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walking pneumonia with asthma...
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seekinghealing posted:
Hello everyone, I am 38 yrs old and recently became congested, the kind where you have to clear your throat. I noticed over 3-4 days the congestion kept coming on, and at nite it was difficult for me to sleep in my own bed due to the SOB.. I had to sleep in my sofa sitting upright...it was scary... I went to my pulmonologist and he did a chest xray, and he saw a small spot of congestion on my right lower lung, and suspicioned it to be a mild case of pneumonia maybe even bronchitis, but he did not give me a definitive answer that is was pneumonia, however on my encounter form it was noted in the diagnosis mild pneumonia... I asked him if i needed to do anything different and he said no. Needless to say this took place during the holiday time and i was hostess for a holiday party and everytime i attempted to dance i became so SOB it was sooo scary.. I gave up on dancing for the nite and spent half of the nite in the ladies room using my nebulizer. If I had known for sure that it was pneumonia I would have delegated someone else to carry on the party. I cary my portable nebulizer with me everywhere which now i feel like i am carrying 2 purses with me everywhere...I feel like this disease has me hostage, because i am so afraid that I will have a bout of SOB and not have my nebulizer with me...I become panicky..not to mention that i am a panic attack sufferer...

I know that i have the albuterol inhaler along with my advair 250/50 controller med, but i really had gotten away from using the inhaler because it seems as if the neb works better. I tried the albuterol inhaler with the spacer the other day after more than a year using an inhaler, and it seemed like it did nothing for me...that was scary..because i was kinda thinking that maybe if i can get back comfortable with the inhaler then maybe i can stop carrying the nebulizer everywhere.

My questions are: 1. Has anyone ever had pneumonia while having asthma? if so what was your experience like? 2. Does anyone deal with asthma and anxiety/panic attacks and not knowing which one it is; or which one to treat? 3. Does anyone deal with the frustrations of knowing that the meds like advair, which is an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) puts you at a higher risk of developing pneumonia and URI's because of the steroid in preventive inhalers over a period of time suppresses your immune system? 4. Has anyone tried taking alternative supplements when not on an antibiotics like echinacea to boost your immune system? 5. Does anyone else feel that since they have been taking advair or any other preventive inhaler that they stay more congested or sicker which in turn causes the asthma to flare?

  • *Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read or answer my post...I am very spiritual and I pray and meditate on scriptures daily to keep myself encouraged, and to continue to look to God for healing and strength.
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    sgbl88 responded:
    It sounds like you had a rough holiday.

    I was surpirsed by several things in your post.

    1) Your dr diagnosed pneumonia but didn't increase your inhaled steroid. That is a common thing to do. Even my GP was doing that before he referred me to a specialist.

    2) He did not tell you to use albuterol on a regular basis. Most of us go on schedueled albuterol doses with any asthma flare or respiratory illness. Yes, my GP had me doing that too. You should be using albuterol about every 4 hours around the clock for a neb when you are sick.

    I would also sugest that you start taking a Mucinex type product and be sure to drink PLENTY of water. Mucinex helps to thin the mucus, as does the water, so that it will come out more easily.

    As far as your questions go:

    3) I asked my dr about that once and he said that just about all meds have that as a side effect and it has to be listed. Also, people who are Advair or similar meds have a higher tendency for respiratory illnesses. You should factor that into your thought processes here. Also, ICS's do not enter the system the same way that oral steroids do, so they do not have the same side effects. They shouldn't suppress the immune system like oral steroids.

    4) If you are concerned about your immune system, you might want to ask about having your vitamin D level checked. Research is showing that it is more important to immune health that vitamin C. I also take Zinc and a few other supplements to help with the immune system. Also, because I have taken antibiotics a lot in my life I take digestive ensymes and a good pro-biotic. Anti-biotics kill all bacteria in your system, even the good bacteria that aid in digestion. It is wise to replenish those.

    5) HAHA... Well, my husband says so. I have tended to be on anti-biotics more since my asthma worsened and had to treat it more agressively. I think part of that for me is awareness. I am more aware of when things are off. I don't want a big flare, so I try to catch things earlier and not go the 6 weeks I used to wait with an infection before seeking help. The old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," sort of applies. The sooner we get on things, the easier they are to treat. However, I would say that overall I feel A LOT better than I did before starting to treat my allergies and asthma.

    Some of those issue would also depend on how your asthma developed too. Did you develop allergies that triggered your asthma and subsequent diagnosis? Do you have other triggers that are not being treated? (like acid reflux). Are you treating those underlying causes.

    1) My daughter also has asthma and had pneumonia in April. She didn't have any problems following the guidelines I laid out earlier - increase ICS and scheduled albuterol use. She got over it quite easily.

