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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Asthma

Question: Severe asthma-HELP!

 kellysmum2002 - Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:27 pm

Hi, all. Here's my history; I'll try to be brief. I need some input and advice.

When I was 10 years old, I began experiencing allergy and asthma problems. Allergy tests showed I was allergic to everything, dogs, cats, grass, pollen, etc. I was put on antihistamines and that was it. My parents did not get rid of their dogs; in fact, I have been raised with multiple dogs all my life (I am now 43).

When I was 27, I stayed with a friend who had a cat and had a severe asthma attack. I went to the ER and was put on an Albuterol inhaler, and I never had a problem again, until two weeks ago.

My husband brought home a horrible chest cold, and I got it. It seemed like I was getting better, but then I started experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness-all the hallmarks of asthma. My family doc put me on Advair 500/50, a nebulizer with Duoneb and Albuterol, prednisone, and a fast-acting inhaler. My asthma is worst in the mornings and evenings, and it seems I'm always full of phlegm that I can't cough out. I am physically exhausted from the effort to breathe all day, and I've worked myself up into a panic over the idea that I might have to part with my beloved dogs if this is allergy-induced asthma. My family doc says it's highly unlikely that the dogs suddenly caused asthma for me, but I am still scared. We are in the process of cleaning the house from top to bottom and have installed air filters in every room of the house. I am scheduled to see a pulmonologist on January 7th. I have had a chest x-ray and it was normal.

So, please, some advice-could a chest cold have really exacerbated my asthma to this extent? Or is it something allergic? Any input is appreciated, and thank you.
 Sandy Tracy RN - Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:46 pm

User avatar hi kellysmum2002,

I agree with your doctor, it is highly unlikely that your dog suddenly caused this problem. I would not worry about losing your pet. Many things can trigger an asthma attack. Having a chest cold is one of these "triggers" any time the airway is affected it can trigger an asthma exacerbation. The cold may go away, but until the asthma is treated ie; with prednisone, albuterol and other medications. The asthma may get worse, it sounds like your doctor started you on these medications.

I hope you are feeling better!

Sandy RN
 kellysmum2002 - Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:54 pm

Thank you for the prompt reply. Not that I'm second-guessing my doctor, but does he have me on all the standard meds for severe asthma? He only gave me enough prednisone for a few days; should I be on it longer? (I know he's against having me on it for a long period of time b/c of the side effects). BTW, my peak flow readings are in the 380 range; does this sound acceptable, given I'm in the midst of a flare?

Thank you again.

 Sandy Tracy RN - Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:38 pm

User avatar hi kellysmum2002,

Typically a few days of prednisone is adequate. A normal peak flow for a female 5'5 and 30 years of age is 380. I know you are over 27, but what is your exact age and height? Since your peak flow was good this may be an indicator of why you are not on a longer regimen of prednisone.

It sounds like all is working out! GAood luck with the pulmonologist and keep me posted.

Sandy RN
 kellysmum2002 - Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:55 pm

Hi again,

I am 43 and 5' 2" tall. I blew a 450 at 3:00 today (I was so happy! My highest in weeks!) ) For some reason, my readings are always highest in the mid afternoon. I was out grabbing some last minute Christmas things in the two hours before, so you think I would have been tired. Hope it doesn't mean there's something in the house that's making my asthma worse. My morning readings are about 380 now; my evenings are a little lower. My chest is always tight when I get up in the morning, and my asthma gets worse in the evenings. I'm hoping these higher readings are indicative that all the meds I'm on are finally beginning to work. Thank you for responding again.
 Sandy Tracy RN - Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:19 pm

User avatar Hi, Kellysmum2002,

It sounds like all is well. Keep doing what you are doing and be sure to follow up if problems arise.

Good Luck and good job on the 450.

Sandy RN

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