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Asthma new patient

I took two breathing tests in December it came back I have bronchial asthma and I was given prescription for Qvar inhaler, two puffs twice a day. When first diagnosed you don't know what questions to ask, such as limitations and an allergist.  At first I was diagnosed with Bronchitis which I was told turned into pneumonia, partially bedridden the month of October, breathless going from bed to other rooms in house, took three X-rays with no change and primary sent me to a pulmonary doctor who ordered two breathing tests, pulmonary function and bronchial inhalation challenge tests, which showed bronchial asthma. Pulmonary specialist   Said I don't have pneumonia but I do have asthma.  Searching for more information but not sure what?

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  • Jen

    Hi shalom17,

    Welcome to our asthma support forums.  AAFA has a variety of .  Since you're not sure what information you need, you could start by reading through some of the resources and coming back here to ask questions.

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Shalom17, and and to our community. I know exactly what you mean about not knowing what questions to ask.

    A few off the top of my head that I would ask your doctor:

    • What's my ? (The link I included will take you to a form your doctor can fill out so you know what to do when to keep your asthma managed.)
    • What sort of do I have? (You mention bronchial asthma, but the link I just included will give you more information.)
    • How do I figure out my ? Do I need allergy testing?

    And this page is a great overview of .

    We have other folks who (like you and me) have been diagnosed as adults – @Shea, @GigiGibson, @Gloria … I'm sure they'll be along after a bit to welcome you as well.

  • Gloria

    Hi Shalom. Welcome to the group. I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma one year ago after getting bronchitis. It has been a journey for me getting it under control, but I have gotten a lot of good information and resources from this group that I can bring to my doctors.

    I am happy to say that after actively pursuing solutions for getting my asthma under control, things are now pretty good. 

    Asthma is such an individual thing with each person having different allergies and/or triggers as well as different medicines that help.

    My best advice to you is to take active roll in learning to manage your care. There is a light at the end if the tunnel!

  • GigiGibson

    Hi shalom! K8tsmom gave you excellent questions to ask. I too was diagnosed less than a year ago after acute  allergy issues with change of seasons. Now I have moderate persistent asthma. I have exercise induced, chemical/perfume/irritant induced, cough variant and allergic asthma. If your gonna do it do it big, right! Lol. It's been a journey but these good folks are the best help you will find. You must advocate and ask questions. This is nothing to be passive about, not saying you are. Just reiterating the seriousness of being educated and prepared. I'm here for you!

  • Shalom17
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Hi, Shalom17, and and to our community. I know exactly what you mean about not knowing what questions to ask.

    A few off the top of my head that I would ask your doctor:

    • What's my ? (The link I included will take you to a form your doctor can fill out so you know what to do when to keep your asthma managed.)
    • What sort of do I have? (You mention bronchial asthma, but the link I just included will give you more information.)
    • How do I figure out my ? Do I need allergy testing?

    And this page is a great overview of .

    We have other folks who (like you and me) have been diagnosed as adults – @Shea, @GigiGibson, @Gloria … I'm sure they'll be along after a bit to welcome you as well.

    Thanks so much, do you have anything on side effects of inhalers?

  • Kathy P

    Welcome Shalom! Are you concerned about the listed side effects of a particular medication or do you think you are having side effects? Either way, those are questions you need to circle back to the doctor about.

  • Shalom17
    1. Hi Kathy, thanks for response, no I am not having any as of yet, not a month into using inhaler, I was reading where it said there are side effects but they didn't outweigh benefits but didn't say what they were referencing asthma treatment
  • K8sMom2002

    Did your inhaler come with a prescription guide from your pharmacy? They usually send home a flyer or a brochure with prescription medications about possible side effects or adverse reactions or drug interactions. You can ask your pharmacist for another copy if you didn't get one or if you misplaced it.

    I agree — your doctor or pharmacist can help you take a look at your own unique situation and see if anything needs adjusting. Everyone is different — one size may not fit all. I might be on different meds than you are, or have other conditions that would effect the way meds worked with me. 

    I'm glad you're not experiencing any side effects! Do you think the inhalers are helping any? Are you feeling any improvement?

  • Melanie Carver

    Hello Shalom17,

    Here is an article that explains different types of asthma medicines and how the goal is to keep your symptoms fully under control with the least amount of medicine:

    Usually this means you start out with a higher dose and then talk with your doctor about how you feel. They may have you "step down" the dose and see if your asthma is still controlled.

  • Mandy

    Welcome Shalom17 and this support team has shared some great information for you. I hope you get some of our questions answered and that you get some relief soon. This is such a personal journey but we all can relate here on some level and are here for you!  I had exercise induced asthma as a child but into my 20's started having more issues. After my second child, it progressed into the severe category and has decided to stay where it is at despite my best efforts. When it comes to medications, you have to weigh the pros and the cons (hopefully after a discussion with your doctor). It's important to be informed so you can make your best decision. Good luck!

  • Shalom17
    Kathy P posted:

    What were you reading that said the side effects didn't outweigh the risks?

     

  • Shalom17

    Kathe I was reading under the Asthma section, asthma prevention tab,  No. 2, last paragraph.