    2) I don't know if this is really what you are looking for concerning the panic attacks, but this is my experience. When my asthma worsened and I got my sinuses cleared out enough, I learned that my worst trigger was any odor. I had found myself close to fainting several times before realizing I was having asthma attacks again and began treating it. So, as a result, I did panic for a while when ever I smelled something. To control the panic, I would exhale very slowly. That gave my brain something else to focus on besides the smell and asthma attack I was having until I got my meds. That really helped me stay in control. You might want to pray for discernment on this issue. God will help you stay calm and show you what you are dealing with. Experience will also help.

    That is all for now. I said a prayer for you.

    Sonya
     
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    seekinghealing responded:
    Hello Sonya thank you for replying to my post...Yes I did have a not so pleasant feeling holiday. I was already taking the 500/50 dose during the time i had pneumonia and i just recently requested for my doctor to reduce it back down to 250/50 because of fear that, that was the reason i got pneumonia.

    I do have mucinex, but did not think to use it during this difficult time for me, but thanks for reminding me and next time i will be sure to use it... i do drink alot of water, and have recently began to eat less and work out more, and i have dropped 15 lbs... i am really determined with the weight loss, as i know that will reduce some pressure on the diaphraghm..

    I forgot to mention that i caught pneumonia from my son's father 1 week prior to me delivering my son in 1996 and it left me with asthmatic bronchitis, which my doc said was simply asthma, and as I got older I started to have problems when i get sick...

    I will check into the Vitamin D, pro-biotics and zinc. i already take vitamin C supplements.

    Have you ever heard that there are only a certain number of times that you can have pneumonia or you will die? and have you ever tried echinacea?

    I will also work on exhaling deeply during an anxiety/panic attack. I think praying for discernment is a good idea. Thank you for praying for me,and I will do the same for you. God Bless You Sonya.

    Warmest Well Wishes, Kosha
     
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    sgbl88 responded:
    Adult onset asthma is typically developed after a viral infection. For any asthmatic, a respiratory illness has a greater chance to cause a flare and go into bronchitis or even pneumonia.

    I have never heard that you can only have pneumonia a certain number of times. As far as Advair 500/50 causing pneumonia, I would be in trouble if that were true, as well as a few of my friends. I have been on it the better part of 6 months. Most of the people that are on it, have more severe, harder to control asthma and that in itself predisposes a person to pneumonia and bronchitis.

    I have tried echinacea for a while. I didn't find it helpful for me. Yes, have your vitamin D checked. Since you are so concerned about pneumonia, you might want to talk to your dr about getting pneumonia shots and about having your pneumcocal titters checked. My GP had no idea what that test was, but my allergist ordered it. It basically checks how your immune system responds to the pneumonia shot. It is two blood tests - a pre-shot and a post shot about 4 weeks later. That is just an thought.

    Great job on losing 15 lbs. That will help.

    Feel better and praying for you.

    Sonya
     
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    seekinghealing responded:
    Thanks Sonya, how are you? Those are some excellent ideas about the pre and post shot. I will check into it...

    Thank you for your prayers, it is very comforting to have a place where you can go and people understand you. You are in my prayers also.

    Warmest Regards, Kosha
     
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    deluxehd responded:
    Hi Kosha,

    I wanted to reply about the echinechea (sp?). My allergist told me that if a person is allergic to ragweed, they CANNOT take it. It has soem form of ragweed in it.

    Also, I took Advair 500/50 for almost a year and a half and did't get pnemonia.

    I also carry a nebulizer everywhere I go. In fact, my husband and I went to the PA farm show yesterday and I had to use it while watching the horse judging. I am still trying to get my asthma under control, so I understand your frustration.

    Hang in there and don't let it get the best of you. Thoughts and prayers. God bless. Debbie
     
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    sgbl88 responded:
    hmmmm.... Deb, I hadn't heard that about acchinacea. I am allergic to ragweed, but didn't have any problems with it. That is odd.

    And Kosha, I too carry a neb with me some places I go. I can run to the store without it, but church or other similar gatherings - I have a second purse too.

    Praying for you.

    Sonya
     
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    seekinghealing responded:
    Hello Debbie... its good to know that the advair has not caused you any problems... I have been using my neb for the past 3 yrs and not the inhaler, and i was wondering if i had done myself a disservice, by using only the neb...because recently i tried the inhaler again, and unless it was just me it seems like it didn't do anything or that it took longer...what do you think?
     
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    seekinghealing responded:
    Sonya its good to know that someone else carries a second purse too....thanks for all the info and encouragement...


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