I've only found this site a short time ago, but everyone has been so helpful and supportive. I am sorry for repeating my story for those of you who have already read it (you could skim to the end about the latest change in meds).
So, on about June 24th, I realized that I was probably starting to have an asthma reaction to a virus (chest cold?). This was 2 days before leaving for a road trip to Yellowstone, from Portland, Oregon. At Urgent Care before we left, the X-ray did not show pneumonia, so he gave me codeine/robitussin mix and said I could us my inhaler as well. Over the 12 day trip I ended up in one ER (asthma exacerbation)- prednisone and ventolin prescribed. The coughing, trouble breathing and sleeping continued through the whole 12 day trip. I had my meds increased by phone with my PCP- higher dose prednisone, singulair, ventolin. I went to Urgent Care in Yellowstone twice (they were very nice and there were elk grazing right outside the door)- I could hardly talk from my constant asthma cough. She added Flovent to everything else and gave me a Z-pack, just in case the previous two X-rays had missed an infection. We got back to Portland, I was advised to go to the ER and make sure it wasn't a PE or heart problem. I did that and had a breathing treatment, tests, another X-ray and unfortunately a panic attack (couldn't breathe and my hands started tingling)- meds for that. No heart or PE issues.
Then to the PCP who confirmed as others said that it was asthma, just way worse than I'd ever had before. My first time with mild asthma was at age 36, I am 47 now. The PCP talked with us for a long time and prescribed Prilosec, continue Flovent, ventolin, nebulizer usage. When he said he didn't know what it was and it could continue like this for awhile I started to cry, second panic attack. Through tears I asked, when will I be able to breathe again and do stuff?! He said he didn't know, but would put in an urgent referral for pulmonologist. Saw pulmonologist 1 week later. She came in and had heard me coughing from the hall. She said, yep asthma cough- that doesn't sound fun. We need to get that under control. She asked lots of questions, but didn't do any tests. She said to stop Flovent and start Breo and continue Prilosec and ventolin as needed every four hours. I haven't felt much improvement.
After 5 days I let them know I wasn't feeling improvement. I am still needing the albuterol every 4 hours- I actually need it at about 3 hours, but I wait until 4. I am still having sleeping problems. Cough a ton when I lay down. Yesterday, I woke myself up in the middle of the night coughing and choking (scared me), coughing/ short of breath with exertion and strong smells. They told me I had to wait the full 2 weeks. This morning is two weeks. I got a message saying to switch to Symbicort. They didn't even ask me if I had improved on the Breo. I don't think I have improved enough to say it's working, but weird they didn't even ask- if they had me wait 2 weeks.
Now I'm on to Symbicort. I'm always nervous trying a new med. I would love to know people's experience's -good and bad- with it. Any advice on how to take it, side effects, problems, issues switching from Breo to Symbicort. I also take other meds for HRT and anxiety/depression. I will definitely talk to the pharmacist when I pick it up today, too. Thank you so much for your support and help with this, another med! Sorry for the long post and my anxiety and worry, it's hard to not really be getting better after 4 1/2 weeks.