  • Kathy P

    Although there are some potential side effects from taking asthma medications, the benefits of controlling your asthma outweigh this risk. Discuss each of your asthma medications with your doctor to learn more about their effects.

    If this is the paragraph you are referring to, it says that the benefits of taking asthma controller medications DO outweigh the risks. I just want to clarify that because above you said: "reading where it said there are side effects but they didn't outweigh benefits" which might have been a typo.

  • Shalom17
    Kathy P posted:

    Although there are some potential side effects from taking asthma medications, the benefits of controlling your asthma outweigh this risk. Discuss each of your asthma medications with your doctor to learn more about their effects.

    If this is the paragraph you are referring to, it says that the benefits of taking asthma controller medications DO outweigh the risks. I just want to clarify that because above you said: "reading where it said there are side effects but they didn't outweigh benefits" which might have been a typo.

     

  • K8sMom2002

    Shalom17, how are you feeling today? And did re-reading that information help you understand things better? Are there still questions that you're wondering about?

  • Shalom17
    Shalom17 posted:

    I took two breathing tests in December it came back I have bronchial asthma and I was given prescription for Qvar inhaler, two puffs twice a day. When first diagnosed you don't know what questions to ask, such as limitations and an allergist.  At first I was diagnosed with Bronchitis which I was told turned into pneumonia, partially bedridden the month of October, breathless going from bed to other rooms in house, took three X-rays with no change and primary sent me to a pulmonary doctor who ordered two breathing tests, pulmonary function and bronchial inhalation challenge tests, which showed bronchial asthma. Pulmonary specialist   Said I don't have pneumonia but I do have asthma.  Searching for more information but not sure what?

     

  • Shalom17

    I have been physically exhausted since September of last year, going through the suppose Bronchitis, pneumonia and now asthma.  I don't have the energy I had before all of this got started, prednisone only saps my energy, in which I had been taking for a month before the bronchitis for headaches, and was weaned off of it, so that's out for me. When I start my activities of exertion, for instance, bending, lifting and walking.  I just feel tired and less energetic.  I am better than I was in October of last year, got through the coughing and all that but just tired a lot more.  Is this normal?

  • Gloria

    When I am having breathing problems, I too become very exhausted. Like you, I developed asthma after having bronchitis. That was just over a year ago. I have no allergies, but the irritants of perfume and cigarette smoke really get to me.  Most of the time I feel pretty good, but when I am assulted by these triggers, I become very exhausted, sometimes for days. So yes, I would say that what you describe is very normal.

  • Mandy

    I think exhaustion and fatigue are typical when one has anything uncontrolled. I find my breathing issues have significantly altered my energy levels. I become easily played out out and have a limited capacity for exercise or physical exertion. It all takes a certain amount of balance given what we have going on as a family during the week and what physically needs to get done. I feel like the energy drainers accumulate and it takes me twice as long to recover. So I find journaling helpful. I monitor my lungs (triggers, sensations, use of rescue meds), mood, energy level, the activity level (what I've done during the day). When I look at it over the course of a week, it helps me to see what I've been up to and what I need to change. It keeps things in check for me so I can get through the days and weeks. 

    Also, there are many medications that contribute to fatigue (like Prednisone which I have been on for 2 years) so it's an important thing to talk about with your Doctor.

    Good luck! 

  • K8sMom2002

    Shalom, one other thing … it takes a while for even a healthy person with no asthma to get over bronchitis and pneumonia. I had pneumonia back in the spring of last year, and I'm really just now getting back to where I was. 

    Rest is important — if you find yourself coughing a lot at night, or your asthma seems to kick up more at night, definitely talk to your doctor and see if he can offer any suggestions.

    We're here for you!

  • GigiGibson

    Shalom, as asthmatics our lungs are usually inflamed to some degree and I myself think this taxes your body and causes fatigue. Maybe it's the body's way of enforcing rest. I find even on my best days I last half as long as I used to before I have to rest. Instead of having four things on my Saturday to-do list I realistically can do two. If I end up with an attack that lasts an hour or more I may not get anything done for two days. During the week instead of multi tasking and being a busy bee I am lucky and feel highly  accomplished to get an errand done on the way home and dinner cooked and cleaned up. 

    Be patient with yourself. If you get stable and well controlled you should return to almost normal in time. If you are hard to control and atypical you will most likely need to adjust to cutting back your volume of activity in a days time and be prepared mentally for frequent set backs. This is why we whoop and Hollar in here over good days! Lol. Hugs

  • Shalom17

    Thanks so much for all the replies it really helps to know that I am not imagining this.  I did tell the nurse when she called and she said keep using the inhaler daily until my next appointment.  Sometimes as a new in this you wish they would say well that is normal or not out of the ordinary as you all have expressed.

  • K8sMom2002

    Yep, I totally get that … everything seems so different, and you keep thinking, "Well, is THIS normal?"

  • K8sMom2002

    Shalom17, how are things going? When is your next appointment, and are you still having to use your inhaler as much?

