriously to do with my lungs. i have been under alot of stress lately and even though i know it makes everything worse i just cant stop thinking that its the disease causing all of this.

thank you all for the replys ill keep you posted
 
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