  • Shalom17

    KS8MOM2002

    Thanks for checking, Yes I am still taking same amount, my appointment is March 28th.  My back and side has been itching, so I emailed my pulmonologist and asked him could it be related to inhaler and could I see an allergist and he said he doubt if it had anything to do with the inhaler and I could see my primary doctor about referring me to an allergist.

  • K8sMom2002

    So will you circle back to your primary care doctor? I really think an allergist can be helpful in figuring out if your triggers are allergic in nature, and if they are, then there may be things that can be done to help with that. 

    I'm wishing you a good March 28th visit! It will be here before you know it! Are you keeping a list of questions to ask when you go?

  • Shalom17

    K8SMOM2002

    Thanks for asking, I guess I will ask primary, No I haven't been making notes. I need to. I do feel better.  Have a good day.

  • Shalom17

    I have been getting a lot of rest since all this transpired. I feel my energy level coming back and I get excited and get busy, I get reminded by my breathing to slow up.  I just want to be me again.  The Qvar inhaler helps me to sleep at night.  Never ever thought I would have this diagnosis of bronchial tubes.  Things change. Thanks.

  • Jen

    What sort of activity seems to give you that breathing reminder to slow down?

  • Shalom17

    Bending own to clean under furniture and lifting a lot of groceries, moving furniture around, scrubbing, things that take awhile to do, I.e

  • Kathy P

    Hugs it sucks to feel limited! I was right there with you when I was trying to clean yesterday!  I had to keep taking breaks and sitting down. Some days, I hate my lungs and get angry that this may be my new norm. Things have been changing and shifting again over the past year or so and I'm not happy about it! 

  • K8sMom2002

    Shalom, my lungs take forever to heal and get back to baseline after bronchitis or pneumonia, so I really know what you're going through. It's as though you feel okay — until you take your lungs for a spin, and then, boom, what a reminder that things just aren't like they used to be. 

    I think for me what helps is keeping a journal or log of the things I have trouble doing. Then I talk it over with my doctor. 

    I hope things will improve for you … 

    Kathy P,

  • K8sMom2002

    Shalom, I'm glad to have folks like you that I can relate to as well! How are things going today?

  • Shalom17

    I am doing ok, didn't sleep at all last night and not sleepy yet which is unusual for me.  Tired of using inhaler, my dentist said to use Biotin for dry mouth and Listerine zero is good as well.  I hope pulmonary Doctor cuts back on use on my return visit.  

    Still trying to process this, so much info., and not happy about lack of energy.

     

  • Kathy P

    Hugs – sorry you can't sleep. Everything just seems to pile on and lacking energy is no fun.

    What is the most stressing thing you are trying to process?

  • GigiGibson

    Shalom, drink Gatorade it really helps. I use ear plugs and it also helps. I have an air purifier by the bed for white noise and my family knows to let me sleep. 

    My muscle relaxer helps ease the cramps and facilitate sleep. I hate to advocate for drugs but rest is therapeutic and critical to recovery from attacks. 

    I do biotene too but it's ridiculous how dry my mouth gets. Try Gatorade or something u love a few hours before bed. Crazy but…..my best trick is a venti frapp from Starbucks after work then gatorade before bed. I will drink the whole thing (both) and not wake up all night. 

    Peace and best wishes for rest.

  • Kathy P
    GigiGibson posted:

    I do biotene too but it's ridiculous how dry my mouth gets. Try Gatorade or something u love a few hours before bed. Crazy but…..my best trick is a venti frapp from Starbucks after work then gatorade before bed. I will drink the whole thing (both) and not wake up all night. 

    Is it a particular med that is giving you a dry mouth? I know my high doses of antihistamines are an issue for me.

    Caffeine and sugar are both diuretic (yeah, I'm lookin' at that venit frapp ), so I've learned to limit/moderate my caffeine consumption. I ALWAYS have fluids near me and sip all day long. My beverage of choice is tea – so, yeah, caffeine! But I generally get 2-3 brews out of each portion of tea. Nearly all the caffeine comes out w/ the first brewing. And I switch it up with half-caf or no-caf varieties as well. And I use flavored teas that I don't have to sweeten.

  • GigiGibson

    Yes, I take Allegra and sudafed but some days I do a ton of albuterol and my feet dance in cramps and despite drinking water all day I just can't down a lot of it at once. Sometimes I will drink a whole bottle overnight. The best I was with not having to go to the bathroom overnight or having dry mouth was when I was off antihistamines before my allergy testing. I have to have them though. I just found that if I force fluids in the four hours before bed I do better. 

  • Jen

    Shalom  - Have you been able to sleep a little better the last few nights?

  • Shalom17

    I went walking this morning and then I went to visit my friend who moved here from Washington and she was showing me her new home and she had these stairs I went down and up.  Afterwards I could hardly walk, she stays in a newly incorporated area where they are building new houses and her yard was freshly turned dirt.  I kept hurting as I tried to walk, used my inhaler after I got home, feel better now.  Trying to associate the two.  I know when I took breathing test I couldn't hardly walk afterwards.

  • GigiGibson

    Shalom, my legs s em to be jelly when my asthma is not in check, recent or active attack.